Is interim marketing recruitment back or is ‘try before you buy’ the new recruitment model?

In what is still a tough economic climate for many, the idea of hiring or labelling oneself as a ‘professional interim marketer’ has been greeted with mixed reactions from hiring managers and job searchers alike. Expert short-term help as a solution to cover projects or permanent recruitment periods has usually been met with concerns over cost, candidate quality and a lack of understanding of the benefits an interim could bring. However, with a more positive economic outlook, is the idea of hiring a professional marketing interim now more appealing? Or are hiring managers taking advantage of quickly available candidates willing to work on a short-term basis in order to try out their new recruits before committing to a permanent hire?

Market conditions

Over the past few months we have seen a significant increase in interim/temporary hiring in the utilities, FMCG, public sector and not-for-profit sectors, while telecommunications and financial services have suffered a net decrease in the use of interims. The current hot topic, however, is whether employers are using interim recruitment as a ‘try before you buy’ method, in order to reduce their permanent hiring risk. The question is, is this ruining the true interim market place?
The market is still very much employer driven, but with the perceived change in economic climate this could be set to change. We are already seeing candidates with certain skills, such as digital marketing and brand management, commanding higher salaries and they’re being more specific in the roles they are eventually opting for. With employers now struggling to fill permanent vacancies of this type, this could be the beginning of the change to a more candidate driven market. Why then are hiring managers in certain sectors still offering temporary contracts before committing to a permanent hire? One suggested reason is that employers and candidates are still lacking confidence in the market, so when an opportunity presents itself to hire an over-qualified candidate cheaply or to land a secure a job, they’ll both they take it.

How do employers make best use of interim marketers in the current climate?

For getting the best hire for permanent positions, we work with our clients to advertise their permanent roles and source the best candidates. We only advise the use of a professional marketing interim as short-term cover, not as an option to ‘try before you buy’. Employers take note – hiring an interim professional for a permanent position runs the risk of an over qualified hire leaving for a higher paid interim role as the market continues to improve.
This is especially the case when employers are trying to recruit highly sought after roles such as:
  • Brand managers
  • Digital/content marketers
  • Ecommerce professionals
  • Product marketing roles
  • SEO/PPC professionals
  • TV advertising
We often advise the use of specialist interim help in these cases, particularly when the role is business critical. One thing to note in this instance is that if you’re opting for an interim solution, don’t always think you have to look for a candidate who fits the role profile precisely – this is often what leads to the ‘try before you buy’ culture. Instead, look to employ an interim who is perhaps more senior than the permanent role profile and probably has a much broader skill set. This should ensure they make an immediate impact to your project or department and they can assist in other areas, relieving any pressure.

Looking ahead

Looking to the future, demand should continue for the need for specialist talent and employers may continue to find it difficult to attract a certain calibre candidate. If so, the need for interim recruitment will increase.
Use your relationship with us to hire the best employees for your organisation; we can help you put together a brief for exactly the type of professional you need for your team, eliminating the worry of making the wrong hire and the need to ‘try before you buy’, which ultimately benefits neither you or your interim employee.
To find out more about interim marketing recruitment, get in touch with your local Michael Page Marketing team.