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90% of CFOs and FDs plan to work with interim managers in next 12 months

The majority (90%) of CFOs and FDs are planning to work with experienced interim managers within their organisation over the next 12 months, driven partly by the need for specialist skills in project management and business transformation, according to new research from Robert Half Management Resources.


The research found that the requirement for interim managers is strongest for project management skills (46%) as these highly specialised professionals join a business for a limited time to manage a period of transition. The focus on digitisation across all aspects of business is further leading to a need for interim managers with specific skills to help with business transformation (34%). Management and leadership enhancement (27%), business continuity (23%) and change management (9%) are other initiatives that will prompt CFOs and FDs to hire interim managers over the next 12 months.


Interim professionals are a valuable resource for businesses that require specialist skills for key projects and are rated highly by CFOs and FDs for both efficiency (82%) and cost effectiveness (84%) in achieving specific business goals.


Increased public scrutiny on all aspects of financial and professional conduct means firms have to be more mindful of costs than ever before, Robert Half Management Resources says. As a result, more than a third (38%) of finance leaders said that the success of interim managers is evaluated through cost savings within their business or increased efficiency or performance (37%).


The research also revealed that interim managers are not just being evaluated on their ability to manage a specific project or improve the efficiency of a business, but also on softer skills like mentoring and knowledge transfer (25%) and having a successful hands-on approach (10%).


Luke Davis, vice-president of Robert Half Management Resources, said, “With increased scrutiny of financial expenditure and the current added pressure of financial year-end, it is not surprising that so many CFOs and FDs plan to engage interim managers to help deal with these demands. The benefits these highly-skilled professionals can provide also indirectly benefit the existing employees of the businesses through mentoring, sharing current best practices and bringing in a new perspective or solution.


“Businesses planning to hire interim or temporary professionals should move quickly though and recruit ahead of the curve as skilled professionals continue to be in high demand. Businesses across the UK are preparing for change in managing their governance, compliance and operational risk, and preparing for business transformation. Bringing in these professionals during the scoping phase will allow for the greatest benefits.”


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