UK SMEs spend £2.9bn a year on interim recruitment


New research has found that senior HR professionals waste nearly three-and-a-half days every time they recruit a new interim team member.

The study of small business HR decision makers found that time spent on recruitment costs businesses approximately £530 per hire – totalling £2.9bn a year if every SME hired just one interim annually.

When hiring an interim, HR managers spend almost a day and a half writing a job description, advertising the position, and sifting through responses. A further half day interviewing candidates who are not right for the role, while another day and a half is spent negotiating rates, chasing job offers and verifying references.

Despite the time and money HR managers are investing in finding interims, the research also found that many SMEs aren’t finding the right candidates. 85 per cent of respondents admitted to making bad hires for their business, with one in five hiring the wrong people at least once a month. A further one in four admitted to making bad hires once a year.

Commenting on the findings, Andrew Saffron, founder of SomeoneWho said: “Interim managers are supposed to be a lifeline for business – providing a quick and easy solution when teams are struggling or short on resources. However, our study shows that actually finding this talent is a time consuming problem for SMEs.

“We are launching SomeoneWho to create a quicker, more affordable option. No expensive recruitment fees, no time consuming hassle and admin. Just a clever algorithm that matches top quality interims with high quality briefs.”

The biggest challenge in hiring interim managers was found to be time-wasting candidates, followed by a lack of talent and finding time for the necessary work and processes. This is despite almost two-thirds indicating they’d used an interim recruitment agency to help source and filter candidates in the past.