Registering as a limited company is a way that individuals looking to enhance their careers can become independent contractors or interims. It’s a simple process that allows organisations to enlist your services or expertise for a specific project for a fixed period of term. Contract roles provide greater scope for flexibility and increased earnings.
As many know, registering as a limited company means complying with a lot of regulations. This caused a lot of stress and uncertainty with the new IR35 legislation, due to come out in April 2020, was then subsequently delayed. While there have been motions in the House of Commons to delay further until 2023, (at time of writing) this was tabled and it stands that the legislation will come into force in April 2021.
While a temporary respite, the delayed legislation was not much of a relief for contractors and interims for very long. With the onslaught of the COVID-19 outbreak, many contractors and interims have felt the pressure of the economic downturn it caused. Many organisations were forced to furlough staff and cut back on their contingency staff, including contractors and interims.
For those who were new to interim management or contractor work, this could not have come at a worse time. Although the government was issuing support to help those laid off from their jobs, interims, contractors, and owners of newly formed limited companies have found themselves unlikely to be eligible for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant causing greater stress and potential hardship.
However, on the 10th May, the UK government announced its plans to lift the lockdown measures and encourage those who need to go back to work to do so whilst still maintaining social distancing where possible. This has meant that it is very likely that in the coming months, more and more restrictions will be lifted in order to boost the UK economy with a particular focus on the hospitality sector starting in July.
With the lifting of restrictions and the gradual return to what normalcy can be reclaimed after the Coronavirus outbreak, organisations should begin to re-examine their priorities and relaunch their strategic projects. This should lead to a rise in the demand for interim managers and contractors in order to quickly fill skill and expertise shortages brought on by the depletion of the permanent workforce in many instances.
What can you do to increase the likelihood of getting an assignment?
It is important to bear in mind that this possible economic upswing is going to have most organisations and businesses focussed on only one thing: survival. The state of the interim market could remain strained for the rest of the year, however, previous recessionary cycles could point to greater opportunity for interim managers
According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), £26 billion, or 95% of recruitment industry revenue in 2013/2014 following the recession was comprised of temporary or contract business. Often interim or temporary resources are deployed during uncertain economic times for the flexibility and ultimately the ‘non-permanent’ nature that contingency workers afford. While many non-essential projects will be put on hold, there will be opportunity for interim managers despite the economic climate.
As a limited company, there are some measures you can take to ensure, whatever the outcome of the government’s watchful surveillance of the virus’ further development, that your interim or contractor services are the most attractive to potential employers. This could take the form of some portfolio housekeeping: giving your LinkedIn page a facelift to reflect your up-to-date diversity and experience could make all of the difference when a company assesses your suitability for their project. Oakwood Resources is also working with our partners and interim managers to provide insight and consultancy services to businesses during this period. While all parties are offering their services free of charge, this demonstrates an opportunity to showcase your skills and network with other professionals who may require your services in a more formal capacity later on.
At this point in time, it is also worth contacting an interim service provider, as even during the decrease in UK employment, many providers are still operating with new assignments and project briefs coming through on a daily basis – ourselves included!
Whilst the future is uncertain, we are offering our services to provide advice and support during this time. Oakwood Resources’ expertise in the interim management market can help you find the best assignments to fit your skillset and ensure success for both yourself, and your stakeholders.
We work closely with interim managers, businesses, and consultancy firms to support their growth goals, matching the best professionals to appropriate opportunities. If you wish to discuss interim management opportunities contact our specialist interim recruitment team who will be happy to talk with you.