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Interims in Uncertain Times

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Georgina Denslow covid-19, uncertainty, interim...

Could interim be the answer during these unprecedented times?

In the last few weeks, Covid-19 has turned everyone’s world upside down and it feels like we’re all taking it one day at a time until we can get back to some sort of normality. Businesses, too, have been reassessing their strategies and looking at ways to cope in the coming months, whilst continuing to deliver key business-as-usual requirements.

As teams login remotely and rely on apps such as Zoom to communicate, there has been a considerable shift in business critical requirements. Recruitment, which is normally a priority to ensure an organisation secures top talent, has dropped down the list and for the vast majority, has been put on hold or frozen for the foreseeable future.

While this is very understandable, many Hiring Managers are being left with gaps in their team during a time where they’re already under significant stress due to the everyday impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Although it may not be prudent to bring in new permanent staff in the current climate, an alternative would be to look at short-term interim support.

Contractors are able to come into a business, integrate themselves quickly and provide expertise in specialist areas as required. They provide flexibility to a workforce, especially during uncertain times, to focus on key business deliverables without the requirement for long-term investment or training from the employer. This also means that an employer can focus on a key skillsets that they believe are time or business critical for a defined period to complete specific pieces of work.

Interim workers can provide short term relief to businesses through their expertise either by working closely with the team or working autonomously to hit key targets as required. As a result of focusing purely on projects or business needs, the impact of a contractor can be felt within days of joining an organisation.

There are also cost advantages to bringing temporary resource into an organisation. Contractors are not entitled to employee benefits such as private healthcare, pension, holiday pay, sick pay etc and are only paid for the days worked. This means that there is only a cost to the business for the period you require the temporary resource to remain working with the organisation and furthermore, this is a fixed daily cost agreed at the beginning of the assignment.

Bringing in temporary resource can boost morale of the overall team. Especially in stressful circumstances, busy periods or where employees have an increased workload due to team vacancies, additional support can help a team remain happy and productive until a permanent hire can be made.

Furthermore, if a contractor proves successful within an organisation and there are vacancies within the team that may suit the individual, employers can look to bring the contractor into the team on a permanent basis. The contractor will already know the business, know the team, will understand their role and have a proven record of delivering in that role. It will also mean a significant time saving for employers as an external hiring process is no longer required.

Interim support is not a long-term fix, but it is not meant to be. It is there as a short-term answer and stop gap to an immediate problem. In these uncertain times, bringing in flexible, specialist contract workers can provide a support to get businesses through the next few months and support the organisation in coming out of the other side of this pandemic in a stronger position than it may otherwise have been.

So, if you’re in an organisation which is understandably slowing the pace of their recruitment, if not stopping altogether, yet still need valuable expertise and resource an Interim Consultant could be the answer. Equally, if you were looking for a role before the chaos ensued and are now finding traditional job hunting a virtual impossibility, maybe have a think about project work.

Cedar are a specialist Finance, Procurement and Transformation recruitment consultancy with teams that focus solely on supporting business with interim requirements. For further information, please contact me on