UK businesses turn to interims to drive change and transformation
Nearly half of all interims (46%) were recruited to run change and transformation projects, 17% of interims were hired for their specialist skills and just 7% to fill employment gaps – the more traditional use of interims.
Demand for interims has risen in recent months, with 48% of interims on assignment, up from 45% in June last year and nearly returning to the pre-recession level of 2007, when 50% of interims were on assignment.
Financial services firms, healthcare organisations and manufacturers are the top three interim employers and interim project managers are getting the most work, with a quarter of them on assignment, followed by finance specialists (14%) and general managers (12%).
Jason Atkinson, managing director, Russam GMS said, “Many organisations are in a state of flux, particularly in sectors like financial services where they are grappling with new regulation and compliance and working out how to maximise growth opportunities. Interims offer organisations immediacy, experience and flexibility and a low risk, affordable and high value way of delivering change and transformation.”
Steve Offord, an interim transformation director with 20 years’ experience who regularly works through Russam noted, “Increasingly, interims are being hired to run transformation projects, as the skills and experience required doesn’t tend to exist within the organisations. I have been fortunate to work across the public and private sectors and over the years have seen a constant demand for my work.”
Average daily pay rates for interims rose from £638 in June 2014 to £651 this year, a rise of 11% increase in five years, when pay was £579. However, pay rates for female interims at £567.25 a day lags considerably behind their male colleagues who are paid £662.64.
Pay also varies considerably by sector, discipline and region. Obviously, the best paid interims specialise in leadership and sit on boards (£858), then come the General Managers who are paid £827, then interim auditors at £785, closely followed by IT specialists who command £778 a day.
The top three sectors for pay are energy (£945) financial services (£804) and IT (£754).
Bucking other economic trends, those working in central England are getting higher rates than those working in London and the South - £649 a day compared to £612. Interims who work overseas can command an average of £746 a day.
The research also highlighted that interims in their 50s represent half of those on assignment followed by interims in their 60s, who are 29% of the cohort and then interims in their 40s who make up 20% of the interim executives. There were very few interims on assignment in their 20 and 30s or 70s.
Many of the respondents consider themselves & lsquo;career interims’, with 35% stating they wouldn’t take a permanent job and 20% stating they would take a permanent job, only if it was tempting enough.
Debbie Britton, interim director of marketing and customer experience said, “I have operated as a client using a high proportion of interims in my team and as a senior level interim. The findings are very encouraging for anyone considering an interim career. It would be fantastic to see even more women reaping the benefits of this kind of career, especially in the space of organisational transformation. The survey results have highlighted there is more scope for higher average pay rates for them too.”