Finance chiefs turn to interim staff to help cut costs and provide specialist skills

Hayley Kirton
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What makes a successful interim? Somebody who saves financial chiefs a bundle? (Source: Getty)

A job for life is now well and truly a thing of the past, as more finance chiefs turn to interim managers to fill gaps in their roster, a study out today has found.

According to the research by specialist recruiter Robert Half Management Resources, nine out of ten (90 per cent) finance chiefs and finance directors are planning on hiring an interim management professional at some point over the next year.

When making their pick of interim managers, finance heads will predominately be looking out for strong project management skills (46 per cent), followed by business transformation prowess (34 per cent) and leadership enhancement capabilities (27 per cent).

"With increased scrutiny of financial expenditure and the current added pressure of financial year-end, it is not surprising that so many finance chiefs and finance directors plan to engage interim managers to help deal with these demands," said Luke Davis, vice-president at Robert Half Management Resources. "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."

However, just because they might be out the door once the project's put to bed doesn't mean that an interim's work will not be carefully scrutinised. Over a third (38 per cent) of those surveyed said they judged an interim's success by their cost savings.

A similar proportion (37 per cent) said they would be taking a careful look at whether their temporary hire increased efficiency and 34 per cent said they would be judging on successful project or change implementation.

How is the success of an interim judged?

Saved costs: 38%

Increased efficiency: 37%

Implemented project successfully: 34%

Increased revenue: 25%

Transfered knowledge: 25%

Cut time on onboarding: 13%

Hands-on approach: 10%

Davis added: "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."