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Demand eased in December

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The “Russam GMS Interim Management Monitor,” a survey of 7500 Interim Managers polled in December 2007, revealed that demand for Interim Managers in the UK increased compared to 2006, with the number of assignments and daily pay rates at all time high. However, it also showed that demand for Interims eased slightly in December perhaps indicating the beginnings of a market slowdown.

The average daily Interim rates increased by 4.5% to £580, compared with the same period in 2006, however, this figure is down 0.9% compared with June 2007. There was also an increase in Interim activity which was up 1.3% compared with the same period in 2006, with 52% of Interim Managers currently working on assignments.

Charles Russam, chairman, Russam GMS, commented: “In 2007, the levels of Interim activity increased once again with record daily rates being paid in many industry sectors. We noted increased demand for Interims from the NHS, FMCG companies and central and local government where we believe that Interims are now being used more frequently in place of management consultants.

“There was a slight slowdown in December, which could be a result of market uncertainty but, we won’t really be able to tell if this signifies any major changes in the market until March. January is a disrupted month with many decision-makers away until the second week and historically February is a comparatively quiet time so any suspicion of reduced trading levels before March might be explained. However, March is usually a very busy month in the Interim Management Sector and we would expect to see a serious uplift in activity- if this does not happen, we will know the market has changed.”

Interim Managers specialising in IT were commanding the highest daily rates in December 2007 – an average of £622; closely followed by general managers on £610 and sales and marketing executives who earned on average £595 a day.

The sectors that paid the highest daily rates were the NHS, FMCG companies, Utilities and Professional services companies and in terms of location, Interims willing to work overseas were paid the highest rates, closely followed by Interims in working of the South of the UK.

Talented Interim Managers are increasingly hard to find, which is why organisations are relying more heavily on Interim providers to source them. Fifty-seven per cent of all full-time Interims were resourced through providers in December 2007 with part-time Interims finding, in greater measure, their own assignments. Central and local government relied on them the most, with 75% of all central government Interim roles being recruited by providers.

Many Interims clearly relish their career with 34% of respondents stating they would never go back to a permanent job and 44% saying that they would take a permanent job only if the offer were tempting enough.  We think that this points to committed senior managers with a commercial approach to their work and to their clients.

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