An Economic Slowdown: An opportunity

Saturday, July 18, 2009

All around there is talk of the economic slowdown. In the Interim Management industry, this means planning for increased demand and working with forward thinking business leaders who proactively utilise interim resource to deliver short and medium term results.

It's difficult to not read or hear about the credit squeeze and the latest effects of the recession - we are faced with it on a daily basis. And if we believe the economy is cyclical, then this recession is overdue and likely to be deep. Most companies have entered 2009 with considerably more apprehension than for a number of years and some are already responding by reigning in expenditure and cutting costs.

Within the recruitment industry, recession means being a supplier in an ever-tightening marketplace as companies seek to freeze human capital expenditure at best or make large cuts to staffing levels at worst.

But one thing has changed significantly since the last recession, and that is the growth of interim executive management. With an industry growth rate of over 15% a year and a significantly larger number of CEOs, CFOs and HR Directors now recognising the flexibility and genuine value-add of using Interim Executives, there is every likelihood that, this time around, the call on these resources will reach an all-time high.

During a recession there are many compelling reasons for senior managers to turn to an experienced interim executive.

The most compelling benefit of using interim executives is the rapid (within days) access to quality executives proven in the management of transition and business change and experienced in working in a wide range of sectors and cultures on an intensive project basis. Interims are used to working independently to deliver results but also know part of their role is coaching and mentoring those around them to be able to take over once the Interim has left. This pragmatic use of highly skilled resource makes for a robust business case. Interims can be expensive but for any organisation which has become used to having management consultants around, a cost saving can be shown as an interim executive will be likely to cost about one third of an individual consultant. The comparable level of business experience you gain from an interim executive, 'pound for pound', is usually a clear benefit.

Working with interims requires something of a sea-change in planning but those who plan early will be well rewarded as the pool of high quality, career committed resource is far smaller than many would admit and demand is likely to exceed supply.

So for 2009, this could be an ideal time for organisations to consider introducing interims as part of their overall resourcing strategy.

Lighting By Gregory


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