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An Economic Slowdown: An opportunity

All around there is talk of the economic slowdown. In the Interim

Management industry, this means planning for increased demand and
working with forward thinking business leaders who proactively utilise interim
resource to deliver short and medium term results.
It’s difficult to not read or hear about the credit squeeze and the latest effects of the recession – we are faced
with it on a daily basis. And if we believe the economy is cyclical, then this recession is overdue and likely to
be deep. Most companies have entered 2009 with considerably more apprehension than for a number of
years and some are already responding by reigning in expenditure and cutting costs.

Within the recruitment industry, recession means being a supplier in an ever-tightening marketplace as
companies seek to freeze human capital expenditure at best or make large cuts to staffing levels at worst.

But one thing has changed significantly since the last recession, and that is the growth of interim executive
management. With an industry growth rate of over 15% a year and a significantly larger number of CEOs,
CFOs and HR Directors now recognising the flexibility and genuine value-add of using Interim Executives,
there is every likelihood that, this time around, the call on these resources will reach an all-time high.

During a recession there are many compelling reasons for senior managers to turn to an experienced interim

The most compelling benefit of using interim executives is the rapid (within days) access to quality
executives proven in the management of transition and business change and experienced in working in a
wide range of sectors and cultures on an intensive project basis. Interims are used to working independently
to deliver results but also know part of their role is coaching and mentoring those around them to be able to
take over once the Interim has left. This pragmatic use of highly skilled resource makes for a robust
business case. Interims can be expensive but for any organisation which has become used to having
management consultants around, a cost saving can be shown as an interim executive will be likely to cost
about one third of an individual consultant. The comparable level of business experience you gain from an
interim executive, ‘pound for pound’, is usually a clear benefit.

Working with interims requires something of a sea-change in planning but those who plan early will be well
rewarded as the pool of high quality, career committed resource is far smaller than many would admit and
demand is likely to exceed supply.

BIE is certainly preparing for an upturn in demand for interim executives over the next 12 months. As the
long-established market leader at senior level, BIE has interviewed over 30,000 potential interims. Every
month, more than 250 aspiring new interims are assessed for the level and type of assignments that BIE
fulfill. With more Interims on assignment at senior level than any other provider, BIE knows who is becoming
available and when and can therefore work ahead to match both parties' needs, to mutual benefit. Having
the largest number of seasoned, (including Board-level) interims on their books, BIE is confident that the
supply will be there for their clients.

So for 2009, this could be an ideal time for organisations to consider introducing interims as part of their
overall resourcing strategy.

February 2009