Interim managers in high demand

Interim managers were mainly required for project management roles

The majority (90%) of CFOs and FDs are planning to work with experienced interim managers over the next year, according to research from recruitment consultancy Robert Half Management Resources.

The study, based on more than 200 interviews with senior finance executives from companies across the UK, found that the need was strongest for project management skills (46%), followed by business transformation skills (34%). Management and leadership enhancement (27%), business continuity (23%) and change management (9%) were also areas cited as requiring interim managers.

When it comes to judging the effectiveness of an interim hire, more than a third (38%) of finance leaders said that they would be evaluated through cost savings within the business or heightened efficiency or performance (37%). A quarter (25%) would be looking for an increase in revenue, while 13% hoped to see a decrease in employee onboarding times.

Only 10% of CFOs and FDs would measure the effectiveness of interim managers on their “continuous involvement and successful hands-on approach".

Luke Davis, vice president of Robert Half Management Resources, said that with increased scrutiny of financial expenditure and the added pressure of financial year-end it is unsurprising that so many CFOs and FDs plan to engage interim managers. “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,” he said.

“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. Organisations 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.”