Interim Management D/F Teil 2 28 Mar 2022 / Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Interim Management D/F Teil 2

By Laurence Frenkiel from LeaderIA management de transition, and Thomas Schulz, RAU INTERIM

Part 2 : the Executive Interim Manager :

The moto of the Interim Manager could be “Veni, Vidi, Vici”, no matter the context and the difficulties he may encounter.

At the moment, the typical European Interim Manager is male, aged 55 years +, with at deep technical knowledge acquired in several companies, and 7 years of experience as an Interim Professional. However, we notice in most European countries that Interim Management is getting more female (especially in marketing, quality and HR), and younger.

The top five primary functional specialties of Interim Managers in Europe are general management, operations, human resources, finance, and sales. The topics are change management, process optimization and project management.

The food industry, even if accounted only for less than 5% of the total market in 2020, has mostly requested Interim professionals in Operations, Quality and, to a lesser extent, Sales. And as the Covid crisis has stressed the importance of mastering the Supply Chain, process optimization has become key.

Besides, contrary to the traditional buyers of Interim Management Solutions (heavy industry has reduced its demand, which led to a reduction of the market of about 25% between 2020 and 2021 after years of continuous growth), the food industry has kept on buying Interim Management Solutions. And the demand within the Food Industry increases still. Covid has shown that our customers, the clients in the Food Market, are part of the “critical infrastructure”. We all have to be fed and we have to buy food. You may wait to buy yourself a new Volkswagen. But you will not wait to buy yourself some bread and cheese.

The average Interim project duration in Europe is a slightly above 11 months, but it may vary from 3-4 months (mostly in UK, France and Poland, often for replacing a missing Manager before the arrival of the next one for the long term), and up to 24 months (especially in Italy, and in part-time) in case of heavy transformation.   

In our opinion, Interim Management perspectives and challenges for the Executive Interim Manager (and consequently, the market as well) in 2022 and beyond are as follows:  

-         Entry of new Interim Managers, therefore maybe a risk of oversupply and therefore maybe pressure on pricing as new actors are also entering the market

-         Evolution and most of all durable acceptance of remote / home workplace on our client´s side. This has been a totally new way of practicing Interim Management (especially in Marketing and Finance). Most likely this way of working on projects will decrease, once Covid is done with, but it will not disappear!

Overall, we are absolutely positive that the market for Interim Management solutions will keep growing. Slowly but surely, in 2022 and beyond. Since these solutions are quick, flexible, sustainable and reliable for the clients.

Apart from the advantages listed above, the structural reasons that lead to a growing market may vary a little from one country to another.

For instance, in France, it is hard to find a new standard employment contract past 55 years old, whether we have been obliged to leave your company, or you decided to quit it after years of politics you are sick of. In Germany, demographics are not in favor of the employment market, and with an unemployment rate of 5%, companies have difficulties to hire the experts and leaders they need. This trend will go on.