5 minutes with … Gerry Darley our newest Contract Recruiter
We’re thrilled to introduce Gerry, our latest contract team member, dedicated to delivering excellence across the contract software engineering industry. He brings a shed load of experience, drawing on his 7 year contract recruitment career spanning both the Australian and UK markets. Some of his highlights over the years include securing talent to build a leading banking app in the .NET market, and sourcing key engineers to programme cutting edge machines for Rolls Royce.
What do clients want to see in their contractors?
Contractors that don’t need their hands held within certain technologies. Many clients use bespoke systems so it’s not expected that the contractor will know how to use it immediately but learning quickly is essential. Also, being able to integrate with permanent employees means that any possible hostility between the two groups is squashed, so interpersonal skills are so valuable.
What’s the top skillset you’re asked for?
Within electrical design, people who have the right methodology using Autocad Electrical is a real indication of your ability to create effective electrical diagrams for use at a high level by clients.
Within PLC programming, people possessing skills to link PLC (Siemens, Allen Bradley, Rockwell etc) to the internet, using more traditional IT associated programming language (C#, Python) etc will be vital over the next few years.
Advice to contractors looking to get work?
Find a good recruiter. I understand that finding and picking up jobs is time consuming and juggling that with your personal life is difficult. By using a recruiter, all that hard work is done for you plus you’ll have time to concentrate on your skills and make sure they are up-to-date.
No. 1 piece of advice for nailing a contract interview?
I cannot stress how important it is to ask relevant and thoughtful questions.
A recent situation: 2 candidates interviewing for a role of mine, one highly experienced, the other less so. The candidate with less experience was offered the role. When I asked the client why, it came down to asking insightful questions which showed real interest, a keen desire to learn and a naturally inquisitive nature.
What makes a contract CV great?
Focus on your achievements. Elaborate on what was difficult and how you overcame the problem. Talking about what was challenging and those tricky situations will let you explain the story as to you found resolutions (this is the gold that company’s most want to hear – they don’t necessarily want to hear about the projects that went without a hitch!) Equally, reflecting on successes and difficulties adds a human touch to your CV.
What’s different about doing contract recruitment at ISL?
There is a huge emphasis at ISL on going to see clients. Many recruitment companies don’t encourage this unless it’s an established client account. For me, it’s so important because if I haven’t met a client before or seen the working environment, how am I meant to find the perfect match in a candidate? It also works both ways as their impression of me is just as important, they need to have the confidence that I am the right person to find the right fit.
What are the benefits of contract working?
Being able to use your skills in a deliverable environment. The fact that you are there primarily to bring about an action is great experience to have under you belt regardless of whether you’re going back into permanent work, starting your own business or continuing with contract work. It’s not just about the skillset though, having the right attitude will bring about those actions quickly plus, you’ll gain exposure to new skills in a variety of environments.
Why do you enjoy working a contract market?
I like the fact that more traditionally, contract recruitment is a fast-paced environment. I enjoy really listening to the client/candidate to understand what they need, for me it’s a lot like problem solving.
Why are you better than other contract recruiters?
I care both about the project that I am involved with and every individual candidate and client. Transparency is important to me and I always try to be the most transparent middleman possible by harvesting as much feedback as I can for both parties. I am never going to be as technical as some of the companies that I work with but by asking the right questions, I make this up in hard work.