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Interim Support for Seasonal Cover

A case in point – interim support for seasonal cover – Emperor Design

The reporting season, as it is often called, simply refers to a period, usually from November to April (depending on the agency), when all the specialist corporate communications agencies are busy producing annual reports. We work with several such clients, including an agency called Emperor Design, and this is how we support them:

Emperor is an employee-owned creative communications agency, who specialise in producing corporate reports but also provide consultancy on how to best communicate ESG matters to all levels of stakeholders. They have been a long-standing client of ours for over a decade now.

Given the sheer volume of annual reports being produced over a reporting season, Emperor, along with most of the other corporate communications agencies we work with, tend to experience significant workload peaks over the course of the season. This is across all areas of the business, including client services, creative & design, artwork, and proof-reading. The demand typically tails off again around May, meaning that there simply isn’t enough work all year around to justify an increase in overall permanent headcount.

Every year, we have a selected handful of AR Artworkers, Designers, Proofreaders and Account/Project Managers booked with Emperor in advance of the peak season. Our Artworkers are all expert in AR and support the team on the AR projects remotely. Our Designers are booked to support with overflow from the studio, where required. The Proofreaders are also a big part of the process in AR production, and typically are placed on either 3 or 4-month contracts, or simply on a project-by-project freelance basis. Increasingly, client services and project management support is also needed, and we are delivering this at both AM and AD level. We have also placed Interim (PAYE) contractors, as well as freelancers.

The reporting season is a big operation for any corporate comms agency and, based on the feedback from the contractors and freelancers, Emperor have it nailed to a tee.

Given that the reporting season happens every year, those contractors are booked with Emperor time after time, and often well in advance to ensure that their go-to people are secured for the season.

We manage the process from sourcing, advanced bookings, process management, compliance management and, where needed, we pay the freelancer or contractor. Everyone, on all sides of the fence appreciate a very slick and efficient service, where risk is reduced, and our client can deliver for their clients.

Coincidently (and beneficially) the reporting season falls when contract work tends to be a bit quieter, especially in January to March, and therefore it is a welcome contract for people, resulting in availability being that bit more straightforward.

We hope this case study demonstrates how interim resource can be used to bolster the team, where the workload fluctuates.

Good contractors are like gold dust and ours are tried & tested. They can grasp processes/systems/work very quickly to deliver exceptional work. Not only do they bring their expertise on board, while adding some fresh new perspectives, but they also bring their character, which in most cases is a breath of fresh air, during what is often a long and intense reporting season.

This is what we do - we find the best of the best for clients like Emperor, who trust us to secure talent for them across all areas of their business on an interim basis. These people integrate seamlessly into their team for 3-6 months every year and we love to be so closely involved, as an extension of the team!

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