Posted by: Sam Clark

Posted on: .

H1 Interim HR Market Update

The first half our 2018 financial year has been a strong start for our interim team; we now have a record numbers of interims working in assignment with our clients and the highest job numbers for some time during a time which is usually the quieter part of the year. Of course, with November marking the end of the consultation period for IR35 private sector roll-out, we have some interesting times ahead during H2. Below is some insight into the trends we have seen year to date for our HR and Specialist markets business areas:


  • H1 has seen an increase in the need for established interims to join business in a greenfield capacity. This may be due to recent growth or M&A activity. Projects will involve establishing reward philosophy from scratch or focussed on harmonising existing offerings.
  • The new financial year has seen an increase in interim HR MI roles typically to focus on scenario planning for Brexit programmes.
  • HR Systems have remained high on HR agenda with a continued focus on Workday and SuccessFactors – these projects have been to implement as well as run the BAU system work.
  • Consistent volume of Reward Analyst roles across all sectors between £35,000 - £55,000 levels.
  • Financial Services has been consistently business over H1 but we have seen a steady increase in the number of Commerce and Industry roles.


Junior Core HR

  • Over the H1 there has been a consistent flow of roles at the HR Admin/Assistant level. We have been averaging at least 15 jobs per consultant since April to date, mainly focusing on BAU support
  • There has been an increase in temporary to permanent opportunities, typically with a 3 months initial duration. We are seeing more and more employers want to “try before they buy”
  • Mid-senior hires, circa £45K + have mainly been to maternity covers, haven’t seen many additional headcount/senior replacements come through at this level
  • L&D very quiet since April across financial and professional services at the junior level with Banking & Insurance has been the busiest sectors
  • Within commerce and industry, the year began with a heavy focus on FTC hiring but has gradually shifted with an increase in day rates on junior interim side
  • Many interim vacancies have been due to urgent holiday cover or to assist with a large workload for 3 – 6 months, meaning time to hire has been extremely fast
  • The candidate market is moving just as quickly, seeing candidates, especially within the £25,000pa - £30,000pa space regularly interviewing with multiple clients within just a few days of becoming available.
  • Tech has remained busy with Retail clients also becoming one of our busiest areas. Clients have ranged from start-ups to established businesses within these sectors. Tech continues to need to hire Technology Recruiters. The demand has meant that businesses have been more open to taking on graduates who have just completed their university degrees which is great to see.
  • More demand for generalists who can operate within a specialist remit in the third sector rather than hiring specialists.


Senior Core HR

  • From April we have been flooded with mid-level HRBP roles, maternity contracts mainly, up to the £80k level across the Global Banks and Asset Management clients.
  • We have seen a number of Standalone HR Manager/ Head of roles for smaller SME businesses that have been to set up HR functions from scratch and to implement processes in preparation for BAU.
  • Offshoring has been a key topic for our clients with Brexit being a hot topic as expected. The summer period has meant and an influx of Interim Senior HRBP roles requiring candidates with experience of offshoring, change projects, TUPE and M&A.
  • SMCR is still an ongoing topic; it is being rolled out to Asset Management next year and so as it was at the beginning of the year, it is still a requirement for our HRBPs to have this exposure. Equally, Regulatory experience remains valuable.
  • Across financial services, client requirements for Recruitment and L&D roles spiked in the Summer where there was a short burst of Talent Acquisition roles, mainly at a Team Lead/Manager level. Not our busiest area of the market however global asset management and investment management businesses are investing into long-term Talent and Performance Management Strategy roles.
  • Across commerce and industry clients, there has been a steady rise in day rate roles since April which has been encouraging, with a peak in September for this financial year.
  • We have also seen an increase across these sectors in business as usual HR Business Partners roles to cover periods such as maternity covers.
  • Media, retail, technology and renewable energy sectors have shown an increase in volume of interim opportunities with this work typically being focused around OD/change
  • Tech recruiters remain in high demand at the senior end due to an increase in hiring across the sector



  • Project roles took centre stage in the interim payroll market as systems get migrated/changed and merged.
  • Workday was also a hot word as several businesses look to implement it from their HRIS system to their payroll and therefore projects requiring the exposure of this system are continuing to rise.
  • Financial and professional services have remained in the highest demand with the largest number of interim covers. As we approach Christmas I’m sure C&I market will start to take off
  • With Brexit still lurking in the background, I’m sure we will start to see this impact start to merge into the payroll market as we get closer to March and more certainty around it starts to come to the forefront

If you are looking to explore the interim market or would like a confidential conversation, then please get in touch

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'We fully anticipate that the demand for HR interim resources will continue to increase as businesses get ready to respond to skills shortages and the potential changes Brexit could bring.'

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