There is a notable trend in food and drink manufacturing, particularly in cases such as mergers, acquisitions, and organisational restructuring, for businesses to promote the idea of long-term career prospects for change management roles which are, by their very nature, limited time positions.

While it is often recognised that change management roles are fixed-term rather than permanent projects, the essence of big change initiatives typically sparks a preference for permanent hiring. This means that businesses look for assurance that change operators are invested in the future of the organisation. Despite this, it is often discovered that the highly niche skills, the experience, and the confidence that are required to effectively implement big change programmes are not readily available in the permanent talent pool.

A convenient truth 

It can certainly be argued that, for time-bound big change programmes, it is skilled, seasoned interim workers that have gained greater experience in business turnaround. This is because they have facilitated change across a number of different businesses, in a variety of ways, to deliver top results each and every time. These interims have seen big change programmes through from concept to completion and, having been involved in every stage of the process, are able to demonstrate a solid track record of their successes.

Interims are driven to leave a strong legacy behind them in order to secure ongoing opportunities, offering sound and objective advice throughout the entirety of the change journey. At Circle Select, our rigorous due diligence processes work to confirm the success of past assignments, ensuring that we only put forward the very best interims to our clients who share your unique vision, goals, aims, and missions.

The costs of a permanent option

When taking into account the necessary skills and experience required to not only implement big change programmes but effectively manage them, too, many organisations are clear that interim workers would bring the greatest value to their business. However, a common concern that generates reluctance in this method of hiring is that interim workers would cost the company more than a permanent hire in the short term. While interims may appear to be a more costly approach to the acquisition of niche skills, it is essential that businesses fully understand and consider the costs of permanent hires:

  • Total rewards compensation:Within many sectors, senior level employees aren’t just paid a salary; pension benefits, car allowances, and other provisions are often included in line with degree of seniority. When combined, each benefit or rewards compensation can add a significant amount that needs to be considered on top of base salary.
  • Holiday pay: There is no legal requirement to provide paid holiday to interim workers, although permanent employees will be paid for a minimum of 28 days per year that they will not be required to work. This is in addition to both bank holiday pay and sick day pay, neither of which are paid to interim workers.
  • National insurance: A sizeable element of the cost of hiring any employee, not just at senior level but across the board, is the employer’s national insurance payment; around 13.8% of overall salary. At senior levels especially, this is a significant cost associated with a permanent hire that does not apply to anyone hired as an interim.
  • Bonus: Senior employees tasked with vital business development such as change management are likely to be eligible for some element of performance-related pay or bonus; usually, this will amount to 20 – 25% of salary. Bonuses are not a normal expectation in the interim management market, helping to save money.
  • Exit costs: Big change programmes, as limited time projects, can increase exit costs for permanent employees who may be contracted to work a three month notice period following project completion. While interim notice periods can and do vary, agreements are usually around one month, and sometimes less.

The overall takeaway from these facts is that an interim worker will often prove to be a more cost effective method for organisations in the food and drink manufacturing industry, helping them to ensure that they have access to the expert skills they need, at the time they need them. While interim workers may not always be less costly than a permanent worker, the cost differences are usually negligible, and interim workers may provide more value to your business than a similarly-priced permanent hire.

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