Robert is partner and Head of Interim Division at Cedar, a specialist financial recruitment consultancy focused on sourcing senior financial talent across commercial organisations.
Over 100 CFOs from FTSE 350 businesses and large private firms took part in Deloitte’s 29th CFO Survey between 8th and 22nd September. The full report, published this week, found that despite news around the War in the Middle East and Ukraine and weakness in the euro zone UK CFOs’ risk appetite has risen to a new seven-year high amid the continuing economic recovery and easing credit conditions.
CFOs have moved past their concerns of a return to global recession and have now shifted their primary focus from cost-cutting to growth. The quarterly snapshot found 72% believe now is a good time to take risk on to their balance sheets, up from 65% in the second quarter of the year and more than three times higher than two years ago. Companies are now driving growth through investments in infrastructure, acquisitions and human capital. This dramatic shift in focus coupled with ever rising base salaries means that attracting and retaining top talent is now harder than ever. The war for talent is most definitely back.
Due to this increasingly competitive candidate market, Cedar has seen a significant uplift in clients wanting innovative solutions to meet their hiring needs. In addition to bespoke advertising campaigns and inventive candidate attraction tools the most valuable solution to the waging war for talent is providing immediate access to high calibre career interims.
Highly skilled senior finance interims are essential to gain a competitive advantage, facilitate growth and deliver transformation projects to fulfil CFOs’ new found appetite for risk. Advantages of appointing an interim professional into your organisation are threefold; speed, skill and cost.
Cedar has access to a dynamic network of dedicated career interims that can be ‘parachuted’ into an organisation at speed. An interim professional is generally hired for a high intensity, temporary assignment with a clearly defined start and finish date according to project or business needs.
Due to the interim professional’s experience, organisations can be assured that there will be little or no learning curve in delivering project and require a minimal handover to become fully operational. This means that they add immediate strategic value. Interims are experts in identifying quick wins by taking an immediate objective view of the business and the challenges it faces. As interims are with the business for only a short time, they do not hold emotional attachments and will speak frankly and identify key issues that may not have been previously addressed internally.
On average, it can take four to six months to hire a permanent member of staff as they work out their notice period. As an immediate solution, organisations who are working on identifying suitable candidates for a permanent appointments, can appoint an interim to keep the organisation operating effectively and manage business continuity.
Many organisations will at some stage experience a skills gap in their existing team to cover a key role in the business or to enable a specific project such as growth, systems implementation, acquisitions integration etc. Interim professionals bring with them the skills and experience for delivering significant new projects and creating solutions. A well-rounded career interim will often have has experience working across of a variety of companies, sectors and markets and therefore, have developed a wide portfolio of skills and experience. By sourcing these skills externally, the leaders of the organisation can continue to focus on the running of the day to day business or conversely, an interim can take over daily duties to allowing leaders to focus solely on key projects. As well as filling the skills gap found in the organisation, the interim can transfer necessary skills to permanent staff leaving a legacy of effective processes once they have completed their contract.
There is a long held perception that interims are expensive. However, they can often offer significant value for money in comparison to employing the services of a Big 4 or management consultancy for an M & A, transformation or systems implementation project. Also bear in mind that additional costs associated with new employees such as; bonuses, holiday pay, NI contributions, pension, health and company car benefits etc. do not apply to interim managers.
Cedar’s Interim Practice delivers a broad range of interim finance solutions for a diverse client base ranging from FTSE 100 organisations through to private-equity backed businesses and privately owned SME’s. If you would like consultative advice on the appointment of interim professionals into your business, please contact Robert Baker on 0203 002 8046.
Latest roles from Cedar include:
- Group Financial Controller, London | Excellent Package
- Finance Business Partner, Surrey | £50,000 per year
- Financial Accountant, London | £42,000 to £52,000 per year
- Strategic Finance Manager, London | £65,000 per day
- Finance Director, London | Excellent Package
Browse more of their latest roles here