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Why Interim Work is Right for Executives Right Now

May 4, 2020 by Jill Granbury

OVERVIEW

  • Experienced executives should consider interim or project-based work – especially over the next two months. With so many businesses making foundational changes as a result of the pandemic, project-based professionals are in high demand. 
  • With the support of the PPP funding, many small to mid-sized organizations are looking to hire top-tier executives they could not afford otherwise. Don’t discount an employer based on revenue or the number of employees! 
  • Businesses receiving PPP funding have just eight weeks of loan forgiveness once the funds are received. The latest round of funding is being delivered right now. 
  • Employers are looking to hire interim executives as quickly as possible to maximize their loan forgiveness. Expect an unusually speedy hiring process.

Business leaders across the nation are hiring talented executives right now as funding from the Paycheck Protection Program rolls in. With just eight weeks’ worth of funding to be forgiven, hiring managers are working against the clock to hire game-changing talent to maximize their loan forgiveness and meet key business initiatives. Now is the time for seasoned executives to consider interim or project-based work.

On April 27, the Federal Government’s CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) began accepting applications once again after running out of cash in the initial round of funding. A portion of this program is designed to help small businesses across the nation keep workers on their payroll and hire new employees, with the added benefit of loan forgiveness if certain requirements are met. 

The loan forgiveness benefit ends just eight weeks after funding is received from the PPP program. To take full advantage of this loan forgiveness, many businesses are expediting their hiring process to bring in experienced executives for key initiatives with the support of these funds.This allows organizations to upgrade their teams and hire interim employees with expertise they might not have been able to afford otherwise.


WHAT IT MEANS FOR EXECUTIVE JOB SEEKERS

In a number of ways, the Paycheck Protection Program is leveling the playing field between large and small businesses like never before. What this means is, executives looking for interim or project-based work should not discount an opportunity to work with a small or mid-sized employer. 

Before the PPP, a Fortune 500 executive would likely never consider an interim position with a company with less than 100 employees due to limitations on compensation. Now, executives should prioritize interim opportunities that align with their expertise, provide personal satisfaction, or maybe even offer experience in a new industry of interest. With the PPP and its loan forgiveness acting as an equalizer, we will continue to see high profile executives working with organizations they would have never considered before.

When the economy is hit with a massive event like COVID-19, the effects are felt across the business world in every industry. With every crisis there will be surges in demand for some products and services, while demand for others plummet. No one knows this better than the oil and gas industry, which has capitalized on project-based workers since long before the pandemic. This type of short-term employee has allowed their industry to remain nimble in an unsteady market. 

But it’s not all sunshine and roses for industries experiencing a boost in demand – the challenges of logistics and supply chain constraints can be equally as stressful and difficult. Regardless of the industry and how it has been affected, employers across all industries are looking to hire interim experts for their business right now.


WHY ACTIVE JOB SEEKERS SHOULD CONSIDER INTERIM WORK

  • Project-based work allows a high-caliber candidate to rent before you buy” as they pivot into their career move. With an interim commitment, one can experience the day-to-day inner workings of a specific company, observe how the leadership team makes decisions, and feel the satisfaction of leveraging their expertise to help a company’s long-term growth. This is key data for any executive who wants to ensure they make the right career move in the coming months. 
  • Even if the business offering the contract work is not in a position to hire full-time in the coming months, choosing interim work can provide an opportunity to keep skills sharp and stay current on technology and industry trends. 
  • The hiring process for permanent employees can be a longer process with multiple interviews and conversations, while project-based work is generally a one-time interview before signing a contract.


With the future of the job market unclear, interim executive roles are a logical and valuable solution for both parties. Candidates can fill the gap in their resume while gaining essential skills and insights to consider for their next career transition. Right now, small businesses in the U.S. have the funds to recruit top executive talent for the short term to not only keep their business afloat, but to help them come out stronger in the long run. For executive-level candidates, now is the ideal time to jump in and get to work. 

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