How interim recruitment can help you conquer uncertainty

The number of permanent hires in the UK has been falling over the past few months, a trend that was earlier attributed to the uncertainty around Brexit, and more recently to the uncertainty around the impact of coronavirus.

It’s a pattern we’ve observed in Wales too, and it’s not just down to less jobs being available; candidates reluctant to give up the security of their current roles are less available too. Data from WaveTrackr found there was a 19% reduction in applications in January 2020 compared with January 2019, and a massive 47% drop in February compared with February 2019.

Recruiting interim is a common solution for many organisations who are urgently in need of certain expertise and cost-saving solutions but are unable to recruit someone permanent during these uncertain times.

An interim finance specialist, for example, can be a huge asset to a business looking to manage their overheads and finances in response to a decrease in demand for a product or service, or conversely, they can advise on where to invest when demand increases.

Such appointments are a strategic move which can support a period of uncertainty or transformation or plug a specialised skills gap, as well as cover long-term illness or maternity cover. Even if a permanent appointment is your long-term plan, it may take you several months to find the right person. In the meantime, a temporary recruit can play a vital role.

Many professionals who take on interim roles have made a conscious decision to only work in temporary jobs; it’s the type of career that allows them flexibility and to work for a number of organisations or industries, often at a senior level, gaining broad experience in challenging situations.

Good interim staff are typically highly experienced in their field and can work autonomously, and therefore are not a drain on your time. They are used to being judged on results, so you can be confident they’ll deliver. They can look at your challenges objectively and bring the benefits of their experience to find effective solutions. What’s more, they can usually start within a week of being appointed.

Some interim candidates will have their end sights on a permanent role and losing them halfway through the average three to nine-month tenure is a risk. As interim recruiters, we are always upfront with clients in these circumstances and encourage candidates to be too. Although, as we’ve outlined, options are fewer and further between right now.

If you are looking to recruit a permanent employee eventually, the interim may be an excellent candidate to trial. Either way, the skills and knowledge that an interim brings could have a lasting positive impact on your organisation.

However, being able to recruit a strong interim candidate is harder than being convinced that interim is a good option for your organisation. The pool of interim candidates is usually around 1% of the permanent market and the best ones aren’t available for long. It can often be challenging for organisations to reach them in time.

We were pleased to help Techniquest, a leading science-discovery centre, appoint an interim Finance Director while they recruited for the permanent post. Linda Burbage, Business Services Director, explains:

“Once we’d met them, we knew we could trust Sitka Recruitment to secure the right person. They found us some really good candidates and the successful one was perfect for what we needed; he hit the ground running and was a real help to us.”

As experienced recruiters, we have and continue to build relationships with several interim candidates; as such we know a few of those who are available for an immediate start. We check their references, make sure they are compliant, and process all their payments. We take the hard work out of interim recruitment so our clients can keep their focus on their business – a focus that’s more important than ever right now.

If you’re unsure what steps you should be taking to recruit right now, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to chat through your options over a virtual cuppa.