With over 20 years experience in recruitment, we caught up with Karen Pitchforth, who specialises in the placement of part and fully qualified (or QBE) interim finance professionals from accounts assistants to finance directors and business consultants across the South Yorkshire region to find out more about the current challenges facing the market.
Tell us a little about your career to date.
I Joined Sharp Consultancy in 2013 and have been a recruiter for over 20 years. My first role saw me recruiting GPs into Locum appointments and from there I spent a couple of years managing a local branch of a commercial recruitment business. In 2007, I joined a national recruiter where I moved into placing interim qualified accounts professionals which has been my area of specialism ever since.
How is the current marketplace and what are your expectations for the remainder of the year?
The market is currently very busy; we are seeing a lot of opportunity for both seasoned professional interims as well as people stepping into the interim world for their first time. As confidence continues to build in the market, I would expect that this is a pattern that we will see carry on over the next 6 – 12 months.
What are the main recruitment challenges being faced in this area?
The main recruitment challenge affecting the interim market is ensuring that companies and hiring managers are in the best possible position to keep pace with the speed at which decisions are currently being made – candidates are being snapped up very quickly by employers that are able to make swift decisions.
Candidate demand is extremely high so processes need to be handled efficiently and in a timely fashion; working with someone who has an in-depth knowledge of the local market, strong candidate network and years of experience with interim recruitment will really pay huge dividends.
What can/should employers be doing to overcome these challenges?
Employers need to appreciate that at times like these, their own recruitment processes must keep pace with the market, or they will find themselves at risk of losing out on the best candidates to those who are able to be much more fleet of foot. They should also look at what they can put in place to meet the demand that we are seeing in the candidate market right now for flexibility in working hours and hybrid working.
What particular skills are currently in demand and what should candidates be doing to take advantage of this opportunity?
Within the interim market there is a real wide range in terms of the skills which are in demand, however I am seeing a much greater number of longer-term contracts being offered compared to recent years. This is extremely encouraging and can offer candidate who may have found themselves unexpectedly seeking out new opportunities and may not have previously considered an interim role, another strong option to consider in their job search.
Can an interim appointment support companies struggling with making a permanent appointment in the current market?
Absolutely. The current high-level demand for quality candidates can often see considerable pressure applied to the recruitment processes for permanent roles and the need to have somebody in place quickly. However, finding the ideal candidate can take time and, where workload demands are such, interim support can remove that pressure by ensuring that the role is suitably covered and allow a thorough process to take place in order to find the right permanent appointment.
Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of temporary, interim and permanent finance and accountancy professionals. With offices in Leeds and Sheffield our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for positions throughout Yorkshire and beyond. CONTACT US today to find out more.