UK businesses turn to interim managers to drive change and transformation, survey finds

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Written by Seun Robert-Edomi on 19 May 2015 in News
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Nearly half of all interims (46 per cent) were recruited to run change and transformation projects, 17 per cent of interims were hired for their specialist skills and just seven per cent to fill employment gaps – the more traditional use of interims

Change management, restructuring and turnaround projects are the top three reasons interim managers are being hired by businesses, according to the bi-annual snap shot survey of 17,000 interim managers from Russam GMS.

Nearly half of all interims (46 per cent) were recruited to run change and transformation projects, 17 per cent of interims were hired for their specialist skills and just seven per cent to fill employment gaps – the more traditional use of interims.

Demand for interims has risen in recent months, with 48 per cent of interims on assignment, up from 45 per cent in June last year and nearly returning to the pre-recession level of 2007, when 50 per cent of interims were on assignment.

Financial services firms, healthcare organisations and manufacturers are the top three interim employers and interim project managers are getting the most work, with a quarter of them on assignment, followed by finance specialists (14 per cent) and general managers (12).   

Jason Atkinson, managing director, Russam GMS said: “Many organisations are in a state of flux, particularly in sectors like financial services where they are grappling with new regulation and compliance and working out how to maximise growth opportunities. Interims offer organisations immediacy, experience and flexibility and a low risk, affordable and high value way of delivering change and transformation.”

Steve Offord, an interim transformation director with 20 years’ experience, added: “Increasingly, interims are being hired to run transformation projects, as the skills and experience required doesn’t tend to exist within the organisations.  I have been fortunate to work across the public and private sectors and over the years have seen a constant demand for my work.” 

The research also highlighted that interims in their 50s represent half of those on assignment; followed by interims in their 60s, who are 29 per cent of the cohort and then interims in their 40s who make up 20 per cent of the interim executives. There were very few interims on assignment in their 20 and 30s or 70s.

Many of the respondents consider themselves ‘career interims’, with 35 per cent stating they wouldn’t take a permanent job and 20 per cent stating they would take a permanent job, only if it was tempting enough.

Debbie Britton, interim director of Marketing and Customer Experience, said: “I have operated as a client using a high proportion of interims in my team and as a senior level interim. The findings are very encouraging for anyone considering an interim career.  It would be fantastic to see even more women reaping the benefits of this kind of career, especially in the space of organisational transformation.”

 

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