Executive Grapevine: The Top Interim Trends of 2018 – As told by Green Park

Demand in the interim market is increasingly focused on highly experienced business professionals who have real-life experience of making business change happen. We have assembled our own panel of senior experts from Green Park to make their predictions about how the interim market will shape up in 2018. Our experts explain why change is now not only needed, it’s inevitable.

Maria Stanford, Head of Leadership Services, Consumer, Green Park

In 2018 the approach to selecting an interim recruitment supplier should be as robust as that of selecting a partner for executive search; interim placements are becoming longer-term and can often cost more than similar permanent appointments. Clients deserve the same high standards from interim recruitment providers as they expect for executive search and the interim management market will need to redefine its offering to provide this.

The traditional transactional approach to interim solutions will no longer satisfy client needs. Providers will need to have a good understanding of the businesses they work with, likely through in-house experience, as well as strong consultancy and coaching skills, in order to advise and source effectively. This combination of skills and experience will differentiate the offer and provide best value for organisations.  It is likely the market will become more like search and will continue to become more consolidated with a few big players, like Green Park, alongside some smaller, specialist providers.

Jo Sweetland, Managing Partner, Green Park

In 2017 we saw demand for interim professionals rise by as much as 30% on the previous year, driven in part by uncertainty in the economy and the need to quickly appoint senior executives to complete important projects that were previously on hold. This is set to continue in 2018.

However, the interim market is about so much more than just filling the gaps. This is why clients are beginning to renew their interest in how an interim performs throughout the assignment, not just on the assignment delivery metrics.

Recruiters should treat each assignment as a living case study for the interim and therefore, need to renew their focus on post-placement care. In 2018, questions such as “what has been the interims impact in the first 10 days of the assignment?” will become more prevalent.

This renewed focus on in-role metrics ensures the client can better measure against the pre-agreed outcomes and it is the recruiters duty to deliver this insight in a consultative and analytical fashion.

Trevor Philips OBE, Advisory Board and Chair, Diversity Analytics, Green Park

Almost by definition, interim managers put a premium on filling human capital gap right here, right now, but that doesn’t mean Interim hires should be a panic buy – they should be a chance to try something new. And it’s increasingly important to recognise that these hires are part of the resource that defines your organisation, both for those working in it, and for those working with it. The need to address diversity in recruitment shouldn’t bypass the interim market – in fact it should be a critical factor in interim hires. With greater transparency demanded in every sector, it’s vital that managers count the value of their interim hiring towards the diversity of their teams. More importantly, isn’t the interim market a brilliant place to try out the “different”?

That means that the interim recruitment industry has to pull its socks up and pay just as much attention to quality as it does to speed of response. And the senior leaders who engage recruiters have a duty to expect and to ask for more. The face that fits shouldn’t be acceptable to the best firms for much longer. And that’s great news for the best firms and the best recruiters.

James Hunt, Director, Green Park

Direct hiring through social media has failed at executive level. We’re already seeing a real backlash in interim executive recruitment against social media based channels such as LinkedIn and this will continue in 2018. More emphasis will be placed on finding proven experts with real-life experience within a particular sector or function.

Organisations increasingly recognise that they need to be in the best position possible, armed with short term, specialist skills provided by interims as and when they are required. The art of a good recruiter is to match interims from a bank of known and proven individuals to opportunities, not just map CVs to job titles, which can vary a lot in scope. The best recruiters will even challenge whether a role is actually required, or whether there is a different approach that could be taken to solving a business problem.

Managing that process alone using social media platforms is time-consuming and an ineffective use of internal resources, whether a recruitment agency is involved or not. There is no substitute for the personal networks and talent pools maintained by the most effective interim recruitment companies, who have intimate knowledge of candidates and their capabilities. Interims also believe that LinkedIn advertising for senior roles direct by clients will just put their details into a “black hole” and will seldom lead to them getting an assignment.

 

This article was published in Executive Grapevine’s Interim Management Guide 2018 on the 6th of February 2018. To read the full guide, click here.