The rise of the ‘Super Temp’

The rise of the ‘Super Temp’

In keeping with international trends South African companies are moving towards a more streamlined and results driven approach in their employment of individuals for key positions – experienced financial executives that can start almost immediately.


According to an article published in The Harvard Business Review on “The rise of the SuperTemp”, 16-million Americans are working independently today on either a part-time or interim basis and this figure is expected to rise to 20-million over the next two years. This is not just an American phenomenon, in Europe, where onerous labour laws make it difficult and costly to fire anyone – thus discouraging companies from taking on permanent hires – part-time and interim work is even better established than in the United States.


It won’t be long before South African employers start moving in the same direction. According to Booz Allen Hamilton, the UK market for interim managers is one of the best developed, accounting for as much as R27-billion in revenue in 2009; and across Europe, annual growth in the market for interim executives has been over 20%. Axiom, backed by the venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, today supplies 650 interim lawyers to nearly half of the Fortune 100 companies in the USA. That means you can’t run a company or deal with sophisticated talent today without understanding the rise of “SuperTemps”.


At the high end of the market, independent talent is defined by special skills, and professionals of this ilk are going independent because they can choose what to work on and with whom to work. Once they take the leap they find it very hard to turn back. South African labour policies have also created an unusual pool of highly talented and experienced professionals who can’t get back into the corporate work space and have become available on the independent market.


It is common for people to assume that someone who isn’t in a traditional full time job must not be very good. Well, 75% of Axiom’s independent lawyers come from a top 25 school and 60% of Eden McCallum independent consultants are alums of Bain, McKinsey and BCG. These days, it’s the people who have the power in the talent market who are going the way of independent consultant. The part time and interim market offers a viable platform for highly skilled people who crave flexibility but want to stay in the game.


With the above trends in mind, an entrepreneurial chartered accountant has created a company and a solution to provide South African companies access to financial experts. Richard Angus, the founder of The Finance Team, has created a company that provides a tailored solution for companies that are in need of financial executives with many years of experience that can hit the ground running, bringing value to the organisation immediately in a cost effective manner on a part time or interim basis.


Can’t be done? Richard begs to differ. “Being a chartered accountant myself and having worked with a number of companies in a variety of industries, we have identified a need within companies to utilise financial experts, whether it be financial managers, project accountants or chief financial officers, but where such skills cannot be sourced affordably. In many instances, companies follow an approach of full time employment and turn to employment agencies to find the right person. The Finance Team is not a recruitment agency. We are a business consultancy specialising in the financial management space.


“We have the expertise to determine exactly what skills a client requires and are able to tailor make our services and team to meet the client’s exact requirements and industry. Our senior management team and associates have vast and varied experience and as a client, whilst you will be appointed a dedicated resource, you will  have access to the knowledge provided by the other associates within our wider team and partner network should the need arise.  We ensure that our clients have the right person or mix of people who correctly and beneficially serve the needs of the company,” comments Angus.


“Another major consideration is budget. If the company is looking for a financial executive and has a limited budget and the position is not offering the top echelon of salary packages, companies lose out on the opportunity of working with the best people that are perfect for the position. That is where The Finance Team comes in.


“We are able to offer companies access to highly qualified and perhaps most importantly, highly experienced financial executives on a part-time or interim basis. We meet with the company leadership to obtain a greater understanding of the client’s needs, after which we put a solution together that is most beneficial for the business. In many instances the company might only need a resource for one or two days a week to meet their objectives.


“So through us, they are able to source, retain and afford the best possible financial executive. What does that actually mean? More bang for your buck!” concludes Angus.

Article appears in Mweb Entrepreneur

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