What Does the Future Look Like for the Interim Market?

Written by EO Executives on Jul 13, 2017

In recent months, I have found myself involved in discussions with leaders in my network, which have led me to reflect on the Interim market as a whole and question what interim trends we should expect to emerge in the coming months.

Considering that these discussions have primarily been with career interims, in the truest sense that they operate through their own Limited Companies and typically are engaged at times of change / transformation, I wondered if we would have seen any significant changes as to how assignments are sourced with the emergence of the ‘gig economy’ and global rise in social media?

One prominent trend that has been evident from these conversations, is that many interim leaders remain committed to working with providers to either hire interim executives themselves, or to land a new assignment. 

So, is the go-to-market strategy for interims changing?

Given the rise in interim managers choosing this route to access the market, this could reflect that some clients are less willing for regulatory / IR35 reasons to go direct to market or through their own networks.

Whilst social media is regularly used to recruit for permanent individuals, interim assignments by large are still not broadly advertised online, or at least infrequently for Interim projects with direct engagement by clients. As a result, we are seeing individuals “test” assignments out with their networks but the main ‘go to’ source when hiring interims still remains to be through providers.

Why partner with a provider?

In a market where expertise is needed at pace, trusted specialist interim providers have the capability and resources to respond quickly to client’s requirements. This expertise means they can provide referenced, readily available candidates who have typically already been met and screened on their skill set, behaviours and cultural alignment for future projects. Something that very few direct sourcing teams have been set up to do.

From a candidate perspective, there is also a direct contact who is equipped to take on those challenging rate conversations on your behalf. In addition, interims are typically paid monthly by a provider, as opposed to becoming a direct supplier to a client. This can become extremely beneficial because as a direct supplier to a client, you may find yourself on a 90 days payment terms contacts in the worst case.

So how do you build these provider relationships?

Being ‘easy to find’ is key in the Interim market. So you need to ensure your LinkedIn profile is highly optimised– (find out more on how to do this here) so that relevant providers can find you. Or depending on your sector and function, being in frequent contact and maintaining relationships with specialist interim providers and consultants that recruit within your discipline will be fundamental to ensuring you are the first to get the call on that next assignment.

After all, it has been proven that most assignments come from the providers that interims already know and are in regular communication with. Unsurprisingly, this market is all about relationships and having recruited Interim HR Professionals for a decade now, I still contact the individuals I’ve met, placed or represented over this period when I take on new Interim briefs. Nonetheless, that does not mean I don’t constantly build my network; after all I’m often recommended strong individuals and by searching for new profiles with the changing skill set demands, I am often building my network daily.

If you would like to understand more around the benefits interim providers can give to or business, or you’re a candidate looking to get noticed by head-hunters in the interim market, feel free to get in contact at lucy.bielby@eoexecutives.com.

Alternatively, why not take a look at some of our great resources on how to go to market and as interim and optimise your LinkedIn profile here:

- 4 Steps to Create Impact as an Interim Leader

- Are You the Interim of Choice? Do You Get the First Call?

- How to Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile for Maximum Visibility

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