The UK’s leading provider of contract interim managers has reported a significant growth in the number of firms looking to hire short-term experts to focus on ‘rapid growth’.
According to Interim Partners, the proportion of interims being hired specifically to help drive business growth has more than tripled over the past year, and now accounts for 10% of all assignments underway during the final quarter of 2013, compared to a mere 3% a year earlier.
What do interim managers do?
Interims are typically are recruited to fill senior management level posts on a short-term basis – usually due to absence or the recent departure of a key member of staff. They are valued by clients for providing experience, an independent eye, and strategic capability to solve a specific problem, oversee a structural change, or to deliver an entire project.
The latest survey, carried out by the Interim Management Association earlier in 2014, found that 41% are hired to create or implement new strategies, and 38% to deliver specific projects.
The average daily rate (at the end of 2013) was £660.
New focus on growth rather than efficiency
Over the past five years, the majority of clients have focused on recession survival rather than expanding their businesses. The need to preserve market share, minimise risk, and cut costs, has been the priority for many.
This latest data suggests that priorities appear to be slowly changing, as the economy continues to move in a positive direction.
Since 2009, the proportion of interim managers hired to expand established businesses, or to capture a new market for ambitious start-ups, has risen from 2% of all assignments (during the recession) to the current 10% level.
Adam Kyriacou, partner at Interim Partners, says that his clients are now looking at opportunities to build market share, and increase revenues.
“Start-ups are also hungry to take on their bigger, more established rivals and shake up their marketplaces – and with the return of investors’ appetite for start-ups, they are now more likely to have the funds to invest in this growth.”
As confidence returns to the economy, the demand for interims looks certain to grow further, due to the specialist skills they can offer.
“It’s their job to hit the ground running, provide a fresh perspective and bring their breadth of experience to bear in order to attain dramatic results in a relatively short space of time.”