The simple 3 step strategy to get the day rate you deserve!


How can I get a higher day rate?

Am I getting a competitive rate?

How do I get paid what I’m worth?

These are all questions I hear when I meet interim candidates…

We are seeing the job market shift to be more candidate lead; clients are looking for top candidates and need to secure them quickly. They are no longer looking for the ‘cheapest’ option, but the best option. So if you can demonstrate why you are the best option, you are sure to secure the day rate you deserve.

People pay when they feel they are getting good value; the higher the value someone places on your services, the more they will pay for it.  So, to get the day rate you deserve, all you need to do is demonstrate the value you will bring to their interim role. How? You ask yourself WHY they need interim cover, then you explain why your experience and achievements make you just the person they need.

Here’s my three step process to ensure you get the maximum day rate;

Step 1: Think about WHY this role is available

Step 2: CATER your experience towards this reason

Step 3: Back it up with a related ACHIEVEMENT

WHY does the client need interim cover?  There are endless answers to this question. Here are a few examples, areas to highlight and achievements;

  • Seasonal Peaks e.g. year end, month end or during a busy period. Here, cater your CV and talk about experiences where you have assisted a company in the past at year or month end – did you save them any time or money? Did you ensure they hit a deadline? If so how far inside the deadline did you deliver? Have you ever gone in and hit the ground running with a company during a busy period? Did you get the work load done within the deadline?

Achievement: Ensuring the month end process was completed 3 days within schedule, cleared a back log of work planned for 4 months within 3 months.

  • System implementation – This is a great one, especially if you have implemented the same system before. Highlight this at the top of your CV and highlight every time you have used that system. Speak specifically about how you were involved in the implementation – did you train anyone on it (including non finance people)? Did you help them select the system? Did you get any awards e.g. ‘super user status’?

Achievement: Implemented new system on time, on budget.

  • Covering whilst they await a permanent recruit to start – Talk about any time you have covered in this scenario before, did you create a comprehensive hand over? Did you add value or improve processes whilst you covered the role? Are those processes still in place today? Here it is also key to speak about and demonstrate your commitment. The last thing a client would want is an interim candidate to do a hand over with the candidate who is leaving, then before the new candidates starts, leave because they found a new role slightly closer to home or paying more money per day – they have lost all of their information. So speaking about your commitment to a role, any time you have had your contract extended and committed to it (of course only if you will commit to a role, if not you need to discuss this with your agency).

Achievement: Covered the role, updated spreadsheets – shaving 1 days work off the month end process, created a comprehensive hand over which ensured a smooth 2 week hand over and has left the company with a document for assistance.

  • Assisting with a merger or acquisition – Speak about any mergers and acquisitions you have been involved in in the past, any dealings you have had with the bank – did you secure funding? Did things go to plan? Did you successfully deliver your objective? Specifically what did you get involved in? How is the company you worked for before in a similar situation to the company you are interviewing at?

Achievement: Successfully integrated two business units within set time frame with no hiccups

  • Maternity Cover – Again, A key thing here is commitment. I have spoken to many clients whose worse nightmare is their lady going on maternity leave, doing a hand over and then the Interim candidate hands in their notice for something closer to home or permanent, leaving nobody to do the role! So here you can highlight any time you have completed a maternity cover, sometimes clients just want a candidate to keep things ticking over until they return rather than changing anything – talk about any time you have done this. Have you ever committed to a role and had it extended? Or run on an ad hoc basis? Often clients don’t know until the end of the maternity leave if or when the candidate is returning, so flexibility to the term is key, and again picking up systems quickly – in case the baby comes before expected!!

Achievement: Successfully completed hand over and hand back, worked on a part time basis at the end of the contract to ensure smooth hand over period.

A few other things to consider;

  • Systems – Everybody likes interim staff who can pick up their system quickly especially on an interim assignment. Speak about any time you have used the same system as the company. If you haven’t talked about different systems you have picked up quickly that could be similar e.g. I haven’t used sage L200 but I’ve used Sage L50, I haven’t used SAP but I’ve used a large ERP system Oracle. Speaking about how you pick up systems quickly will put the clients mind at rest.

  • Sector – Any sector specific knowledge or achievements can really add value. Highlight on your CV any company’s you have worked for in the same sector as the company

  • Any other achievements (for more information about achievements see blog on ‘how to differentiate yourself from the other qualified candidates at the interview for your dream job’) remember to use facts and figures. Charging a day rate of £400 will seem like nothing when you talk to the company about how you saved your last organised £500,000!

  • Company Details – Go into detail and do some research e.g. the ownership of the company – are they private equity backed, are they owner managed? Are they US owned? Look at their turnover and the size of the finance team too – and outline any company’s you have worked for of a similar size with a similar size or structure of team (your agency should be able to help you with this information after they have met with the client, hopefully a direct HR advisor will know this already!)

Please refer to my previous blog discussing the importance of excel in ensuring you get the role you want.

Hopefully these tips can help ensure you get the top day rate you deserve! If you would like to discuss further, have your current CV reviewed or for current market advice call me any time on 01159607000.

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