Interim Finance Leaders: Rising demand is creating a seller’s market

Over the first quarter of this year, we have seen a significant increase in demand for Interim Professionals. Across the Finance Practice we have seen a 51% increase in demand driven by clients failing to attract a permanent hire, meaning many have had no choice but to opt for an Interim. The market has changed dramatically with demand outstripping supply for highly commercially minded finance leaders. Technical competency, an ability to drive and define the commercial agenda, and the experience to assess and refine a business plan are all sought after by CEO’s.

Due to the buoyancy of the market, many Interim CFOs and Finance Directors are turning down interim projects due to the fact that the opportunities are not enticing enough. Many clients are trying to drive greater commercial insight into their leadership team and are opting to recruit out of their industry sector to ensure cognitive diversity.

We have experienced significant demand from our clients across the Retail and Manufacturing sector, who are facing ever-increasing competitiveness on an international scale. This is forcing the boardroom to radically review business operations and often redefine their target operating model.

For many clients, the role of the CFO and Finance Director has dramatically changed, with many clients wanting evidence of where individuals have delivered significant financial returns through commercial insight. Core skills of influencing at board level and demonstrating the delivery of change and transformation projects, often around ERP systems, is now a regular occurrence, thus driving greater commercial insight through better visibility and assessment.

The majority of our clients across both FTSE and AIM listed organisations require a more commercially orientated finance leadership team, achieving a greater degree of diversity of thought around the boardroom table. With that in mind, clients are being more open-minded on sector-specific expertise, opting for individuals with strong leadership and people development skills, as well as the ability to manage an international workforce.

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