Financial crisis will be management focus in 2012, poll of 900 leaders reveals

One-in-five senior managers expect new management jobs created over the next year will focus on keeping companies out of financial distress, according to a survey by interim management solution firm, Interim Partners.

The survey of 900 senior managers and directors found 19% expected 'turnaround specialists' to be the leading management role by jobs created in the next year. Turnaround specialists focus on the work needed to take a company out of financial distress, such as cutting costs and reducing debt.

The other big area of demand for new interim management roles over the next year is for change management experts – 31% of senior managers and directors polled expect this area to lead demand for new roles.

Doug Baird, MD of Interim Partners, said: "A lot of businesses are still working through a backlog of improvement projects stemming from the last recession, even as a double-dip threatens. Some of those are standard change management programmes, while others involve the radical surgery of a corporate turnaround.

"Businesses expect far more of these senior management roles to be created in the area of change management and turnaround than they do in dealing with business as usual or in trying to grow."

"That is not great news for all the talented marketing and sales directors that are looking for new opportunities, but it does suggest that those who specialise in taking businesses out of distress will continue to be able to get a premium for their services.

"The impact of low demand and low confidence in the economy in the last recession meant that many businesses did not want to take on the overhead of permanent senior managers and directors for sales or marketing roles, so they make the appointment on an interim basis instead."