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First signs that senior level hiring is heating up following credit crunch

56% of senior interim executives polled said that more businesses were taking on interims at a senior management level, up from 47% in 2012 and 43% in 2011, in order to meet a growing demand for top executives.

Interim Partners explains that recruitment amongst the most senior level executives has been very restrained since the credit crunch – where cost cutting saw many senior management jobs removed.

However, Interim Partners reports that even though the senior level jobs market is improving, pressure over boardroom pay and other corporate governance issues has encouraged more board executives to avoid the increased burden of compliance by becoming interims (see below).

Interim executives are managers or senior executives, at or just below board-level, who are recruited on a short to mid term basis.  Just as a rise in the use of contractors normally predicts an increase in the hiring of permanent staff, so an increase in interims is seen as an early indicator of increased demand for senior executives.

Adam Kyriacou, partner at Interim Partners, commented, “Senior level recruitment has lagged behind other hiring since the recession, but these figures suggest that the recruitment market for Directors is finally thawing out.”

“Businesses need to be fleet of foot as the economy recovers and interim managers can give a business the sudden increase in capacity and expertise needed to take advantage of growth.”

Interim Partners explains that improved confidence in the economy and the growing use of interim managers has also led interims to be more confident in their pay expectations. The Interim Partners survey found that a third (34%) of all interim managers polled expected their daily rate to increase in the next 12 months, significantly up on the one in four (26%) who expected rate increases last year.

The number of interim managers who thought their day rate would decrease over the next year halved, falling from 13% to 7%.

Interim managers also said that they earned 48% more on average as an interim than as a full time employee.

Kyriacou added, “Interims are growing more and more bullish about their pay rates as the economy improves and demand for their skills picks up. Pay rates for interims have been flat for some time so this is a positive sign that the market is improving.”

Interim Partners also reports that a growing number of senior executives polled said that the intense public pressure about boardroom remuneration following the “Shareholder Spring” would encourage more senior executives to choose interim opportunities over permanent posts. 37% of respondents said this was a factor in 2013, compared to 28% in 2012.

Last year the Government introduced legislation giving shareholders a binding vote on how much executive directors are paid.

Kyriacou said, “Increasingly, top executives are choosing to become interims because it allows them to take on exciting work but sidestep the politics, red tape and box ticking that now goes with a boardroom post.”


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