I am starting to see evidence from employers of an increasing trend toward re – engaging the services of Interim Managers. From my experience, both anecdotally and statistically, the volume of interim management assignments in the last 18 months has been in decline. With so much interim work being project based, unless those projects have come under the banner of “business critical” they have tended to be shelved in order to cut short and medium term costs.
However increasingly I am finding that the clients that I work with are starting to evidence a cautious optimism in their approach to 2010. Having spent the last 18 months cutting costs aggressively, they are now starting to take the view that standing still or simply surviving is no longer enough.
Those that have worked hard to repair or strengthen balance sheets now find themselves in a strong position to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to them. Many, if not nervous, are certainly cautious and as a consequence remain hesitant to hire permanent staff. Increasingly the use of Interims as a route through which to source the talent needed to manage change, implement a critical strategy, plug a critical management gap, integrate an acquisition, improve process and drive efficiency or simply to hire an experienced Senior Level “Big Hitter” with a proven track record of delivery is proving an attractive option.
Whilst we cannot deny unemployment is on the rise and for those out of work the outlook is bleak, talent is as hard to find at an Executive level now as ever it was. Those in work are reluctant to move, for fear of being “last in, first out”. The use of Interim Managers can provide crucial access to the exceptional talent business needs to drive the return to the sustained economic growth that will improve employment prospects for all.