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Many businesses are facing the task of managing disrupted financial positions as the furlough plaster is peeled away and an unhealed wound is exposed. Search Consultancy looks at three sectors which are becoming hot spots as the business world begins its road to recovery.
As the Job Retention Scheme, which has protected over a million employers and 8.7 million employees is moving closer to its end, there will be an impact on accounting processes and companies' ability to manage the legalities and practicalities surrounding post-furlough employment.
The market is rapidly changing. Many businesses we are talking to are facing these uncomfortable realities and tackling these successfully needs investment in certain roles, particularly in professional services.
Jonathan Abell, Managing Director for professional services recruitment at Search adds:
“More and more of our assignments are for people with the specialist experience of managing large scale redundancies, insolvency and complex legal issues to help our clients navigate these stormy waters. Typically, these niche skillsets don’t exist within their current teams and may only be needed on a short-term basis to solve a specific problem.”
Jonathan adds, “In these uncertain times, many people we speak to don’t know what their resourcing requirements are or will be. So, temporary recruitment is a sensible and responsible option, where candidate expectations are met, there’s no long-term risk to the business, but complex and urgent problems can be solved.”
In this piece, we look at three sectors whose people have become hot (albeit temporary) property as the business world begins its road to recovery.
Accounting – Essential for supporting businesses manage the recovery of their financial positions
Legal – Needed to help businesses make difficult decisions around employment viability without attracting claims of unlawfulness
HR – Will provide vital support with the management of the workforce as the JRS comes to an end
Essential for supporting businesses manage the recovery of their financial positions
As something resembling normality returns, business owners, particularly those of SMBs are feeling stressed at the prospect of a financial rebuild.
Good, level-headed accountants are offering much needed guidance on key topics such as when to end furloughing, cashflow management and continuity planning, as well as general advisory work. Specifically, they are helping businesses with essential tasks such as:
Cutting costs, uncovering new savings and efficiencies by eliminating waste and helping businesses become more agile, flexible, and resilient to market threats.
Customers and vendors may need to lengthen their payment timeframes as they confront their own cashflow and credit challenges. Accountants can proactively manage receivables and deal quickly with disputes to mitigate the risk of payment defaults and delays.
Current debt arrangements may need to be revisited. Accountants will be able to identify potential breaches of financial covenants, material adverse changes, and/or cross-default triggers that may compromise access to core funding and liquidity.
Needed to help businesses make difficult decisions around employment viability without attracting claims of unlawfulness
An unfortunate reality many businesses are confronting as the JRS comes to an end is the need to issue redundancies. It can be a complex process at the best of times, but in the post-lockdown landscape there are pitfalls that need to be avoided lest businesses find themselves facing lawsuits.
Legal practitioners are going into businesses and offering support with issues such as:
Ensuring their redundancy criteria is fair. There are risks of triggering unfair or even discriminatory redundancy process and/or dismissal complaints if furloughed staff are put forward for redundancy ahead of other staff.
The notice pay that employers should pay to an employee on furlough if said employee has agreed to accept a percentage of pay during furlough.
How redundancy consultation processes should take place where social distancing measures remain in place, an area that becomes more complicated where multiple redundancies need to be made.
Will provide vital support with the management of the workforce as the JRS comes to an end
As employees are now returning to work, even though in many cases this is being done remotely, we are in a period of readjustment. Furloughed workers, through no fault of their own, may have become de-skilled or have reservations about returning to work and more humanist, empathetic management styles are needed to facilitate a renewed momentum.
There is also the fact that lockdown has expedited the digitisation of many businesses so that they can operate to full capacity in a socially distanced world. HR professionals are providing crucial interventions by:
Supporting with the rapid implementation of more digital tools to support remote working and re-examining existing processes to find further improvements.
Putting in place the necessary protocols and procedures for easing the transition back into work.
Augmenting sources of talent to position the businesses to meet future needs and quickly identify trusted access routes to capability and skills if critical employees are unable or unwilling to return to the workplace, or resume working at all.
Are you a business in need of temporary recruitment solutions to help your business recover? If so, we would love to hear from you. Contact us today to discuss your needs further.
Equally, are you a professional looking for accountancy, legal or HR work and know you can add value to an organisation over the coming months? Find out more about temping with Search and check out our jobs now.