When you’re looking for a new leader or new team members, interim and contract talent is often the best path to finding them. Here’s why.


• Feb 02 2023

How interim and contract talent helps businesses find their long-term hire 

4 min read

Sometimes the way to find a long-term solution is to think short-term. Here’s how contract and interim roles can help a business find permanent talent, new directions, new skills, and new leaders.

Replacing C-suite and senior leaders 

Losing talented senior people will always be a blow and will always be a risk. You’ll inevitably see some depart, and while that’s never going to be comfortable, there’s no reason it has to be a disaster.

If you hurry to appoint a permanent successor, you face two major obstacles.

  • While your outgoing talent will have a notice period, so will your next hire. Theirs will only start once they agree to join you, and who knows how long the search will have taken? The gap only widens if you need to put the departing executive on garden leave.
  • The more senior the hire, the more impact and consequences the choice has. If there’s pressure to make an appointment, you might make compromises that you can’t afford.

By appointing an interim executive, you make sure there’s a steady hand on the tiller without the pressure of choosing a permanent leader.

With the pressure off, there’s also an opportunity to take stock and consider the wider picture. The departure of someone in a leadership position means you can consider the direction of the business as a whole and the strategy to support it.

Staffing new divisions, departments, and initiatives 

New propositions can mean a need for skills and staff which is urgent and can change swiftly. Obviously, interim and contract talent can be immediately available, which means you can answer that need swiftly. You also need to be responsive to results and market conditions; you can discover that you need more of one skillset and less of another, or after some time decide that a direction isn’t worth pursuing. That agility is more available and economical with interim and contract talent.

Outlasting difficult job markets 

After the 2020 pandemic came The Great Resignation. Workers in all kinds of sectors re-evaluated their careers and lifestyles and concluded that they wanted a change. Many left their roles, and their employers found it difficult or impossible to find replacements.

When talent is hard to come by, or it’s difficult and expensive to attract, employers can use contract talent to weather those conditions. Especially now, flexibility is one of the most desirable qualities in work, which means contract-based roles are attractive to those who prefer not to commit to a location or a business.

In that case, as an employer, you also don’t need to compromise as much as you might have to when making permanent hires in a tough market. There’s a danger of falling into the ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ mentality, where you’re just grateful that someone wants to work for you, so you’re willing to lower your standards.

Finally, these contract roles can be an indirect way to find your permanent hires. A temporary position can lead to the contractor and the employer finding that they’re an excellent fit, and that both would prefer to make the arrangement permanent. Alternatively, if the interim/contract hire is deemed not to be the long-term solution, then they will be able to help the business to hire someone on a permanent basis while fulfilling the role in the meantime — a win-win.

How to quickly inject talent into your business 

When a unique appeal of temporary and interim talent is its availability, you need a talent partner who can quickly deliver the highest quality, most suitable interim and contract experts at short notice. RPI offers exactly that — our unrivalled local, regional and global talent network means that we know exactly the people for the job, or we can find them in short order.

From our offices in the UK, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and the US, we have placed talent in over 110 countries. Get in touch today: people@rpint.com

RPI provides access to the top leadership and technology talent globally