How did COVID 19 affect the roles of the Outsourcing Company Secretarial Services?
During my recent research, I was mortified to find out the extent of company secretarial outsourcing services that had been affected by the pandemic. Many company secretaries found themselves unexpectedly dumped back into the job market. Perhaps facing a reality that they were not yet ready to accept.
Is In-house the new Outsourcing?
Having been on both sides, six years as an Assistant Company Secretary and eight years as an outsourced senior board Consultant, I was now faced with a decision on whether my career would now go the in-house route or try to find work in the outsourced space. How many others were in the same boat as me?
With over 40% of South Africans working from home, many businesses decided to move their company secretarial efforts in-house to save on costs and still get the job done. Looking back this may have posed a risk to many businesses, as I believe that one should have the knowledge and skill to perform the duties of a Company Secretary but for the most jack of all trades, it meant that they were able to upskill themselves and be able to provide a convenient short-term solution for business.
I believe that come post-pandemic there will be a huge push and need for businesses to outsource their company secretarial needs once again.
So, how did Company Secretaries survive the last two years?
Along with the large percentage of South Africans still working from home, Consultants like myself have also taken the time to upskill, relearn and adapt. Home became just another office where we went to perform our daily tasks. The resilience of the role meant that as the market starts opening now, many company secretaries find that they are better equipped and armed to take on their new opportunities.
Together with the rapid expansion of digital products to ensure that work gets done from anywhere, anytime, products like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Greatsoft Secretarial, and other software programs have given company secretaries the edge that they will need when re-entering the market.
Although the pandemic had many negative implications to the lives of countless people in the work environment, it also created a breeding ground for accelerated growth and learnings in the digital space. Looking forward, I’m sure some of the businesses that are still recovering from financial losses will, for now, stick to their new in-house plans, however, if online searches are anything to go by, there is still a demand for the expertise provided by outsourced Company Secretarial services.
As I continue my job search, I am confident that the new normal for outsourced Consultants will be a challenging yet exciting space.