Interim finance experts traditionally provide a positive stop-gap solution for organisations experiencing a staffing crisis. However, they can also inject specialist skills; deal with fluctuating workflow; or form part of a business transformation project.
In this article Emma Walsh, Moir Group’s Manager for Temporary & Contracting Recruitment discusses why a contracting workforce is uniquely positioned to help businesses survive crisis situations, or indeed, grow to new heights.
Contracting is a profession
The rise of the gig economy, underemployment and COVID-related workplace disruption are all factors that have led to an increase in the size and quality of the contracting workforce. Currently 1 million Australians work as independent contractors[i], with a large proportion of professionals and managers being employed in an interim capacity.
So why are companies employing contract experts more readily? There are numerous reasons: Firstly, it allows greater flexibility for businesses; helps to plug capability gaps quickly; and assists in the fast delivery of key projects. In addition to this, it alleviates head count issues and supports a “flexible engagement model”. Overall, the utilisation of interim finance professionals helps businesses to be more productive, not just locally, but on a global scale.
Download our factsheet, The value of Finance and Accountancy contractors for businesses.
Broad experience and fresh perspective
Change and uncertainty are a way of life for a professional contractor. This makes them especially well-placed to deal with the rapid pace of change and high level of uncertainty currently felt by many Australian businesses.
Over the course of their career, a professional contractor experiences a broad range of situations and setting, exposing them to different management styles, technologies, processes and workplace cultures. Businesses that hire interim finance experts will benefit from this diversity of experience and the fresh perspective it brings.
So who are the career contractors? A recent Contracting Insights Report[i], surveying 400 contractors, found that 72% of them are tertiary educated with degrees, and that 58% of them are Gen-X (with 29% being Millennials). The study found that a key reason for contractors to choose this path is the freedom, flexibility and choice it gives them whilst working, allowing them to get the most of life.
“Change and uncertainty are a way of life for the professional contractor. This makes them especially well-placed to deal with the rapid pace of change and high level of uncertainty currently felt by many Australian businesses.”
An effective stop-gap solution
A sudden illness or unexpected busy period can send your business into a spin. Hiring interim finance experts allows businesses to quickly get more hands on deck or inject a missing skill-set into the organisation.
Alternatively, you might know you need a permanent employee, but can’t afford to wait for the usual recruitment process to play out. A specialist recruitment consultant can assist by providing a short-term contractor who can hold the fort while your HR team concentrate on finding the perfect permanent employee.
Top talent, on tap
The finance and accounting contractors we work with at Moir Group tend to have more years of experience under their belts than any other employee group. This means they are highly qualified and can jump right in and get started in a role.
With an extensive network of finance and accounting professionals at our fingertips we can connect businesses in need with talented experts that are ready to hit the ground running at short notice.
Support during long-term absences
A contract position doesn’t necessarily have to be a short one. Longer-term contracts are ideal for filling more substantial absences such as parental leave, secondments or ongoing health concerns. This is where Moir Group’s focus on cultural fit is particularly important. We can connect you with professional contractors who will stay the course and blend seamlessly with your existing team.
Assisting with transformation & change
Future-facing organisations are increasingly bringing Executive-level interim finance experts on board as a management strategy for delivering business transformation and change projects. This is an effective way to inject specialist high-level skills into the business or free-up permanent senior personnel to be seconded onto special projects.
Companies need to develop and incorporate the hiring of specialist contractors into their strategic plans (rather than just as a short-term or emergency measure). Ask the question – what roles could be filled by a contactor? Where are the gaps? Working with a specialist recruiter like Moir Group means that these gaps can be filled quickly and effectively with interim staff who can quickly integrate themselves into the organisational culture.
Taking care of your contract staff
From a client’s perspective, you need to keep your contractors engaged and make them feel that they’re part of the team immediately. Keep the on-boarding process simple and meaningful.
The Contracting Insights report highlighted that contractors are looking for open communication and collaboration when working in a business. Two other key factors are management style and workplace flexibility, with contractors often being willing to take less money to work in a great culture. Culture is critical, with 80% of respondents citing it as a core part of their satisfaction in a contract role.
In summary, whatever your situation, Interim finance experts can provide short-term relief, without incurring long-term costs for the business. Developing a good relationship with a recruitment consultant will help you to maximise the benefits of hiring interim finance experts and means that you have the support of a specialist who will pull out all the stops to help you at short notice or in times of crisis.
Emma Walsh is Manager of Temporary & Contracting Recruitment at Moir Group, experienced in placing interim candidates within roles across a variety of industries, from large listed multinationals to SME’s.
Are you looking to source quality interim finance professionals for your organisation? Contact the team today for a chat.
Are you looking for an interim finance role? Search our latest contract roles.