Interim management contractors should make themselves “easy to find”, according to the Institute of Interim Management’s (IIM) Interim service providers’ survey and guide 2013. It provides valuable insights into how interims can increase their chances of winning new work and a directory of the top eighty interim agencies.
“A key route to market for professional interim managers and executives is the interim service provider (ISP),” explains IIM co-chairman Ad van der Rest. “This guide shares how interim managers and executives may best work with interim service providers to get the best out of that relationship for both parties.”
Although 72% of interims use specialist interim recruiters to find some of their contracts, the survey shows that only 44% of all assignments come through agencies. The remainder are sourced direct with clients by contractors themselves.
“Most assignments are not advertised”, notes the guide, advising that “being easy to find has become more important than being good at applying to vacancies”. “If you are not on an appropriate provider’s database, you cannot be selected from it. Most assignments are sourced by being found rather than finding such an assignment,” it adds.
Interim management contractors are more than four times as likely to “be found for an assignment than to find one by searching”. As a result, IIM recommends that interims either publish their own website, which 35% have chosen to do, and/or have a high quality LinkedIn profile. This includes growing LinkedIn contact networks to greater than 500 quality connections and including clear contact details.
The latter point is particularly important, as the guide warns that if an interim recruiter “cannot easily contact you, they may instead contact the person who is easily contactable”.
When seeking a new assignment, interim management contractors are advised to target interim agencies carefully, and only work with a small number of service providers. Ideally, contractors should try to strike up a relationship with specific consultants, as 73% of agency contracts are won via recruiters that the interim already knows.
The guide also highlights the contrast between contract search for interim management contractors and other contracting sectors. In IT contracting, for example, market data shows that agencies account for over 80% of all IT contracts advertised in the UK, nearly double the figure for the interim market.