Public sector to face significant upheaval if plans to reform IR35 test go ahead

Featured

HMRC’s current consultation on ‘Off payroll working in the public sector’ is causing consternation amongst recruiters and employment intermediaries, their clients, as well as contractors and interims.

In a consultation that closes next week (18th August), HMRC suggest that the liability for deciding if IR35 applies or not to those contractors and interim managers working via Personal Service Companies (PSCs) in the public sector, should shift from the contractor to the hiring business – whether that is a recruiter, employment intermediary or client. If a contractor is found to be “inside IR35” the hiring business would also be required to deduct Income Tax and National Insurance before paying the balance to the PSC.

In a recent survey of public sector clients by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), we found that the majority of employers felt they did not need this change, as in their view they are already clear on how to assess IR35. 65 per cent of clients responding to the survey said they are very confident (18 per cent) or somewhat confident (47 per cent) in assessing if an interim manager or contractor is in or out of scope for IR35. A further 22 per cent said that they did not need to know if IR35 applies as under the current rules, this is the responsibility of the contractor / interim.

How confident are you with assessing if an interim manager / contractor is in or out of scope for IR35?

Of course, if HMRC’s consultation proposal goes ahead the contractor will no longer bear liability for their tax status. We believe this would be deeply flawed as it is only the contractor or interim manager who will know the specifics of their tax arrangements and their current work assignment.

But most worryingly of all the changes look like they could damage the public sector’s ability to attract the highly skilled interims and contractors they so desperately need to keep delivering public services. When we asked public sector employers in the same survey what they think will happen if government brings in this proposed crackdown on people working via their own PSCs in the public sector:

  • 43 per cent thought that fewer interim managers and contractors will want to work for them;
  • 26 per cent felt that they will have to decrease their use of contractors and interims;
  • Only 10 per cent thought this would make no difference to their work

What do you think will happen if government crackdown on interims / contractors working via a Personal Service Company, bringing more into scope of IR35?

At a time when the public sector is struggling to recruit people because of a growing shortage of people with the right skills, this is also troubling.

HMRC say the change is needed because currently, they think that too few people operating via a PSC pay the right level of tax; with non-compliance costing the Exchequer £440 million this tax year by their estimate. But a recent report by HMRC’s own research team into changes around the intermediaries legislation found that:

“Many used temporary staff and considered them to be central to the success of their business – primarily in terms of the flexibility and skills they provided… Businesses saw the changes as being potentially costly, burdensome and constraining. This concern was shared even by those who rarely used PSCs.”

There is no doubt that HMRC should be enforcing the rules better. But in light of the REC’s survey findings and the wealth of supporting evidence out there, we believe that government should conduct a wholesale review of IR35 and at the very least, delay the implementation of this proposal rather than rushing it in for April 2017.

It is HMRC’s plan to develop a new online tool to help all stakeholders assess IR35 status – and this really could help if the tool was nuanced enough that it could come to an intelligent result. But paper versions of the tool seen by the REC so far have alerted us to the fact the tool is not ready and a planned testing phase for ‘Autumn’ will not give stakeholders confidence that it will have been adequately piloted in time for rollout by April 2017. It is also not clear who will complete the tool – whether the end user client, the employment intermediary or the contractor, or if it will be mandatory to complete the test. In our view, it is the contractor- with the public sector client – who are best placed to provide the information HMRC requires.

The consultation closes on 18th August. REC will be submitting its response on behalf of the industry and encourages all members to submit their own response and to engage with clients and contractors to make sure they get their chance to have a say ahead of the consultation deadline.

REC members are invited to give their feedback on the consultation and next steps by contacting kate.shoesmith@rec.uk.com or lewina.farrell@rec.uk.com.

Next IMA Interim Induction Workshop – 12th July

Featured

The next IMA Interim Induction Workshop is on Tuesday 12 July 2016 at Etc Venue, Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8HN 9.30 – 17.30 and there are still spaces available for suitable interim candidates.

Since 2011 over 1,000 interim managers have attended the training day and many of our delegates have gone on to run successful businesses in the world of interim. The workshop is most suitable for those who are considering or committed to entering the interim market.

Find out more here http://interim-hub.com/workshops/2013/03/14/ima-interim-induction-workshop/#.V1mK0OQ6xBE

Executive Grapevine’s Guide to Interim Management

Featured

EG’s latest guide on interim management has just been published (March 2016).

This edition provides insight and top tips from some of the leading interim providers on how to leave a lasting legacy as an interim manager, key stats on the interim market, and why working as an interim is now a lifestyle choice.

Download your copy here: http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?pbid=3a3033ea-e413-4c75-8b38-ec26b85ca0f5

Economic trends, business leadership challenges and the role of the interim market

Featured

By Simon Drake

The first thing that Neil Morrison, HRD at Penguin Random House, shared with us at last week’s IMA meeting was reassuring. In his experience, interim providers are often good quality. Perhaps it is the nature of the assignment – it’s in the interest of the provider to maintain their interaction with both the candidate and the client for the duration of assignment.

Neil was with us at the IMA on 16th March to lead a discussion on how interims can support businesses in their leadership challenges. A group of leading providers joined us for the discussion and from the conversation at the meeting, it seems the challenges show no sign of abating! Employers are notoriously risk-averse. Who wouldn’t be after the longest and deepest recession for a generation? And despite latest data showing employer confidence is growing[1], everything from the EU referendum to the downturn in the Chinese stock market can slow hiring intentions.

We discussed how some clients have brought much of the recruitment processes in-house – which many HR professionals see as good news because it means the business is far more hands-on in finding the right talent. But there can still be that basic lack of understanding of a “true” interim.  Too many clients seem to think that the same senior executive can be brought in to lead a change in an organisation and then that same individual will want to stay on.  This just isn’t the case. Delegates at the meeting agreed that not only does a true interim relish the change management work they do, they also wouldn’t be the right fit for a permanent position – the roles and skill sets required are quite different. Interims will frequently tell their provider that the client is trying to hang onto them for too long.

Differentiating between a distressed purchase by the client and bringing someone in to create “value added” can be a real test for the provider but we agreed getting this right is essential. Knowing the reason why the assignment has been created – which can often expose real differences of opinion within the client organisation!– is the key to getting the right interim for the right job.  Neil suggested that a client has a duty to be open about its culture and the interim’s EQ needs to be tested and visible if the provider is to get the fit right.

Furthermore, we believe the need for interims is not going to decline any time soon. Technological change, innovation, M&As, globalisation and public sector procurement developments are continuing apace. Interims have a vital role to play to help businesses navigate and succeed in light of all these changes.

So it seems we still have some work to do on educating the client about the role of an interim. Rather than see this as the client’s problem, if we are going to grow and flourish as a sector, we need to own this problem and ensure that interim providers are the primary source of information, advice and guidance for clients.  This year, the IMA will be conducting some research into client views. This work will be led by Kate Shoesmith at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and guided by Richard Clifford on the IMA executive committee.  Watch this space to find out more and get involved.

4 Things Recruiters Need to Know About the Freelance Economy

Featured

This post was originally featured on the REC blog on 17th February 2016, written by Mervyn Dinnen

The use of interims and freelancers is rising. Hiring managers, HR teams and recruiters are increasingly supplementing and enhancing the skills and expertise of their workforce by engaging independent contractors on either a project basis, or in a longer term arrangement. Recent US research showed almost 60% of businesses using flexible workers for more than six months at a time.

We have got used to a number of different definitions covering non-permanent employees. In the recruitment industry we have been supplying temporary and interim workers for many years, but now a large number of clients are also looking to use a range of freelancers. Traditional temps tend to be hired to cover a role for a period of time whereas freelancers will usually supplement the existing skills to execute a particular project, and will quite often have their own networks to leverage for work opportunities.

Freelancers and independent contractors are part of the growing trend referred to as the ‘gig economy’. This usually denotes individuals who offer their time and skills (either to create a supplementary income stream or to fit in around other projects) and are usually engaged through an app, or a platform. The commitment to the entity, or individual, engaging them is purely task focused. The most common examples offered are usually apps like Uber, which offer individual peer-to-peer services, but there are a growing number of platforms aimed at the corporate market, matching hourly workers with businesses that need short-term support. There are also platforms that now enable the hiring company to directly manage the administration of its entire non-permanent workforce.

The business need for freelance, temporary and interim help is clear. Flexible staffing solutions can offer more effective cost management, particularly on an individual project basis, whilst skills and resourcing gaps can be covered quickly. As the commercial landscape evolves, necessary capabilities and knowledge may not be available in the business, but are likely to be needed urgently to help respond to shifting trading conditions and client demands.

Freelance workers can help with business growth, offering a cost effective and experienced staffing solution to help scale a new area or service offering, before wider investment is made. Sector specialists with a broad range of working experiences, who are not part of a specific organisational structure, may also be able to offer insight and broader commercial advice, whilst supporting technical and strategic decision-making.

Many recruiters, both agency and in-house, will begin to find themselves interacting more with the freelance economy. There are certain basic considerations to be taken into account, such as who is responsible for acquiring them – HR, hiring manager or procurement – and how they will be on-boarded and assimilated into the business.

It is also important to understand the some differences between freelancers and traditional temps. The former tend to be engaged and managed on a project basis with terms and deliverables agreed in advance. Temps will usually be engaged through, and managed by, an intermediary and will be covering a role or helping to fulfil delivery requirements.

Here are 4 things that recruiters should know:

Freelancers are relationship driven
Whilst much of the narrative around freelance working tends to focus on millennials, recent US research indicated that the main demographic likely to be an independent contractor are the age range 35-55 – mid career, more experienced and usually able to offer a broader perspective. These workers tend not to operate in isolation; they will have personal and professional networks that extend through college, previous employments and projects. They will usually support each other, helping out with referrals, and possibly introductions. Word of mouth is a big driver; so if you intend to establish your business as a user of the freelance economy then treat them well as poor reputations spread quickly.

Project scope and accountability
The freelancers you hire will be professional, loyal to their skills and protective of their own reputations, as many of the new technologies allow the engaging business to rate their independent worker. To get the best out of your freelance support you will need to ensure they are properly briefed, with their remit fully scoped out. They will need to know deliverables and timescales, their own accountabilities, and the internal networks that they will operate within.

Market is competitive
Good independent workers are, unsurprisingly, much in demand. It would be a costly mistake for an engaging business to assume that their freelancer will be ‘grateful’ for the work and have few other options. Many will be juggling assignments and requests – after all they are responsible for their own cash flow, skill enhancement and knowledge – so attempts to stall negotiations, or ‘lowball’ on offers are unlikely to stimulate their interest. Without two way commitment your organisation is unlikely to get the full benefit of productive independent contractors so its best to know in advance who is responsible for engaging them, making sure that they are fully aware of market trends and rates. A recent article in Fast Company suggested that the role of ‘Chief Freelance Relationship Officer’ will soon become a reality for many companies, so it’s worthwhile to start adopting that mind-set now.

Employer brand
Most companies are protective of their employer brands, ensuring they are seen as great places to work, with an attractive culture, aspirational vision and values, and offering opportunities for personal and professional development. It would be a mistake to assume that employer brand is only about permanent employees though. Some labour market forecasters estimate that up to 50% of the workforce could be freelance, or non-permanent, within the next 5 to 10 years, whilst growing numbers of entries on company review sites come from people who have been contractors. The way that freelancers are engaged, briefed, supported and paid will begin to impact the overall way you are perceived as a place to work.

Independent contractors may not work in traditional offices, nor be subject to a company’s structures and talent management processes, but its wrong to assume that they are totally separate from the permanent workforce. They are very much a part of the staffing ecosystem, hence recruiters and HR professionals need to understand how to engage and get the best from them, whilst preserving their reputation. Contractors may be able to provide services in the future, refer other contractors or employees to the organisation, and are just as much a potential advocate for the business as any permanent employee.

John O’Sullivan – how I became a successful entrepreneur

Featured

This blog was originally posted on 18th December for the REC blog by John O’Sullivan, Chairman of the Elite Leaders Network.

I purchased the Elite business in 2008 after being invited to speak at one of their forums. I was so impressed, I bought the company. It’s very easy to become non-current if you haven’t run a company in a while, but I liked that Elite gives you the opportunity to get quality, as well as face time to discuss real issues on the ground with recruitment company owners every month, so that’s why I knew I wanted to be involved.

The peer-to-peer aspect of what Elite does is quite different and unique. We’re seeing peer-to-peer learning more in our industry than we did 10 – 15 years ago. People were very secretive before then and they wouldn’t have shared best practice or ideas with other recruitment leaders. There’s now a realisation that there’s more to be gained by sharing these things with like-minded companies. It’s powerful to learn from others and their mistakes.

On the other side of the coin, I’m a non-executive director and strategic advisor. Generally, when you reach a certain point as a business owner in recruitment, you realise there’s a lot of things you don’t know. You can suddenly realise you may be a great recruiter, but you don’t know how to run a company, which is when you need to start looking for external advice and guidance.

It’s useful to find someone who knows the industry well and has done the things you aspire to do. Look to find someone who can help you bring growth, but more specifically, their contacts. Network, do your research, find people who have done what you want to do. Chemistry is so important. You’ll be with this person for a few years and possibly longer. It’s also useful to talk to people who know when it’s appropriate to hand on to someone else. No one person has all the answers you need.

When you join Elite you’ve got a network of people who can engage with you at the appropriate time, in the appropriate way.

I have three pieces of advice to becoming a successful recruitment entrepreneur:

  1. Find your own talent to work for you. Be brutal about it, go out and hunt down the best. Make sure they come and work for you. If you do that, you’re already half-way there.
  2. Spend a lot of time and effort developing proper client relationships. Be open, and work in a partnership, where you can innovate and put new and better solutions together.
  3. Make sure you’ve got ways of harnessing talent embedded within your business. Make sure you identify and network with talent pools you want to provide to your customers. It’s not just calling them when you’ve got a job or tapping them for information. Genuinely become a part of the communities of people you want to place.

If you’re brilliant and passionate, don’t get bogged down in accounting and spreadsheets, get someone else who can take care of that, while you can focus on those three things. If you can do that, you’re almost there.

For more information about Elite LeadersElite Future Leaders or the Elite Business Health-Check, contact the REC today on 020 7009 2100.

#AutumnStatement 2015: What’s in it for recruiters?

Featured

This post was originally written for the REC blog in November 2015 by Femi Ogunbiyi, Policy Advisor at the REC.

Yesterday the Chancellor took to the dispatch box to deliver his second major economic statement of the new parliament to a packed House of Commons. This time the speech combined the annual Autumn Statement with the Comprehensive Spending Review on departmental spending. Since the speech was made we’ve been pouring through the small print of the full document. Here’s an overview of specific areas of interest for our industry.

Taxation

Considering the speculation about tax avoidance preceding the statement, the Chancellor’s speech was notable by the absence of any mention of IR35. Instead the Chancellor explained that the £800m of efficiency savings made by HMRC will be reinvested into tackling tax avoidance and evasion. As things stand we know that HMRC are reviewing responses to their discussion document on IR35 and we will continue to raise member concerns at the next IR35 forum with HMRC. There was confirmation that reforms to travel and subsistence relief for workers engaged through employment intermediary will come into effect on 6 April next year. Draft legislation is expected in December and we will update members in due course. We’ll also be using forthcoming member meetings like our next Employment Policy Committee and the REC Technology meeting on December 3rd to take stock.

Apprenticeship Levy

The main talking point was the scale and the scope of the Apprenticeship Levy and how this would apply to businesses. The levy will come into effect in April 2017 at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s payroll. Employers will be given a £15,000 allowance meaning that those with a payroll cost of less than £3million will be exempt from the levy entirely. The government also will establish a new employer-led body to set apprenticeship standards and ensure quality. We welcome support for high-quality apprenticeships but in applying the levy we urge the government to work with the recruitment industry take into account the complexity of the recruitment supply chain.

NHS

The Chancellor announced that the NHS will receive an annual increase of £10bn by 2020 while grants for health students will also be replaced by loans, and the cap on the number of nurses and midwives that can go into training each year will be removed. We have long been calling for the government to address the underlying workforce planning issues that exist in the NHS rather than scapegoating agencies. We will continue to urge the government to work in partnership with our industry and harness the crucial role that our members and the staff they supply play in ensuring patient safety. The statement mentioned also that steps are being taken to reduce agency and contractor expenditure by at least 20% by 2019‑20 in order to save around £1 billion. We are aware that the National Audit Office is in the process of reviewing departmental agency and contract spending and we will monitor this to see what the outcome is.

Devolution, Childcare and Skills

There were some other interesting titbits in the statement, including the announcement of new devolution deals for city regions, increased financial support to help disabled people get into and remain in work, while the extension of free childcare will apply to those working at 16 hours a week. We also learnt that tuition fee loans will be extended to provide a route for learners to develop high-level skills. Although this extension is positive in terms of the pursuing parity between academic and vocational qualifications, we would like to have seen more measures to tackle specific areas of skill shortages. This is especially urgent in sectors like haulage, construction and engineering where the lack of skilled staff could jeopardise the government’s ambitious infrastructure plans.

Overall, there were certainly some positive aspects for recruiters in this Autumn Statement but there are still a lack of clarity over the government’s tax policy. We’ll continue to keep an eye on all of the areas mentioned above so watch this space for further updates.

Ten things I learned talking talent and recruitment at TREC2015

This post was originally featured on the REC blog, written by Andy Headworth, of Sirona Consulting.

Whenever you go to recruitment conferences – especially in the ‘mature’ UK talent market, there is an element of trepidation about what you are going to hear. Will it be relevant, interesting and (importantly) will it be an event you get enough value out of to want to pay to go again? Last week it was the turn of TREC2015 (Talent, Recruitment & Employment Conference 2015) in London to test these questions.

TREC
It started out well with a format that seemed conducive to discussion and learning – they flipped the normal conference (presentations, powerpoints and prezzies) on its head with panel discussions and round table discussions, with each being facilitated by talent and recruitment leaders. This was topped and tailed with an opening and closing keynote. From my perspective this looked promising from the start – but would it deliver?
The MC for the day, Neil Morrison gave us a quick kick in the shins to get us started: “Retaining talent is just as hard as talent acquisition. Companies are kidding themselves in the UK – they don’t do recruitment well!” Not only did he hold his guilty hand up but also I think there were many nodding in agreement with Neil in the audience. So we were off and running!

The day was full of great content and discussion – here are ten things that I learned while talking talent and recruitment at TREC2015:

People that have left your organisation provide the most honest feedback about your company and your employer brand, so try your best to speak to them

Colm Coffey (UK People Director @ KPMG) said that as part of a company-wide restructure, they sought the opinions of ex-employees – and those that had left between 6-9 months ago were the most honest with their feedback. Hardly surprising (they had nothing to lose), but brave of KPMG to seek them out and ask!

They found that there was a gap between the aspirations of their employees verses the actual experiences of people working at KPMG. Too many of KPMG’s employer branding initiatives had turned into ambitious marketing campaigns rather than getting their employees to explain what it was really like to work there. [Tip: Workforce aspirations are great but you need to be realistic in setting them.]

Julie Welch (HRD @ Wincanton) added to this by stressing that when collecting the data, collect and use it all – including the ‘bad’ feedback. You need to use all the available data because developing your employer brand is not just a project – it is on-going, and needs to be aligned to your company’s business objectives and values.

The ATS conversation will just not go away

One of the round tables I sat on was focused on innovative recruitment technologies. However, the conversation immediately funnelled back to ATS (applicant tracking systems) platforms and their inability to solve the needs of their clients. And we are not talking about advanced features here, but basics like workflow, filtering, clunky process, poor candidate experience etc. The one thing everyone did agree with (that is still not provided by many of the main ATS providers) is that a good mobile experience for applicants is vital. Wilson Cochrane (CEO @ BigScreen) rightly covered off the need to a return to focusing on personalisation and relationship building with applicants, but there was little evidence of this happening in our discussion.

Building a flexible workforce is not as easy as it sounds

Unconscious bias from line managers and senior managers is having a detrimental effect on companies trying to implement flexible working practices. Inferred perception verses the actual reality is causing issues around recruiting and retention. Johnny Campbell (CEO @ Social Talent) explained further; a line manager that has employees sitting in front of them in their offices can see and monitor what they are doing. The same line manager cannot ‘see’ what their remote workers are doing or how hard they are working. They then develop unconscious bias to the people they can see instead of the ones they can’t. Instead of measuring their outputs, as they should, they remained focused on their inputs.

Line managers are critical to your success

This message was a consistent theme throughout the day. The quality of your line managers affects the quality of your recruitment, your retention levels and the continued success of your employer brand.

Mel Hayes (Head of OD and Resourcing @ Compass) went a stage further and said HR’s biggest challenge IS the hiring managers themselves. I think the best way of demonstrating this is to reverse this around a little. How many great hiring managers have you worked with in your career? You know, the ones that interview well, sell your company to candidates in the right way, provide feedback, support you in your challenges, are responsive to new ideas etc. There you go, you have just answered the question yourself – not many!

The message was clear and Peter Cheese (CEO @ CIPD) summed it up so well – “the line manager is important – in fact they are critical to your success. You need to train them, develop them and change their behaviours. Empower them and trust them.”

Talent pipelining and talent pooling is more talk than action.

I am not sure this will surprise many of you, but it was very clear both from listening to the panel discuss it and talking to many of the attendees, talent pipelining and pooling are like the Bermuda Triangle – everyone talks about them but in practice they don’t really exist!

Everyone acknowledged that it is a hard thing for companies to do – keeping talent warm for the moment when the business wants to hire them. Mark Braund (CEO @ Interquest Group) has now built a team of eight people whose sole role is to engage potential talent using interesting and relevant content, and keep them ‘warm’ for when they are needed. This is working very well for his company.

Measure outputs not inputs to really gauge employee success

I am an advocate for this, and it plays right into the whole flexible workforce conversation. Does it really matter what hours employees work, where they work or what they wear while they are doing it, if they deliver the required outputs of their job? Charlotte Sweeney rightly highlighted that talent is becoming more diverse, and the way people worked in the past is no real indicator to how they will do so in the future. As Peter Cheese said (about line managers), “train them, develop them and change their behaviours” and “get them to focus on employee outcomes not their inputs.”

Giving candidate feedback is important in improving candidate experience

Only 3 per cent of employers think that giving feedback is the most important improvement they could make. This came from the new research on candidate experience published by the REC. Speakers agreed that they don’t respond to every candidate rejected in their recruitment processes. That is, aside from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where Donna Miller their HR Director, claimed that they personally respond to over 30,000 declined candidates every year BY PHONE!

46 per cent of recruiters spend most of their time sourcing on LinkedIn

This was a stat revealed by Johnny Campbell from his upcoming research report based on 3,000 recruiters. Worryingly it was 7x more than another recruiting sourcing channel!

Come on recruiters, I have told you before not all the target talent you need is on LinkedIn!

HR needs to burn their policies!

Peter Cheese finished the conference with a short and powerful message to the HR community – you need to change! Stop living with and accepting all the policies you have created and burn them! Remove them from the business – there are far too many of them and they are too regimental and restrictive. There are three changes that Peter talked through:

  • Understand the contextual trends better within your company (and industry). Focus on building a diverse and flexible workforce for the future.
  • Move to strategic talent sourcing and get a seat at the C-table.
  • Sort your metrics out – you need to get better at measuring your value in the enterprise. Provide stats around the metrics the business want to see, not the ones HR want to give.

The best quote I have heard from a long time

HR brings too much PowerPoint and not enough Excel to the table
The quote was from Peter Cheese at the end of the day, and it made everyone laugh (nervously!): “HR brings too much PowerPoint and not enough Excel to the table.”

So I will now answer my own question at the beginning of the post: did I get enough value out of attending TREC2015 to want to pay to go again next year?

Absolutely – it was excellent and it should be on your agenda for next year.

About the author:

Andy Headworth is the author of the No.1 Best Seller on Amazon – Social Media Recruitment. – How to integrate social media into recruitment strategy. He is the founder of Sirona Consulting, a specialist company that works with companies to help them improve their recruitment strategies, recruitment processes, candidate attraction, employer branding and recruitment content marketing strategy. He has been voted UK Recruitment Blog Of the Year (http://sironaconsulting.com/blog) for the last two years, by UK Recruiter and was named by The Huffington Post in ‘Top 100 Most Social HR Leaders on Twitter’ and ’50 Most Popular Recruiting Influencers on Twitter’ by ERE.

Demand for interim managers increases highlights IMA Ipsos MORI survey

Featured

•        Ipsos MORI survey highlights an increase in enquiries for IMA members

•        A higher number of new assignments compared to 2013

•        Private sector takes back its control of interim management assignments

Enquiries for interim management are increasing, finds the latest polling data from the IMA, the body that represents the interim management provider industry (1). In its latest Ipsos MORI survey (2), the IMA highlights increased demand towards the end of 2014 – with the average number of enquiries per member up by almost a quarter (23 per cent) for Q4, compared to the same period in 2013.

The number of new assignments also saw an increase – up by 5 per cent compared to the same period in 2013 (3).

The average length of billable days was up by 12 per cent from 152 in the third quarter of 2014, to 172 in the last quarter. And, when averaging the last two years, billable days increased to 171 by end of 2014, compared to just 149 for 2013.

Accounting for 67 per cent of all completed assignments during the last quarter of 2014, the private sector is up from 51 per cent in Q3, 2014. 2014 saw the highest number of private sector assignments completed, averaging 69 per cent for the entire year. The number of new assignments started remained stable quarter on quarter, with the last quarter (Q4) seeing the highest number of assignments started.

And, in keeping with the normal trends, the finance industry dominated with 39 per cent of all private sector assignments in the last quarter of the year. However, this has decreased from 46 per cent in the third quarter.

The pharmaceutical and biotech industries was 11 per cent in the last quarter, compared to 7 per cent for Q3, 2014.

Simon Drake, IMA chairman, said: “These are positive trends for the interim management sector, and evidence of the industry seeing increased demand from clients.

“Equally, we are seeing more and more assignments coming in from the private sector, which saw the highest number since the survey started in 2006 – with a clear emphasis on the work of interim managers across the financial services industry. This sector has and always will be the biggest user of interims.”

Dafydd Wright, director Interims at RSA Group, added: “The life sciences industry has been witnessing a resurgence of interim management activity. M&As continue to drive an appetite for interim change and transformation expertise, and growth in commercialisation of speciality pharma and rare disease products is creating a pull for interim senior leadership talent to drive these treatments to market.”

 

(1) The IMA is a specialist sector group of the REC

(2) IMA membership audit  Q4, 2014 (October-December). Ipsos MORI interviewed 18 IMA members during January – Mid February 2015 using an online methodology.

(3) 356 Q4, 2014 vs. 339 Q4,2013

 

-Ends-