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How bad is the market?
At Interregna we are often asked “how bad is the market?” The answer is “not as bad as you might think.” Yes, times are much tougher than they were, say, five years ago but we’ve known for a long time that the interim market has become much more specialised. Clients, quite understandably, are now being very specific in their requirements. Gone are the days of the call for an operations manager without specifying the industry sector and speciality, the type of plant and equipment in use, the customer base, the culture and ethics of the business, and the particular reason for needing an interim – which is probably not to just fill a gap!
In the current market, we expect our clients to be choosey and to take their time in making the right decision, checking out a range of internal options as well as looking at different external solutions that may include consultancy, interim or permanent recruitment. We are not surprised if the client requests a more flexible solution, which may include part-time arrangements.
Recently, we have found clients wanting to improve service levels to customers as well as looking at ways of becoming more efficient. A good interim can be part of that exercise, giving an objective assessment of current processes and people, and then supporting the development and implementation of the optimum solution. This may lead to modifying the original “spec” for the role, as there is a realisation that a more experienced individual may actually be more appropriate – at least in the first instance to get things moving forward.
Are interims responding to client demands? Yes! Good interims know that the marketplace is continually changing and that they must be able to offer all the experience they have gained in different business environments. They know that they need to think imaginatively but to implement their plans with sensitivity. Increasingly, a coaching style is more likely to get the best outcome, whilst still ensuring that deadlines are met.
We encourage our clients to talk to us as soon as they perceive a potential problem. We can then look at all the possible solutions with them and provide support immediately or at a later date.