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Pay for top level senior managers starts thawing

Pay for top level senior managers starts thawing

Businesses hiring to fill empty senior management roles, but on an interim basis

Proportion of interim executives earning more than &pound500 reaches 79%

Businesses are hiring again at the senior management level, pushing up rates for interim executives, says Interim Partners, the number one provider of interim managers to the private sector.

79% of interim executives are now paid over &pound500 per day, up from 74% last year, according to research by Interim Partners.

Interim Partners says that the increase could signal a thaw in pay for senior executives, which recent research says has been frozen for the last three years.

Interim Partners’ research among 900 interim managers also found that 13% of interims are now paid &pound1,000 or more per day.

Doug Baird, Managing Director of Interim Partners, comments: “During the credit crunch and subsequent recession, UK plc was forced to cut hundreds of the most senior management jobs.  Businesses now need to replace these people but nervousness means they are hiring more aggressively on an interim basis than on a permanent basis.”

“The shortage of senior managers and directors has meant that remaining staff often have been overseeing multiple projects and job titles simultaneously.  Businesses can no longer delay in filling these roles.  However, the economic uncertainty means they are only willing to commit to recruiting interim managers to fill many of these roles.”

Interim executives are managers or other senior executives, usually just below board-level, who are recruited on a short term basis.

Doug Baird continues: “Businesses recognise that bringing in specialist senior level managers to complete specific projects can be extremely cost effective.”

“Whilst businesses are not expanding aggressively at the moment they are looking at more ambitious change management programmes that will improve their operational performance and continue to deliver cost savings.”

39% of interims said they earn over 10% more than they did as full time employees.

According to Interim Partners, interims executives tend to earn more than permanent employees because they are not paid between placements or during sick or holiday leave. 

Despite the gloomy economic outlook, only 15% of interims said they expect their daily rate to decrease in the next 12 months, whilst 28% said they expect it to grow.

Says Doug Baird: “The UK’s interim management market is growing rapidly and the interims I talk to are optimistic despite the current economic malaise.”

“The reality is that businesses, especially large corporates, can never sit still and are constantly responding and adapting to their market.  More and more businesses are hiring interims to deliver these kinds of change programmes and if the economy deteriorates that is likely to remain true.”

The relative cost advantage of interims is unlikely to change under the new Agency Workers Regulations, as interims will fall outside the remit of the new rules.

Doug Baird adds: “Whether this thaw in the senior management recruitment freeze would continue if the UK entered a full-blown double dip recession is anybody’s guess.”


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