Spotlight on the interim Company Secretarial market

Written by
Rachel Whyte
Core Partnership

Published
25 Nov 2019

25 Nov 2019 • by Rachel Whyte

The Interim market for some can seem uncertain and transient, yet, for others that’s exactly what makes it so attractive. Here at The Core Partnership we recently conducted the first ever in-depth review of the interim Company Secretarial/Governance market, in an effort to understand the reasons why people choose to engage in interim work, what they look for in such work and how the market has changed over the last year.

If you yourself are an interim worker, you may find it interesting to see where your counterparts lie in the field. In that respect, geographically, the overwhelming majority of our poll’s respondents work lives reside in London (69.57%) with a further 20.29% working in the south east just outside central London. The reasons why individuals are engaged in their current contracts varied greatly however. Forgoing the named poll answers such as restructuring (24.64%) and covering maternity (15.94), 42.03% and therefore the majority of participants, chose ‘other’, continuing to transcribe their own reasons for their present work. Such reasons included ‘being needed for a specific project’ and ‘the company needed a qualified CoSec on a one-off basis’. From this It can be assumed then, that the explanation for which interim roles arise are extremely varied and thus potentially difficult to predict. Once a contract has been secured, however, the majority of those are fixed-term on the client company’s payroll (47.83%), seconded by limited company contractor (34.78%) and followed by umbrella company contractors (10.14%), with temp worker on agency payroll being least common (7.25%).

Interestingly, in investigating what might tempt individuals to leave their current contract, the most reported responses were highlighted equally as higher rate (46.38%) and content of work (46.38%). The least tempting reason proved to be in order to start a longer contract (21.74%), perhaps suggesting that stability isn’t necessarily an as important factor for most who engage in interim work. Somewhat in contrast to this, however, just under half of respondents reported that they weren’t career interims and their long-term goal is to be in a permanent role (44.93%). It could be inferred then that a large proportion of people undertaking interim roles aren’t necessarily doing so out of choice. This is supported with respondents commenting multiple variations of ‘I became interim as I couldn’t get work permanently’. For those that are career interims though, pursuing interim work as it suits their lifestyle was a recurring theme. In line with this and somewhat unsurprisingly, flexibility (78.26%) was reported as one of the most enjoyable factors of interim work, narrowly beaten by the variety of roles (79.21%). Once engaged in a role, most respondents stated their expertise to lie in meetings attendance and board support (78.26%), with the least reported expertise lying in IPOs (13.04%), suggesting that this is more of a niche skill and therefore potentially a factor for distinguishing candidates for certain roles.

Assessing how the market has changed over the last year, we also asked panellists where their current day-rate or salary (to the nearest 1000) lies and how that compares to a year ago. Respondents current day rate ranged between £171-£1252, with the average calculated at £532.66 suggesting the breadth of our respondents are likely higher in seniority. Compared to last year, the same respondent’s day rates ranged between £141-£1252 with an average of £509.39 illustrating a slight upwards shift of 4.57% over a year. For those that were on a salary, the average income last year totalled £76,352.94. Moving forward to the present, our respondent’s salaries ranged between £34,000-£200,000 conveying an average of £88,366.67, a sizable 15.81% increase from the previous year. A possible explanation for the difference in growth between day rates versus salaries over the past year, may be due to the amendments of IR35 coming in to force in April 2020, meaning that employers are shifting towards fixed term contracts, introducing interim candidates onto their company payroll as an employee in order to align with the legislation. As was previously stated, in line with this hypothesis, the majority of our poll’s respondents are currently on fixed-term contracts on the client company’s payroll (47.83%). The prospect of a completion bonus at the end of any contract, however, proved extremely rare with 82.61% stating that they are not eligible.

In conclusion, this research has served to highlight the small yet possibly growing gap between day-rate and salary earning interim workers, why people may favour one contract over another and what type of contracts are most popular. If you’re on the lookout for your next interim role, or need some advice on interim resourcing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at The Core Partnership on 02035890333 or team@core-partnership.co.uk

Core Partnership