Demand for interim managers set to rise

13 April 2016
  • 90% of CFOs and FDs are planning to work with interim managers in the next 12 months
  • 46% say project management is the business function that is most likely to require interim managers
  • CFOs and FDs rate interim managers as both efficient and cost effective

London, 13 April 2016 – According to new research from leading specialist recruitment consultancy, Robert Half Management Resources, the majority (90%) of CFOs and FDs are planning to work with experienced interim managers within their organisation over the next 12 months, driven partly by the need for specialist skills in project management and business transformation.

The requirement for interim managers is strongest for project management skills (46%) as these highly specialised professionals join a business for a limited time to manage a period of transition. The focus on digitisation across all aspects of business is further leading to a need for interim managers with specific skills to help with business transformation (34%). Management and leadership enhancement (27%), business continuity (23%) and change management (9%) are other initiatives that will prompt CFOs and FDs to hire interim managers over the next 12 months.

Interim professionals are a valuable resource for businesses that require specialist skills for key projects and are rated highly by CFOs and FDs for both efficiency (82%) and cost effectiveness (84%) in achieving specific business goals.

Increased public scrutiny on all aspects of financial and professional conduct means firms have to be more mindful of costs than ever before. As a result, more than a third (38%) of finance leaders said that the success of interim managers is evaluated through cost savings within their business or increased efficiency or performance (37%).

Interestingly, interim managers are not just being evaluated on their ability to manage a specific project or improve the efficiency of a business, but also on softer skills like mentoring and knowledge transfer (25%) and having a successful hands-on approach (10%).

200 UK CFOs and FDs were asked, ‘How do you evaluate the success of an interim manager in your company?’ Their responses*:

Measure of an interim manager’s success

Percentage of CFOs and FDs

Cost savings

38%

Increased efficiency / performance

37%

Successful project / change implementation

34%

Increased revenue

25%

Knowledge transfer / mentorship

25%

Less time spent on employee onboarding

13%

Continuous involvement and successful hands on approach

10%

 

*Multiple responses permitted

Luke Davis, Vice-President, Robert Half Management Resources said: ‘With increased scrutiny of financial expenditure and the current added pressure of financial year-end, it is not surprising that so many CFOs and FDs plan to engage interim managers to help deal with these demands. The benefits these highly-skilled professionals can provide also indirectly benefit the existing employees of the businesses through mentoring, sharing current best practices and bringing in a new perspective or solution.

“Businesses planning to hire interim or temporary professionals should move quickly though and recruit ahead of the curve as skilled professionals continue to be in high demand. Businesses across the UK are preparing for change in managing their governance, compliance and operational risk, and preparing for business transformation. Bringing in these professionals during the scoping phase will allow for the greatest benefits.’

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Notes to editors

1 The annual study was developed by Robert Half UK and is conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on more than 200 interviews with senior finance executives from companies across the UK, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location. 

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. Founded in 1948, the company has over 330 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology and administrative professionals. For more than 15 years, Robert Half has been named to FORTUNE® magazine’s list of “Most Admired Companies” and offers workplace and job seeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.