Not surprisingly as we dust ourselves off from the competitive climate of 2012, interim managers focusing on the start of a new year are keen for our view on market conditions for interim management and some affirmation around interim manager rates.

The good news is 2013 has got off to a busy and productive start. Clients from across industry sectors are keen to harness interim expertise to support often long-awaited transformation activity. They are prepared to make an investment in introducing external resource to work alongside their internal teams, but these same clients are also looking to secure value.

This doesn’t mean they are striving to run their programmes ‘on the cheap’ or unduly beating down interim manager rates to the point of risking the programme’s deliverable outcomes by hiring the wrong calibre of individual (although there will always be a few to prove the rule). Over the first half of what, in my mind, is likely to be 10-year cycle, rates have softened by approximately 10-15%, but they have stabilised and we do not anticipate further heavy downward pressure. Savvy clients recognise they are getting high calibre resource at good value and are open to negotiate a fair deal on interim manager rates.

Variables to Consider When Determining Interim Manager Rates

This will require a certain degree of flexibility from the interim manager, but this was always the case. The key variables for the interim haven’t changed:

How interesting is the assignment?
What are its chances of success?
What does it add to your profile?
Do you like the feel of the organisational environment?
Can you make an impact?

These factors, of course, go alongside the more basic elements of where is it based and how long is it for.

The Trend Toward Part-Time Agreements

The only element which has shifted is a client’s flexibility to consider stretching their budgets for a more costly resource by offering a less than full-time working pattern. This is a trend which we expect to continue and does seem to suit a lot of interim managers who often have other professional or personal pursuits to fill the remainder of their time.

Overall, the experienced interim manager is in familiar territory and a healthy dose of pragmatism, a realistic view of worth when it comes to interim manager rates and the right advice from your provider will make for the right deal.

photo credit: eliazar via photopin cc

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  • Phil H-B

    Great article but for me, one aspect is missing. Price is also very much a factor of demand and supply when you - the interim - are the product. The interim agencies I’ve talked to recently have consistently commented that 2012 was a challenging year and 2013 is looking similar, with business/organisational confidence continuing to be very fragile based on the macro-economic landscape. For each interim, the calculation of rate is a combination of experience/track record + perceived value of skillset + demand/supply for that skillset in the market…..and finally, how much you want each individual assignment. The UK economy particularly is going through a zero price inflation period in the areas of the economy where competition is strong - clearly this does not include energy, banking and utilities ! - with constant downward pressure on price levels. We are also moving more to a negotiated price economy rather than as in the past a structured price economy …. in general we Brits haven’t been comfortable to haggle in the past but that is substantially changing in all areas, even the high street. Until either confidence returns substantially or demand for interims increases, setting a price floor and a ceiling going into a negotiation seems by far the optimal approach…a bit like gambling perhaps !!