As we enter Q2 of 2013 how is the landscape of the interim market looking? My view is not too bad but am getting mixed views from others. The climate continues to be challenging but there are green shoots appearing from a number of areas. Business or contract turnaround, restructuring, projects / programme management and finance continue to be busy but also seeing more demand for strategic business development for organisations both in the UK and internationally. We are seeing an increase with our clients looking to grow and require strategic input to help move the business forward and drive the change programmes that will ultimately transform their organisations.
The latest Ipsos MORI (IMA membership audit) results confirm that special projects accounted for the largest proportion of interim assignments in 2012 with programme / project management the highest cited reason for the assignment at 35%. This doesn't come as any surprise as 'special projects' can cover a multitude of scenarios and span all of the functional areas of a business. Finance follows closely as a functional discipline ( this will include turnaround and restructuring from a finance focus) and we have certainly been busy through 2012 and into 2013 with finance assignments.
Engagement of interim executives remains highest in the private sector with 64% of assignments completed compared to the public sector with usage running at 64% with Banking and finance accounting for the highest percentage of this at 47%.
The average length of assignment is 175 (billable days) but with almost one third lasting between 60 - 120 days. This doesn't really tell us a lot as each assignment should be treated on a case by case basis but useful information all the same.
The split between male and female interims is roughly two thirds to one third in favour of males but this will of course fluctuate on a quarterly basis. We have experienced an increase in female interims on assignment.
The interim proposition continues to provide a flexible resourcing solution although the economy continues to have its ups and downs and is likely to do so for some time yet, with companies recognising that this is often the most successful and cost effective route to solve an immediate business critical problem or help them with projects etc. There are of course the ongoing threats from new entrants to the market, indecision, and pressure from the Government over recent months, but one thing remains certain and that is a continuing need for businesses to engage highly skilled, focussed, results driven executives to spearhead change and drive transformation programmes.