Three in 10 (31%) CFOs have increased their use of temporary staff

Temporary / interim staff account for 26% of finance departmental headcount compared to 18% in 2011

  • Temporary / interim staff account for 26% of finance departmental headcount compared to 18% in 2011
  • General operational accounting will experience the greatest demand (24%) for temporary resources over the next 12 months

London, 11 June 2013 – New research1 from leading recruitment specialist Robert Half UK, shows that more than three in 10 (31%) Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) have either significantly or somewhat increased their use of interim and temporary staff compared to three years ago, showing the continued necessity UK businesses have to engage temporary resource to help augment permanent headcount.

Despite continued regulatory change, organisations across the UK are increasingly reliant on agency workers to carry out business critical processes, with research showing that CFOs across small, medium and large businesses have increased their levels of temporary/interim staff from one in five (18%) departmental employees before the onset of the regulations to one in four (26%) more than a year after its inception – an increase of eight percentage points. The highest use of temporary workers is within small companies, where nearly one third (30%) of departments are comprised of temporary or interim staff. . 

200 CFOs were asked: ‘Thinking about your interim and temporary staff, has this number generally increased, decreased or stayed the same compared to three years ago?’

Significantly increased 10%
Somewhat increased 21%
Stayed the same 48%
Somewhat decreased 16%
Significantly decreased 6%

General operational accounting (24%), IT – financial systems implementation and upgrades (20%), risk management (18%), and audit, compliance and corporate governance (16%) are anticipated to be the areas where there will be the greatest use of temporary or interim finance and accounting professionals.

200 CFOs were asked: ‘In what areas do you plan to use interim / temporary resources within the next 12 months?’

  UK North and Scotland Midlands South West and Wales London and South East
General operational accountancy 24% 28% 31% 29% 9%
Information technology (financial systems implementation and upgrades) 20% 22% 19% 16% 23%
Risk management 18% 12% 19% 18% 23%
Audit, compliance and corporate governance 16% 20% 10% 11% 19%
Operations management (business process improvement, inventory planning, reporting and logistics) 15% 18% 10% 16% 14%
Treasury, cash management and credit control 15% 16% 15% 13% 14%
Commercial finance (budgeting, forecasting, business analysis, M&A etc.) 14% 12% 17% 13% 12%
Legislative and regulatory changes 13% 16% 17% 4% 12%
Programme and project management 12% 10% 6% 9% 19%
Financial business partnering 9% 16% 2% 9% 9%
Finance transformation 8% 2% 13% 7% 9%

Phil Sheridan, Managing Director, Robert Half UK said: “Despite regulatory changes, finance leaders continue to rely on the cost effectiveness that temporary professionals offer an organisation, allowing companies to account for workload peaks and troughs without incurring the fixed cost of a permanent hire. With the challenging business environment amidst continued  economic uncertainty, some hiring managers are taking advantage of the knowledge and skills that interim professionals  can bring to a company’s bottom line. By continuing to capitalise on the readily available and highly trained temporary and interim market, businesses can adjust more easily and quickly to workload variations, and bring in specialists with the required experiences to run particular programmes.”

- ENDS -

Notes to editors

About the Survey

1 The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 200 finance directors / CFOs across the UK.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and