Interim managers in demand for 2016

85% of Australian CFOs plan to work with an experienced interim manager in 2016. Read the full press release today.

The development of the ‘peripheral workforce’, which includes the incorporation of more interim managers in the workplace, is reaching maturity in Australia. In today’s market, interim managers within finance and accounting have obtained a permanent role across every stage of the business hierarchy right through to senior management and executive personnel. According to independent research from specialist recruiter Robert Half, 85% of CFOs and finance directors say they will work with an experienced interim manager in 2016.

David Jones, Senior Managing Director Robert Half Asia Pacific said: “Companies – from small to large – are increasingly attracted and reliant on a flexible hiring policy, which they achieve through a combination of permanent and temporary employees with the right mix of skills.”

The demand for financial interim managers is strongest for project management (45%) and business transformation (36%). Management and leadership enhancement (27%), business continuity (23%) and change management (16%) are other initiatives that will prompt finance leaders to employ interim managers in 2016.

“Interim professionals can be used for various reasons. Along with meeting traditional needs like covering peak periods of the business calendar, such as reporting season, or filling the gap between one senior staff member leaving and finding a permanent replacement, interim employees are also sought after to provide specific expertise.”

“Times where interim managers were solely viewed as crisis managers are over. They have become a catalyst to drive change and profitability. Many companies are hiring a financial interim manager who, as an external expert with an objective view, can (re)evaluate the challenges and growing pains within the company, implement the required changes and provide alternate perspectives for growth and expansion,” said David Jones.

How to rate the level of success of an interim manager?

Interim managers are rated highly by finance leaders for both efficiency (81%) and cost effectiveness (82%) in achieving specific business goals.

"Companies are fast seeing the benefits of recruiting interim managers to upskill their department and gain strategic advantages on a cost reduced basis with greater flexibility. Bringing on board these expert professionals also indirectly benefits the existing employees of the businesses through offering new perspectives, mentoring and knowledge transfer,” said David Jones.

How to evaluate the success of an interim manager?

During the aftermath of the economic crisis, many organisations found themselves under increasing pressure to reduce costs and to improve the profitability of the company. As a result, more than four in ten (44%) CFOs and finance directors say that the success of interim managers is evaluated through increased efficiency or performance, more than one third (36%) refer to cost savings and a quarter (25%) identifies increased revenue as one of the key metrics.

In today’s market, interim managers are not just being evaluated on their ability to manage a specific project or implement change, but also on softer aspects like mentoring and knowledge transfer (28%) and having a successful hands-on approach (10%).

How do you evaluate the success of an interim manager in your company?

Increased efficiency/performance  44%
Cost savings 36%
Successful project/change implementation  33%
Knowledge transfer/mentorship   28%
Increased revenue  25%
Less time spent on employee onboarding 18%
Continuous involvement and successful hands-on approach 10%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 160 Australian CFOs and finance directors – multiple answers allowed.


About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in December 2015 by an independent research firm, surveying 300 Chief Financial Officers (CFO) and finance directors in Australia. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]