A Year for Interim Managers

Over-qualified, rapidly deployable and results-focused – all the signs are that interim managers will play a big part in recruitment strategies in 2018.

For instance, according to Global Accounting Network, the demand for fully qualified accountants to work on a short-term or contract basis in the UK increased by 44 per cent in the year to November 2017.  In particular, businesses were keen to have specialists on board to prepare them for the uncertainties and opportunities of a post-Brexit economy. Brexit will not go away in 2018 so that trend’s likely to continue.  With Brexit in mind, we’re also seeing strong requests for senior restructuring specialists and HR professionals with employment law experience.

EU data protection rules (GDPR), which come into force this year, have prompted an uptick in demand for data protection specialists. Cyber-security, a key specialism last year, is also still firmly on agendas in 2018.

Looking to the City, the bitcoin boom means many are looking for blockchain developers and technology specialists for specific assignments.

Aside from its ability to quickly inject specialist skills into an organisation, interim management is also proving popular for companies who, in the current market uncertainty, feel reluctant to offer permanent C-suite roles.

Beyond this, the private equity market is fuelling further demand.  As City AM recently reported private equity activity in Europe hit a decade high. Private equity firms completed 919 buyouts of companies in 2017, up 19% year on year. Interim CEOs, CFOs, COOs and CIOs are needed to drive up value in many of these companies.  Furthermore, there’s big demand within the private equity firms themselves for talent.  With capital pouring in at record levels, (from 2015 to 2017, the industry raised $648.4 billion, according to Pitchbook) the demand for senior talent to manage and deploy that capital shows no sign of abating.

In essence, whether companies are feeling buoyant, cautious or looking for specialist skills, we’re predicting that every HR head will need a knowledge of how to hire and deploy great interim managers in 2018.

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