The Senior Finance interim market in Scotland continues to be strong with a high demand for interim support from both SMEs and large corporates across most sectors. A growing number of businesses are turning to hiring specialist interim support for a variety of reasons.
The shift in determining the IR35 status of an assignment from the contractor to the end client next month is not deterring the demand to hire interims especially as clients realise that the legislation does not affect PAYE Day Rate Contractors as they are out of scope. We are also finding that there are still opportunities outside of IR35 with HMRC estimating that 25% of assignments will likely fall outside of IR35 with these assignments allowing contractors to undertake assignments through their limited company.
Companies are finding it beneficial to hire interims in the following situations:
Bridging a Resource Gap
When hiring permanently and the previous post-holder has left or is close to completing their notice period, hiring an interim into this post allows the client to take their time and make sure that they make the right permanent selection. On some occasions it can turn out that the interim is the best option for the role and secures the permanent position.
Additional Support for Finance Teams
The demands on the finance function and its team members appears to be at an all-time high with companies requiring higher levels of cash flow management and more accurate forecasting. This is stretching existing finance teams to the limit and so the hiring of strong interim support can help take the pressure off and allow your existing team a better work life balance.
Part Time Posts
The demand for flexible working has increased over the last 12 months with most Finance professionals working from home. There has been an increase in roles that are only for 2 or 3 days a week to tackle a specific project or pick up an increase in workload that perhaps doesn’t justify a full-time post. Companies are benefitting from the high calibre that is available on this part time market.
During the current crisis there has been a shift in demand for goods and services which means there are more high growth businesses at this time than there has been for a number of years. These high growth businesses have perhaps tapped into a growth market and so by utilising the interim market where candidates are available at little or no notice is proving highly valuable to such companies. In situations like these the skills you require now might be different from what you need in a years’ time so utilising an interim makes more sense than hiring permanently.
Accessing Experience and New Networks
In these high potential or growth businesses, being able to access senior interims who have a track record or existing connections to Private Equity or other sources of investment can prove invaluable. There are a handful of these types of individuals available on the market in Scotland and being able to access their experience and connections can be hugely beneficial.
Upskilling your Team
When the technical skills are not present in your existing finance team or if the team members that do are working already to full capacity. Skills such as Financial Modelling/Planning, Statutory Accounting or Systems Accounting can be accessed through hiring in interim support.
For confidential assignments it was previously difficult to engage an external interim but is perhaps easier with working remotely becoming the new normal.
There are typically two types of candidate available on the interim market. There are a growing number of career interims in Scotland and also there are those candidates who are just ‘passing through’ the interim market due to redundancy or relocation as they search for their next permanent role. The benefits of interim to the Contractor include:
Broaden your Skillset
Potentially a broader skillset gained by having a wider range of experiences having worked across a variety of businesses. To succeed as a career interim you need to be able to hit the ground running often in challenging situations severely testing your technical capabilities and also communication skills. The best interims will have the very best skills that allow them to come into a new business and make a lasting impact even though they may only be there for 6, 9 or 12 months.
A significant number of high-calibre Accounting professionals want a better work life balance, perhaps brought into sharper focus over the last 12 months. Being able to work for a number of months followed by taking some time off has a growing appeal. Also being detached from the office politics or perhaps giving back to companies and its employees for those who have built up a wealth of experience is often a driver for the career interim.
Addressing Redundancy or Relocation
For those qualified accountants who have unfortunately been made redundant recently or have decided it is time to return or relocate to Scotland the interim market can be a great way of moving between sectors and therefore positively changing the direction of your career. Also because of the speed of turnaround with a lot of assignments it is possible to minimise the period where you are not working.
Accessing Permanent Roles
Also as discussed above the interim job market can be a way of sourcing a future permanent role as the demand for hiring finance professionals continues to increase companies are seeing the calibre of candidates available on the interim market and are tempting them with offers of permanency.
As a Contractor, it is your choice whether you operate on a PAYE Day Rate or Ltd Co. Day Rate, although it is only really possible to realise the benefits of a Ltd Co. Day Rate if the assignment you are working is deemed outside IR35. As indicated previously HMRC estimates that 25% of assignments will sit outside. At Rutherford Cross we are experienced and work in partnership with both our clients and candidates to ensure that the most appropriate solution is reached for both parties.