With many accountancy and finance professionals making the move from a permanent career path to an interim one, we asked Aran Purewal, associate director at CMA Recruitment Group – what is driving this trend?
Firstly, what is interim finance?
Interim finance is the provision of highly-skilled finance professionals into organisations on a temporary basis. These temporary positions are referred to as ‘assignments’, and can last anything from a matter of weeks to 18 months. Interim finance is often used to refer to the senior temporary market (£40k+ salaries) whereas temporary recruitment refers to salary levels below this.
When might an interim finance solution be used?
The most frequent reasons for seeking interim finance professionals are as follows:
- As a bridge to cover a role during the time it takes to recruit a permanent candidate.
- Change programmes and transition management.
- Specific projects eg overseeing a systems upgrade or changes in accounting standards.
- Support M&A activity and post-merger integration.
- Maternity and paternity leave.
The common theme in all scenarios is an immediate and temporary need for a skill-set that is not readily available within your organisation.
Independence – interim finance professionals can bring independent thought and ideas to a business. They are not impacted by legacy opinion and have the advantage of avoiding ‘group think’, offering an objective opinion.
Return on investment – track record and achieving results are paramount for an interim candidate. Therefore, they are focused on effective and efficient delivery of their respective tasks, which when combined with the variable nature of the cost, makes for a compelling return on investment.
Are there any challenges to consider?
Cultural fit – as with permanent hires, cultural fit is very important to maximise the impact of an interim appointment. CMA works hard to understand our clients’ specific cultures and match them with the right individual from our large network of experienced candidates.
Credibility – it is paramount that a candidate’s skills, experiences, qualifications and references are verified to ensure a successful placement. This is something that is undertaken by CMA on behalf of our clients.
What does the future hold for interim finance?
CMA Recruitment Group foresees the trend of interim finance to deliver business-critical projects continuing. Some time ago, there was a stigma attached to ‘career interims’. That is certainly not the case anymore with many professionals attracted by the increased flexibility of the interim career path. Also, the ability to build a broad range of skills and sector knowledge in a comparatively shorter time frame compared to a permanent career path is a pull factor for highly-ambitious individuals.
What are the key benefits?
Experience and skills – ability to hire a very specific set of skills, able to make an immediate impact with a high degree of autonomy. They are able to quickly understand a situation and apply previously gained knowledge and expertise to implement improvements.
Flexibility – to meet the short-term needs of your organisation without long-term fixed costs. Flexibility may also come in the form of additional commitment when demands are greatest.
Speed – using a specialist recruitment partner, interim professionals may be identified and hired much more quickly than permanent candidates. In part this is due to the lack of notice periods that need to be served, but also due to the different mindset and aspirations of interim candidates.
About CMA Recruitment Group
CMA Recruitment Group was established in 1980 and over the subsequent 39 years has built a reputation for its open and honest approach, working collaboratively and in the best interests of its clients and candidates.
The consultancy operates through four specialist divisions: accountancy and finance, HR, practice and executive search and has four offices and a team of 45 in the Solent and Thames Valley.
CMA offers clients both permanent and temporary or interim solutions, with each consultant covering both disciplines to ensure our client’s needs come first.
For more information on how CMA Recruitment Group could support your interim needs, contact Aran Purewal: