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Insights on Interim with Claire Fletcher

As well as being a TA Partner in our finance team, Claire Fletcher (aka Fletch) is also the driving force of interim recruitment across the business. During our sit down with Fletch, we discussed her insights on what the interim finance market looks like today, including the impact of IR35, and what she looks for in an ideal candidate.


Fletch first got into recruitment fresh out of university...

“I joined a couple of agencies to find some work and start bringing some money in. I started at one as an Internal Admin Support, and then within two weeks I became a Trainee Consultant.”


From that very first step, Fletch now has 20 years of recruitment experience under her belt. So, why did she choose recruitment as her first career move?

“Once I was in that environment, I found that it was really diverse. I loved that I was working with people - working as part of a team, meeting candidates, the business development side as well as meeting a diverse range of companies. I guess I didn’t actually choose to get into recruitment, but once I started, I found it ticked lots of boxes for me!”


Fletch approached Distinct after having her son Henry and was looking to move on from her previous employer. She was also one of the first to join us.


“I think it goes back to having respect for the people that I work with, respect for people like Calds and Az. I find that the company values fit with my own values too. Having worked with other recruitment agencies in the past, I’ve seen quite a few different things, and I like the way that this business is run. It’s about doing the right thing and looking after your candidates and clients. We’re not driven by KPIs. I also like the fact that Distinct offers lots of opportunities for progression, and flexible working - you can work part-time if you need to.”


What’s the difference between Interim and permanent finance?

“Interim finance focuses on any role that is on a fixed-term contract (FTC) or day rate, rather than a permanent salary.”


Fletch’s partner in crime is Michelle Cracknell-Leafe, who works on both a perm and interim basis within Finance.


What draws Fletch to interim finance?

“I like the pace of interim, it’s not as fast as clerical for example, but it’s faster than permanent at this level. I find it interesting because you’ve really got to get into the detail of what each job is. I enjoy finding out about the company, what the candidates do at a strategic level, and that’s what piques my interest.”


What’s the market like right now?

“Right now, it’s gradually starting to pick up. I would say it’s very challenging for everyone – for candidates, recruiters, and for clients. There is a lack of ‘immediately available’ people for work, a lot of people are tied into contracts and since IR35 a lot of people have decided that they just want to look for permanent work. A lot of employers have also decided that they just want to hire permanent people. There are a lot of different challenges out there, so it’s quite tough.”

“IR35 was postponed in 2020 and came in this year and it’s changed the face of the interim market. Whilst there are still some day-rate positions out there, and there are actually more of them recently, a lot of businesses decided to recruit on a fixed-term contract basis or just recruit only permanent positions. So, the way it’s had an impact is that there are not as many jobs, and not as many candidates. It’s been difficult to work in that market, but it’s getting better.”


Team Finance recently reunited in the office for the first time since the arrival of Covid.


Are there any similarities between the interim and permanent markets?

“Even though as a whole, there are a lot more things that have directly affected the temp and interim market recently, permanent still shares some of the same issues. There are similar challenges at the senior end of the market for both, there’s a lack of candidates with both. In comparison to the rest of the market, I think the senior end of Finance has had it a lot tougher in terms of jobs.”


What do you look for in an interim candidate?

“Above all, honesty, clear communication, commitment, and good references. Proven track record. Somebody with drive and enthusiasm. I think, to a point, it’s more about those qualities than what they can do. Most of them are qualified and have the experience, so it’s about how they come across and how they work, and also how they communicate with me during the recruitment process.”


Fletch heads up interim finance recruitment upwards of £250 per day, or £50,000 annually across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. If you’re looking to take the next step in your career, why not visit our Finance candidate hub where you can let us know exactly what you’re looking for. You can also check out some of the new roles we’re working on by visiting our Finance jobs board.

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Claire Fletcher

Claire Fletcher

Manager | Interim & Temporary Recruitment

07458 163 903
0115 870 0300