In this blog post, Resource Manager Chris Lain takes a look at how the interim management recruitment market has changed, and the different ways in which the focus of the industry is shifting in the interim’s favour.
Having worked in recruitment since 2005, and more specifically interim since 2008, I have seen a huge change in the way the market operates and the requirements needed – and these changes are creating opportunity for experienced interims. Before the days of the financial crisis, the interim market was a fast paced world, where decisions were made quickly and hesitancy rarely played a part. Clients were sure of the economic background and happy to make effective business judgements as a result. It was not unheard of for a brief to come in from a client, an appropriate candidate sourced and interview and decision made within a week. Today’s market is very different – but it is not all bad news.
How is Interim Management Changing for the Better?
Since the fallout from the global recession, the market has changed beyond recognition. Where traditional functional demand was dominant around HR, IT and finance roles that were centred around crisis and issues, we are now seeing requirements much more around change and transformation positions, where organisations are looking for growth and performance, rather than “steadying of ship”.
Across both the private and public sector, the picture is also changing. Although such as central government are still hesitant, especially with restricted funding, the need for recognising cost savings is pushing the limited demand in this area. However the majority of requirement in the public sector is coming overwhelmingly from health organisations, where the need for transformation and improved performance is paramount. In the private sector, the challenge is different. There is less reluctance and with the recent indicators of the economy picking up, more hiring decisions are being made – albeit still slowly.
With these developments, we are also seeing a significant increase in teams of interims being required. The large scale transformation projects in areas such as finance and energy are leaning on interim capabilities heavily, which is great news for those with the skills, but these kind of programmes often take more than one interim with the right skills set – and this capability question is where the main challenge lies.
Now that we are seen to be entering a recovery phase, businesses are finding they do not have the capabilities to complete major projects and programmes. There is now a tangible demand for enablers and those who can drop into the detail quickly and achieve the right results, as well as understand and work within the organisational culture. Clients no longer just want to keep the lights on, they want to make them burn brighter too.
As a result of this significant market shift, there is a certain balancing act to be observed. Whereas beforehand candidates were plentiful and assignments few, the high quality interims I speak to every day are finding that they sometimes have several assignment options to chose from and although it is still a client’s market, the relationship is definitely rebalancing.
What are your thoughts on the current interim management market? Do you recognise the changes that Chris details? Share your thoughts with us below and lead the conversation!