Recently, some industry commentators have been pointing to a possible recovery of the recruitment market, with figures from KPMG showing a slowdown in the decrease of permanent positions and an increase in temporary positions too. From an interim market perspective, the line between permanent and interim seems to be becoming increasingly blurred.

We are seeing an increasing number of permanent employees trying to penetrate the interim management profession – but this is not as straight forward as many think. Companies that are seeking transformation or improvement professionals require experienced interim managers who are committed to delivering defined outcomes. Businesses are therefore less likely to take a risk on permanent candidates, especially with their more inflexible terms and the prospect of a longer period of liability.

Conversely, because of this need for expertise and skills in an ever-challenging climate, the demand for interims to convert to permanent roles is also becoming more apparent. This “try before you buy” model provides clients with an opportunity to ‘test drive’ candidates before taking them on full time. It also provides candidates with a taste of the organisation, before committing fully.

While many seasoned interims find the lifestyle and new challenges of fresh assignments a key attractor of interim management, this interim to perm model offers longer term security – something that many of the newer interim entrants desire in a still-unpredictable economic environment. Those interims with a successful track record do not have this concern as they are constantly in demand and largely unaffected by the tumultuous marketplace.

What is clear from these developments is that whether you are a business or candidate in this market, it is important to keep an open mind and not become distracted by professional status. The main objective of the business is to find the individual who will deliver the solution needed for the organisation, and from a candidate perspective, it is key to demonstrate that you are that solution – irrespective of whether you are interim or permanent.

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