Rupert Gaster, Interim Procurement Recruiter and Founder and MD of Procurement Heads, shares some of his thoughts on the state of the interim procurement and supply chain recruitment market.
What trends are we seeing in the interim procurement and supply chain world?
The trends in the interim procurement recruitment market at the moment are very specific to supply and demand and I think demanded, relatively speaking, is high with supply shorter than it has been previously.
And why is this?
Well, essentially, as we come into a post-pandemic era, a lot of organisations had pent up demand, so they haven’t recruited for 18 months plus there are many change and transformation programmes that are ongoing as a consequence of the pandemic, and that is causing and creating a need for short-term interim projects and consultants to come in and deliver.
How has the interim market changed in the last year?
We’re often asked how the market has changed in the last year, and I think there’s really been a fundamental change, so almost 180 degrees initially, two years ago, all we were doing was talking about Brexit and issues that we were faced and how that was impacting the demand we were seeing in the marketplace.
But now, as we come to a market that has had very little interim hiring in the last 18 months, there have been some significant and manifest changes in the market as a consequence.
What impact has Covid had and how have interim procurement professionals helped the bounce back?
Covid fundamentally changed the recruitment market.
I think there was a suppressed market for about twelve months through 2020 in early 2021 as a consequence of that in interim procurement hiring.
But now I think it has changed for the better.
There are lots more projects.
Organisations are seeing a very rapid uptake in economic activity and more generally, GDP is rising.
I think what we’re also seeing is that organisations and wider the UK economy are having some growth challenges as a consequence of the inability to hire specialist skills.
This is where interims really do come in because if you want to parachute someone into your business to create a competitive advantage, an interim is going to be the exact way that you can do that.
Has the impact of homeworking been beneficial to organisations and interims?
I think homeworking is a question that we’re constantly asked about when it comes to interim him.
In one, I think the pandemic has broadened the portfolio of people that might be available for any job at a given time, principally because they might only ever be required in the office once a week.
Interims don’t, therefore, have to sort of hotel accommodation and travel expenses.
I think as a consequence, there has been a correction sometimes in the day rates that are being offered and also when you’re doing on a state of works the amount of budget that is there for approved for a hire.
But I think more generally it means that people can look at a candidate pool that is more UK and Europe-wide based on skill rather than on geography.
What’s happening in the interim market and what do we anticipate in the next 6-12 months?
I think the key thing that is happening in the market at the moment, as we get away from April 1 and the changes in IR35, is that the profile of organisations and their risk needs is changing significantly.
As we all start to understand IR35 a little bit more and the risks entailed within it, so the market is opening up a little bit more.
What do we anticipate seeing? I think an increased demand and continue in that increase in demand.
At the moment, there is still quite a heavy bias to permanent hiring, but I think that as confidence in the market returns we will see more interim hiring continue.
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