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Interim Finance and Accounting: the current state of the market

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2021 was a monumental year for the recruitment industry. After 2020 which brought challenges such as hiring freezes, mass redundancies, and in some cases, liquidation, 2021 was a year of “recovery” for many organisations. As we come to the end of Q1 in 2022, we are experiencing a 180-degree change, whereby the battle for talent is greater than ever before.

The FinTech and Crypto space is also booming, with many individuals transferring from traditional sectors into “up and coming” organisations. EFC reported on this, highlighting that “We're less than two months in 2022, by all accounts, recruiters are working harder than ever.” Hiring freezes are well and truly over - and the fight for talent doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

From an interim perspective, we have seen some interesting patterns emerging, namely IR35 which was enforced in late 2021. This has led to a lot of FTC’s (fixed-term contracts) and created some issues around general interim hiring. However, the loopholes that IR35 have presented hasn’t stopped people from continuing to hire good quality interim talent.  

Although professional contractors however still prefer day rates as opposed to FTC’s, they have still been able to obtain opportunities without kicking up too much fuss. IR35, when it first emerged, was considered as a huge shift, when the reality is that the market has adapted fairly well to a change that initially seemed monumental.  2021 also saw a distinct shortage of candidates moving to the UK from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada on short-term visas due to COVID, closed borders and travel restrictions. 

These candidates have typically made up a large percentage of the interim workforce, especially in London. This increased demand and candidate shortage has not surprisingly resulted in a sharp increase in rates, especially in the second half of 2021. 

The Interim market is booming.  Businesses have recovered quicker than expected and have quickly transitioned from a cost-saving strategy to growth.  With demand for qualified finance individuals increasing exponentially and a shortage of active candidates in the Permanent market, businesses have had to rely on the Interim market to support their growth in the short to medium term.

- Christian Pampellonne, Co-Founder of The Consultancy Group

Remote working

Remote working has been a hot topic of conversation across industries and geographies, and the sentiments are the same for the interim finance and accounting market. Although IR35 presented its own set of challenges, greater flexibility has been made available to interim talent which may not have been so readily available. 

Remote working continues to be incredibly popular, and less of a “nice to have” and more of a requirement from candidates.

The hybrid / flexible working model on offer is now near the top of the list when it comes to deciding on a new opportunity. Finance leaders are concerned about the effect a hybrid working model will have on maintaining their company culture, as remote work can make people’s collaboration practices more siloed. But candidates are now expecting to at least have the option for flexibility in their working practices, and in many cases will turn down an offer if there isn’t a hybrid working model in place.

- Phil Dye, Co-Founder of The Consultancy Group

Moving from perm to interim

Although the security that comes with a permanent job is inclusive of regular pay, additional benefits, and progression opportunities, the shift from permanent to interim also brings a number of positives. 

If you’re a candidate who is considering moving from a permanent opportunity into the interim world, then please don’t hesitate to contact one of our consultants for more information on how to structure your rate card, and also secure opportunities. 

Rates

Regarding rates, there has been a significant increase in day rates as well as basic salaries.  We have seen many examples of companies losing strong interim talent to competitors offering day rates, resulting in a 30% uplift on candidate day rates inside IR35. 

Even junior candidates are earning significantly more than the “standard” market rate from a perm and contract perspective. 

We recently produced a comprehensive, in-depth salary guide which highlights everything you need to know, from the details on IR35 through to what you could be earning. 

Download our market insight and salary guide for 2022 by clicking here.