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Contract interim management market resilient in 2012

The latest Russam GMS survey shows that the demand for interim managers rose 3% last year, in spite of a flatlining economy.

The bi-annual study showed that the interim management market has been remarkably resilient, with a growing number of firms opting to hire interims rather than permanent senior staff.

The snapshot survey mirrors findings from the Interim Management Association (IMA) this week, which suggested that the interim market is continuing to hold its own in a challenging economic environment, but could experience flatlining growth over the coming 12 months.

Key industry trends for June – December 2012

  • Part-time interims now represent 31% of the market.
  • Average part-time interim daily rates rose from £583 to £606 by year-end.
  • Leading sector for interim assignments is manufacturing and engineering (11%), followed by financial services (10%).
  • Leading interim discipline was change management and transformation (23% of all assignments), followed by finance specialists and general managers.
  • There is less of a demand for ‘gap filler’ interims, i.e. to fill in for ill staff, or staff who have left a company unexpectedly.
  • 55% of all interims are hired to provide specialist skills that are not available in a client’s workforce.
  • Overall daily interim rates have fallen slightly since June 2012 – down from £619 to £593 per day, although rates vary significantly by sector.
  • The average daily rate in the finance and insurance sector is £702, and food industry experts saw their average rates rise to £712.
  • The demand for interims by international firms continued to rise, with average rates rising from £718 to £759.
  • 52% of interim managers are in their 50s, and 29% in their 60s, although contract interims in their 40s are most likely to be on assignment at any given time (55%) and earn the highest average daily rates.

Commenting on the latest bi-annual survey findings, Charles Russam, Chairman of Russam GMS, noted the resilient performance of the sector in a “very flat economy” and said that firms were using interims more strategically, particularly in the financial sector.

Fundamentally, the continuing attraction of interim managers by organisations is understandable, as they “offer skills and experience that tends not to exist within companies and their immediacy and affordability is very appealing.”

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