Interim Management Trends Report Netherlands
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Interim Management Trends Report Netherlands

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Trends and developments report about Interim Management in The Netherlands. Holland has long been regarded as the “cradle of interim management”, where it emerged in the 1970s as a more flexible ...

Trends and developments report about Interim Management in The Netherlands. Holland has long been regarded as the “cradle of interim management”, where it emerged in the 1970s as a more flexible way of engaging management professionals
Our research aimed to answer a variety of questions about interim management:

• What is the typical profile of an interim manager in terms of gender, age, background, experience, and how they source assignments?
• What business sectors are more likely to use interim managers?
• How has the global recession affected the utilization and pay rates of interim managers?
• How does the pay scale of interim managers vary by functional area; by industry; and by geographic region?
• What qualities are most important in an interim manager, both from the perspective of interim managers themselves and also from a client perspective?
• What needs drive companies to seek interim management solutions?
• What is the role of interim management in the private equity arena?
• What trends are impacting the role of women in interim management?

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Interim Management Trends Report Netherlands Interim Management Trends Report Netherlands Document Transcript

  • Interim Management Trend Update Research and Analysis on the Netherlands Market for Interim Management and Other Fast-Track Executive Resourcing Netherlands Survey Report
  • Contents 1 Introduction 2 Research Objectives and Methodology 3 Current Trends 5 Interim Manager Profile 9 Interim Management Billing Rates 10 Sourcing Interim Management Assignments 12 Drivers of Interim Management Engagement 13 Most Important Qualities in an Interim Manager 14 Interim Managers in the Private Equity Realm 16 Women in Interim Management 24 Conclusion
  • Introduction Executives Online offers a unique, fast-track approach to executive resourcing and has been a pioneer in the field of interim management practice and recruitment. With a nine-year history of matching companies and executive talent, we have been both trendsetters and keen observers of the growth in this area. By interim management we mean the strengthening of a company’s management team by the addition – on a fixed-term contract – of one or more highly experienced senior executives. The pressure on companies today to deliver results quickly and at reduced cost has only increased amidst the challenges of the global economy. Recent economic conditions have brought about headcount reductions, hiring freezes, outsourcing, and reorganisations that simply exacerbate existing pressures. Optimal resourcing is always a corporate priority, but perhaps never more so than today. In our business, we have seen the number of interim managers registered with us grow from a few thousand in the UK in 2000 to over 80,000 globally today. We observe significant differences in the recognition and adoption of interim management by country, and even by region within each country. The Netherlands has long been regarded as the “cradle of interim management”, where it emerged in the 1970s as a more flexible way of engaging management professionals. Belgium is an equally mature market for interim management, as is the UK. In Southern European territories and Asia Pacific, the concept is at an earlier stage of development that shows much promise. Variations in terminology, contract structure and local employment law make global interim management a diverse and compelling field for study. We’ve seen tremendous growth in this area of our business, and we expect that to continue as the value of interim management continues to be recognised by more companies and incorporated as part of their resourcing strategies. Reliable information about growth and trends in the field of interim management has not always been readily available. Back in 2000, Executives Online worked in conjunction with the Institute of Management Consultancy to commission a study with Sambrook Research International on the interim management market in the United Kingdom. The Sambrook Report on UK Interim Management was published in 2000. In 2004 and 2006 respectively, Executives Online published In the Interim and the first edition of The Interim Report. In 2007 we updated The Interim Report with new information. In 2009 Executives Online now publishes multiple regional and international editions of this report, drawing on a global market research exercise involving thousands of senior executives: 262 of these were in the Netherlands, 57 in Belgium, and a comparably lower number in Luxembourg. We intend to use these new reports as benchmarks against which future research can be compared. We are excited to share this new information with you, and hope that it will address questions you might have regardless of your perspective: as an interim manager yourself, as a company that has found great value in interim management, or as a prospective client company that may not realise how valuable interim management could be as part of your resourcing strategy. Edwin Glas Managing Director, Executives Online 1
  • Research Objectives and Methodology Objectives Defining Interim Management Our research aimed to answer a variety of questions about For the purposes of this report we define interim management interim management: as being: The provision of a mature, professional manager, well qualified by relevant practical experience, either to fill a • What is the typical profile of an interim manager in terms gap in permanent staffing or to deliver a specific business of gender, age, background, experience, and how they result within a limited time period. source assignments? • What business sectors are more likely to use interim managers? Survey Methodology and Timings • How has the global recession affected the utilisation and pay rates of interim managers? Our survey was conducted online in September 2009, via • What qualities are most important in an interim an online questionnaire to 262 Netherlands-based interim manager, both from the perspective of interim managers managers and the clients who employ them. themselves and also from a client perspective? • What needs drive companies to seek interim management solutions? • What is the role of interim management in the private equity arena? • What trends are impacting the role of women in interim management? The global economic recession that began over a year prior does seem to be impacting utilisation rates among interim managers. 2
  • Current Trends Employment Status Current Status At the time of our survey, just over a fifth of respondents were working in full-time assignments and another 9% were working full-time via a combination of part-time 9% assignments. Another quarter was engaged part-time. Almost half were not on assignment. 25% The Netherlands figures mirror the utilisation rates we are 45% currently seeing elsewhere in our business in more mature markets for interim management. For full-time assignments, the Netherland trails other markets slightly, with Italy seeing 31% in full-time assignments, France 28% and the United 21% Kingdom 27%. On balance, the Netherlands is seeing a somewhat higher number of part-time engagements (34% in total) vs. France at 20%, and Ireland and the United Kingdom at 25% each. Forty-five percent of the Not on assignment – 45% Netherlands survey respondents were currently “not on Full-time assignment – 21% Part-time assignment – 25% assignment,” which compares favourably to Ireland at Full-time, on combination of part-time assignments – 9% 55%, France at 52%, and the United Kingdom at 48%. The global economic recession that began over a year prior does seem to be impacting utilisation rates among interim managers. Compared to their counterparts in other In terms of demand for your services, are you parts of Europe, Netherlands interim managers are feeling finding yourself: themselves relatively less busy. Almost sixty percent of survey respondents indicated that they were less busy than they’d been a year ago, compared to just 50% in Ireland and the United Kingdom, 47% in France, and 44% in Italy. A quarter said that they were “about as busy as a year 25% ago”, which was less than the comparable figure for other countries: Ireland at 36%, Italy at 35%, the United Kingdom at 32%, and France at 31%. Finally, a smaller percentage 59% of Netherlands respondents indicated that they were “more busy than a year ago”: 16% compared to 22% in France, 16% 21% in Italy, and 18% in the United Kingdom. Netherlands respondents who indicated that they were “more busy” than a year ago tended to be working in business services, government/public sector/not-for-profit, and healthcare. Less busy than a year ago – 59% More busy than a year ago – 16% About as busy as a year ago – 25% 3
  • Length of Assignment Interim management assignments can run the gamut from short-term projects to longer-term initiatives. As the survey results show, there is a spread, with nearly a quarter of projects extending longer than a year. The same pattern is observed elsewhere in Europe, with more assignments being either short (under 6 months) or long (over 12 months). Length of Last Assignment? 40 35 22% 22% 30 20% 20% Number of Responses 25 17% 20 15 10 5 0 0 – 3 months 3 – 6 months 6 – 9 months 9 – 12 months 12 months + 4
  • Interim Manager Profile Gender Age The interim management field draws a disproportionate Interim managers tend to be seasoned executives, with just under number of men, with fully 91% of our survey respondents being a quarter of respondents aged 50 or more, and an average age male. The proportion of women is quite a bit lower in the of 48. Over half of respondents fell into the 40-49 age range, Netherlands than in other countries, including the United and just 21% were under the age of 40. Netherlands interim Kingdom and Italy where 18% and 12% of interim managers managers by and large are younger than their counterparts responding to the survey were female. elsewhere in Europe. In the UK, for example, 47% of interims are aged 50-59, 31% are aged 40-49, and only 7% aged 30-39. Gender Age 20–29 1% Female 30–39 60–69 9% 20% 11% 50–59 13% 40–49 Male 91% 55% Average age: 48 yrs Years of Experience Years Experience Interim managers bring years of experience to their assignments; the average respondent had nearly six years of 8% 6% Years No. of 5% Experience Respondents experience as an interim manager, and this figure does not include additional years of 20+ 10 10% experience as an employed executive. 15–19 8 Almost half of survey respondents had 10-14 16 more than five years of experience as 30% 5-9 38 interim managers. Reflecting the growth 3-4 26 trend in the field of interim management, 24% 1-2 46 however, another third of respondents have Less than 1 12 1-2 years of experience, having broken 17% into the field relatively recently. 5
  • Days Billed Over Last Time as Interim Manager vs. Days Billed Year 200 There is a slight correlation between years of experience as 180 179 an interim manager and the 160 Days billed over past 12 months number of days billed over the 156 154 140 146 152 past year. Interim managers with 120 127 more than 15 years’ experience tended to bill more hours on 100 average. Other European 80 countries also show new interim 60 managers to be less successful 40 at keeping themselves well- utilised. 20 31 0 20+ 15–19 10–14 5–9 3–4 1–2 Less than years years years years years years 1 year Years as Interim Manager Company Size Company Size Interim managers work in companies of varying sizes; the need for interim services seems 16% 19% fairly consistent across the board. 9% 6% 20% 30% More than 5,000 employees – 16% 2,500 to 5,000 employees – 9% 250 to 2,500 employees – 30% 50 to 250 employees – 20% Fewer than 50 employees – 6% I have worked in equal measure for companies of all sizes – 19% 6
  • Opportunity by Sector Interim management opportunities do vary across sectors, with the most opportunity growth currently in the areas of healthcare, government/public sector/not-for-profit, education, business services, and consumer goods/retail. Opportunity by Sector Less opportunity now Same as before More opportunity now N/A Healthcare Govt/Public Sector/Not-for-profit Education Business Services Consumer Goods/Retail Financial Services Pharmaceutical/Sciences Manufacturing/Engineering Technology/IT/Telecom Oil/Gas/Petroleum/Chemical Automotive Transport Media/Entertainment/Advertising Property/Construction Agricultural Leisure/Travel/Hospitality 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Further reflecting the recession’s impact, almost 60% of survey respondents indicated that they were less busy than they’d been a year ago. 7
  • Current Economic Crisis Has the current economic crisis been a factor in your beginning to work as an interim manager? The current economic crisis does seem to have had influence in driving some to enter the field of interim management. For one third of survey respondents, it was a factor, with some respondents noting that “more opportunities were available through interim assignments.” Other respondents bemoaned the Yes lack of hiring, noting that it was “extremely difficult” to land 33% contracts in the current economic environment. “It was my only option after I lost my job,” wrote one respondent. No 67% For others, however, the decision to be in interim management was only “coincident” with the economic crisis; they called it a “long-term,” “well thought-out,” and “personal” choice. Respondents cited a variety of reasons for choosing interim management: “the flexibility,” “being on my own,” “gaining experience in a variety of different organisations,” and “diversity and challenge.” Desire for Permanent Employment Would you apply for a permanent job given the opportunity? Mirroring trends we see elsewhere in the world, almost one- quarter of interim managers are committed to the field of interim management and would choose to continue in that realm. The remainder said they could be interested in permanent employment if the right opportunity presented itself. 22% 78% Male 91% No, I am 100% committed to interim management – 22% Yes, I could be interested if it was the right opportunity – 78% The current economic crisis does seem to have had influence in driving some to enter the field of interim management. 8
  • Interim Management Billing Rates Changes in Billing Rate Change in Daily Rate? Fully 65% of survey respondents indicated that their billing rates have remained largely the same compared to last year, on a par with the United Kingdom at 64%, but higher than 8% Ireland at 55%, Italy at 50%, and France at just 27%. However, 27% just 8% of Netherland respondents said that they were billing at a higher rate, compared with 20% of respondents in France, 14% in the United Kingdom and 11% in Italy. On balance, however, only 27% of Netherlands respondents were facing lower billing rates, compared with 38% in Ireland, 39% in Italy, and 53% in France. 65% More – 8% About the same – 65% Less – 27% Billing Rate Differential by Gender Women vs. Men There was some billing rate differential by gender (among 1000 those who indicated gender), with men earning an average of 900 7% more than women. This compares very favourably with the Average Daily Billing Rate (€) 800 €927 pay gap for permanent employment. According to European Commission figures published earlier this year, the gender pay 700 €867 gap stands at 23.6% in the Netherlands and at 17.4% Europe- 600 wide. In the United Kingdom, a market where Executives Online 500 has extensive experience in interim management and where it is well-established as a way of securing executive talent, 400 interim day rates for men and women are only 4% apart, 300 compared to an permanent employment gender pay gap of 200 21.1%. This relative gender pay equity, combined with the flexibility and control over working life that interim management 100 offers, seem to indicate that the field may be a more attractive 0 Men Women option for women than permanent employment. Billing rates for the Netherlands compare very favorably to those in other countries. The rate of €927 for men is higher than that in Italy (€616), Ireland (€739), and France (€902), and the women’s rate of €867 is similarly higher than Italy (€759), Ireland (€704), and France (€858). 9
  • Sourcing Interim Management Assignments Almost three quarters of the interim managers surveyed had Source of Last Assignment sourced their most recent project on their own, with just over a quarter having made use of interim or recruitment agencies. This agency share is similar to what we observe elsewhere in Europe, where two thirds to three quarters of assignments are found directly. 27% 73% Via an interim or recruitment agency – 27% Generated the opportunity myself – 73% Role of Agencies There is variance across the spectrum of interim managers, but the majority source a good percentage of their own projects, with over half sourcing all of their own projects. How Interim Managers Source Their Work 100% via agencies 8% 90% via agencies /10% self-generated 2% 80% via agencies /20% self-generated 4% 70% via agencies /30% self-generated 3% 60% via agencies /40% self-generated 1% 50% via agencies /50% self-generated 11% 40% via agencies /60% self-generated 1% 30% via agencies /70% self-generated 6% 20% via agencies /80% self-generated 6% 10% via agencies /90% self-generated 5% 100% self-generated 53% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Number of Responses 10
  • Agency Share Agency Share Agencies had a role in sourcing one quarter of all assignments among survey respondents. Interim managers find work via two main channels: their own business development and networking, and recruitment agencies. We asked our registered interim executives what proportion of 25% their work came to them via recruitment or interim management agencies, and what proportion they generated themselves. Their answers show that agencies had a role in sourcing one quarter of all assignments among survey respondents. 75% This agency share is similar to what we observe elsewhere in Europe, where two thirds to three quarters of Agency – 25% assignments are found directly. Self-Generated – 75% 11
  • Drivers of Interim Management Engagement A range of organisational gaps or imperatives can drive the most common reasons were: “they needed skills not present in need for an interim manager within a company. When interim the existing management team” (29%) and “they needed to managers were asked to specify the “primary driver” for their transform their organisation” (28%). client’s hiring them for their most recent assignment, the two Main Reason for Engagement: Interim Manager Perspective They simply needed extra management capacity for a 7% 6% 3% fixed-term project – 6% 7% Strengthening a project team – 3% They needed skills not present in the existing management 8% team, for a fixed-term project – 29% 29% They needed to transform their organisation (change management) – 28% 12% They were recruiting for a permanent employee but couldn’t find the right person fast enough – 12% They had a sudden gap in their management team 28% (illness, severance etc) – 8% Business turnaround – 7% Implementing a major initiative – 7% Asked about “all factors involved” in driving their last interim Respondents also mentioned additional drivers such as “the management engagement, responses were consistent with the need for external business analysis,” “the launching of a new, “primary driver” answers, but additional reasons included: additional business service,” and “circumventing internal “implementing a major initiative” and “business turnaround.” politics.” All Reasons for Engagement: Interim Manager Perspective 100 90 93 80 88 70 Number of Mentions 60 50 55 40 47 30 33 20 27 25 22 10 0 They needed They needed to Implementing Business Strengthening They simply They were They had a skills not present transform their a major initiative turnaround a project team needed extra recruiting for a sudden gap in in the existing organisation management permanent their management (change capacity for a employee but management team, for a fixed- management) fixed-term project couldn’t find the team (illness, term project right person fast severance etc) enough 12
  • Most Important Qualities in an Interim Manager Interestingly, when asked to rank the most important qualities in an interim manager, survey respondents favoured aspects of “effectiveness” and people skills more highly than specific skills or experience in the job or function. The most important qualities highlighted were: • Ability to work strategically but also implement (40%) • Results-focused (39%) • Wide range of experience (33%) • Ability to quickly get people on side (31%) • Independence (30%) Interim Manager Perspective Ability to work strategically but also to implement 40% Results-focused 39% Wide range of experience 33% Ability to quickly get people on side 31% Independence 30% Ability to mentor 24% Not side-tracked by company politics 21% Specific skills/experience for specific job 20% Willingness to speak mind when required 18% Resilience 9% 0 25 50 75 100 125 Number of Mentions Other respondents enhanced the list of “people skills” by It is clear that each interim manager is unique and brings adding: being “good in politics,” “inspiring people by distinct qualities to each engagement. One interim manager recognising their personal skills,” and “coaching on all levels.” articulated his “quick hit” list for success in the field: “(1) Get in Another respondent noted the “willingness and ability to speak … analyse the environment; (2) Do your thing … result-focused, one’s mind.” The starting point of a project was also seen as independent, resourcefulness based on skills/experience; (3) critical, and one individual called out the “ability to quickly Get out … so don’t get too close, either personally or socially.” understand the business, people, policies and crucial processes.” 13
  • Interim Management in the Private Equity Realm Interim managers have been leveraged As an interim manager, have you ever worked with somewhat within the private equity realm, a private equity-backed business? where short-term projects and the need for specialised skills arise. More than a quarter of respondents reported having worked with a private equity-backed business, either at the request of the business itself or at the 19% Yes, at the request of the request of the private equity firm. business – 19% Yes, at the request of the 69% 12% private equity firm – 12% No – 69% While usage of interim managers in this Do you see private equity firms making more use of interim managers arena is just ramping up, almost half of to restructure or otherwise improve the value of the companies they respondents indicated that they could see have invested in? private equity firms making greater use of interim managers to restructure or otherwise improve the quality of the companies in which they have invested. Yes – 45% 55% 45% No – 55% 14
  • Projects that interim managers have undertaken in conjunction with private equity firms were many and varied: • VP Engineering and Software Development for a messaging security company backed by a US-based $1.5 billion venture fund. • Turnaround Operations Director for a US-based corrugated packaging manufacturer backed by a global holding company making investments in the paper sector. • MD for an online sporting and memorabilia firm backed by Bridges Community Ventures, the UK’s first community development venture capital company. • Interim FD for a Shetland-based organic cod farming business backed by European Acquisition Capital Ltd. (EAC), a €400 million private equity fund. • Three placements into a specialist consultancy working with a private equity group to dramatically improve the profitability of its portfolio companies. Roles included an Interim IT Director in the Netherlands, an Interim MD of Japan, and an Interim Head of Spain/Portugal to effect turnaround of the respective operations. • MD Mentor to the young CEO of a sporting equipment company backed by a private investor concentrating in the retail and branded consumer goods sectors. • Managing Director for a local-area venture capital fund. • Interim Operations Director at a gaming/entertainment start-up, and an Interim FD for a restaurant/hospitality venture, both backed by the same independent private equity firm acting as lead equity investor in the arrangement and financing of MBIs and MBOs. • Five roles for yet another private equity/acquisitions company, including a General Manager for a manufacturing business, a Business Development Director for an IT business, a CEO and a Divisional Business Development Director for an IT start-up, a Group Purchasing Director and a Group Sales Director. • An investing MD for Europe's leading exponent of the business of turnaround, who recently set up their UK operation. The model is to take a majority holding in medium-sized companies (typically £50m to £100m turnover) in transitional situations. 15
  • Women in Interim Management Women have generally not been well represented in the field of Does your current (or if you are not employed, interim management, with just 9% of our survey respondents your last) employer have a diversity policy? being female. This compares unfavourably with the proportion of women in permanent roles in FTSE100 companies, where 11.7% of board roles are held by women. It may be that proactive policies to attract and hire women into senior roles, and particularly advisory non-executive directorships, are proving effective. By contrast, interim management assignments tend to be sourced through informal relationships No Yes and via small agencies, where corporate policy may not reach. 49% 51% We asked a series of questions in this area to help understand why there were not more females in the field. Diversity Policy According to our survey respondents, about half of employers impact on diversity. Thus, just half of companies have a seem to have a diversity policy in place. Opinions were divided diversity policy in place, and even when they do, 44% of the as to how effective such policies were, with men being more women don’t believe it is effective. likely than women to think that such policies had a positive If yes, has it been effective in producing more diversity among the senior management? Male Respondents Female Respondents 30% 25% 38% 31% 32% 44% Yes No My last or current employer did not have a diversity policy 16
  • Pay Equity To your knowledge, has there been equity in pay among the women and men in senior management Two thirds of survey respondents felt that there was relative pay positions in your current or last employer? equity, with executives in similar roles earning the same pay whether male or female. About a third, however, said that men earned more than women in similar roles. Some respondents noted that men tended to “be more aggressive” and to “negotiate their pay better.” Others noted that the problem was not “pay disparity” but “opportunity disparity.” 31% It should also be noted (see “Billing Rate Differential by Gender” on page 9) that the pay gap for women interim managers is relatively small compared to that for permanent 66% employment, making interim management a very attractive 1% option for women, especially when lifestyle balance and flexibility considerations are factored in as well. Men earned more than women in similar roles – 31% Women earned more than men in similar roles – 1% People in similar roles earned the same whether male or female – 66% Glass Ceiling When asked about the existence of a “glass ceiling,” women Some respondents argued that women themselves had a role were almost twice as likely as men to feel that it still existed. in sustaining the glass ceiling by “cherishing it themselves.” Numerous respondents noted the “old boy network” as a reason Others argued that “70% of it [the glass ceiling] was in their for the ceiling; others cited “history” and “tradition” which “must own mind.” “Most of the time, we create our own ceiling.” “If be broken.” One respondent remarked that: “People tend to you believe it is there, it will be there as well.” A more positive choose people like themselves, because then they understand view was that while the ceiling was there, it was “gradually each other. Men and women are different in behaviour.” There are changing.” mostly men at the top, so men prefer to choose men. Do you believe there is still a “glass ceiling” that keeps women from achieving the same levels of success in their corporate career as men? Male Respondents Female Respondents No 30% No Yes 58% 42% Yes 70% 17
  • Women in the Workplace Female representation in the workplace varied broadly. Across all levels of an organisation, women were relatively well-represented. What proportion of employees (at all levels) at your last or current employer is female? 45 40 19% 18% 35 17% 30 Number of Mentions 25 13% 13% 20 15 9% 10 6% 5% 5 0% <1% 0 Less than 10 – 20% 21 – 30% 31 – 40% 41 – 50% 51 – 60% 61 – 70% 71 – 80% 81 – 90% 91 – 100% 10% Proportion of All Employees Female When focusing just on senior management, however, the proportion of women dropped significantly. What proportion of the senior management team at your last or current employer is female? 100 90 43% 80 70 Number of Mentions 60 50 40 30 18% 18% 20 10% 10 6% <1% <1% <1% 0% 0 4% Less than 10 – 20% 21 – 30% 31 – 40% 41 – 50% 51 – 60% 61 – 70% 71 – 80% 81 – 90% 91 – 100% 10% Proportion of Senior Team Female 18
  • When looking at the board of directors, the drop in the proportion of women was even more drastic. What proportion of the board of directors at your last or current employer is female? 180 160 140 70% 120 Number of Mentions 100 80 60 40 20 8% 12% 3% 3% 3% 0% 1% <1% <1% 0 Less than 10 – 20% 21 – 30% 31 – 40% 41 – 50% 51 – 60% 61 – 70% 71 – 80% 81 – 90% 91 – 100% 10% Proportion of Board of Directors Female 19
  • Interim Management as a Field for Women A slight majority of both men and women believed that themselves (more than men do), they can do that easier within (permanent) employment offered women better opportunities an organisation” and will have “more chances to be promoted.” for career progression. However, a significant number – 42% of Another respondent commented that “job hopping suits an men and 47% of women – felt that interim management offered interim manager but is not part of the female psyche.” the better alternative. Respondents in favor of the interim management field as the better opportunity for women argued Some concerns raised were around more subtle issues: that interim management “allows one to combine professional Women of child-bearing age may still cause concern to career and private life” and that it “offers better life balance” as potential employers but this cannot be stated or questioned. well as allowing you to “be in control of a project in terms of Equal opportunities and equality legislation has ruined the type, size, duration, complexity, etc.” chance of many women being employed, unless they can assure employers they are safe to recruit. And finally, one Those in favour of employment as the better alternative pointed respondent wrote: “Interim management is about perception out that “permanent employment gives women the opportunity and established experience rather than ability to excel. Many to network internally” and that because “women have to prove women do not get the chance to meet the informal criteria.” In general, do you think that employment, or an independent career such as interim management, offers women the best opportunities for career progression? Male Respondents Female Respondents Interim Employment Management 53% 42% Interim Management Employment 47% 58% “Interim management is about perception and established experience rather than ability to excel. Many women do not get the chance to meet the informal criteria.” 20
  • Attributes for a Female Interim Manager When asked what attributes would help women be successful irrelevant for success in interim management; that “man and in the field of interim management, there was strong agreement woman are equal in this domain.” among both men and women that top skills included: good communication skills; sensitivity to the nuances of different Does it matter whether someone is male or female? This kind of corporate environments; and the ability to build good question creates a prejudice of its own. Women do not need relationships. Neither men nor women felt that “ruthlessless” any additional skills to men to be successful in any field. Being was necessary for success. an interim manager is not a gender issue – a good woman interim manager will be as good – if not better – than a man A number of respondents were adamant that gender was when working within an organisation. What attributes might help women be good interim managers? (Tick as many as apply) Good communication skills 71% Sensitivity to the nuances of different corporate cultures 51% Ability to build good relationships 47% Good networking skills 44% Determination 44% Being very organised 40% Persuasiveness 35% Ability to quickly fit in 33% Resourcefulness 25% Ruthlessness 9% 0 25 50 75 100 125 150 Number of Mentions Male Respondents What attributes might help women be good interim managers? (Tick as many as apply) Good communication skills 75% Sensitivity to the nuances of different corporate cultures 65% Ability to build good relationships 60% Good networking skills 55% Being very organised 45% Ability to quickly fit in 45% Determination 45% Resourcefulness 35% Persuasiveness 25% Ruthlessness 0% 0 5 10 15 20 Number of Mentions Female Respondents 21
  • Rationale for Fewer Female Interim Managers Numerous reasons were cited as to why more women were not Other reasons cited were that “women are perceived as less more active in the field of interim management. Both male and competent for interim management than men” and that female respondents believed it was due to the “uncertainty of “potential clients prefer men.” More personal reasons included: an interim career”; the “lack of flexibility in family life” and that “the need for stability”, personal choice”, and that an interim women “don’t value themselves highly enough.” manager had to be “fully available when required which was not always compatible with the life of a young woman.” Why do you think there are so few women in interim management? Don’t like the uncertainty of an interim career 39% Lack the flexibility in their family lives 32% Don’t value themselves highly enough 30% Prefer being a permanent part of an organisation 28% Women don’t get enough executive experience 25% Lack of confidence 23% Lack of awareness of it as an option 20% Not so prepared to compromise on quality of life 12% Not competitive enough 8% Not tough enough 7% Not good networkers 2% 0 20 40 60 80 Number of Mentions Male Respondents Why do you think there are so few women in interim management? Don’t value themselves highly enough 50% Don’t like the uncertainty of an interim career 50% Lack the flexibility in their family lives 45% Prefer being a permanent part of an organisation 35% Lack of confidence 30% Not so prepared to compromise on quality of life 20% Not good networkers 20% Lack of awareness of it as an option 20% Women don’t get enough executive experience 20% Not tough enough 15% Not competitive enough 15% 0 4 8 12 Number of Mentions Female Respondents 22
  • Opportunity Amidst the Economic Crisis When asked about the current economic crisis, forty percent of respondents believed that it offered opportunities of particular value to female managers and executives. Most felt that the crisis was “gender neutral,” however, and offered the same lessons and opportunities for all. In your view, does the current economic crisis offer opportunities that are of particular value to female managers and executives? No Yes 60% 40% 23
  • Conclusion We are grateful to the 262 senior executives in the Netherlands who participated in our online survey September 2009. With more than 50 multiple-choice and ranking questions, and the opportunity to provide detailed comments (which many did), this was no small ask. In the figures published in this report, we see clearly the impact of the global economic crisis. A majority of interim managers today (almost 60%) report being generally less busy than a year ago. A trend we have seen in our UK business between our 2004 and 2007 regarding openness to permanent employment has continued to show more interim managers who, for the right role, would return to permanent employment. In the UK, 33% of interim managers in 2004, 57% of interim managers in 2007 and now 70% of interim managers in 2009 would accept the right permanent role. In the Netherlands, in our first year collecting data, the figure is 78%. Looking at it another way, only 22% of interim managers consider themselves exclusively and permanently so. Much of this desire for permanence and stability is no doubt due to the current climate; however, as the trend was evident two years ago, before the crisis hit, we believe that senior executives are generally viewing their careers in a more fluid and flexible way, moving from contract to permanent work easily and willingly. It may also be that our sample contains many interim managers “pressed into” interim management involuntarily, via being laid off from their employed role. Daily rates have held up, with 65% of Netherlands interim managers surveyed saying their daily rate was “about the same” as last year. As regards women in senior executive roles and specifically women in interim management, the data turned up some very interesting conclusions. Women were more likely (70% of women versus 42% of men) to perceive a “glass ceiling” preventing women’s career advancement, and in fact the distribution of women in all roles versus senior management and board-level roles bears this out. Women were somewhat more likely than men to perceive that interim management offered women more opportunities. The reasons clients engage interim managers in the Netherlands are very similar to what we have observed elsewhere in the world: Business transformation, change management, turnaround, needing skills not present in the organisation, and needing extra management capacity. The positive qualities of interim managers are also perceived similarly across country boundaries, and include interim managers’ results focus, appropriate skills, ability to quickly get staff on side, independence, wide range of experience, and ability to think strategically yet also implement. We hope you have enjoyed reading Interim Management Trend Update. If your company or organisation needs skills, management bandwidth, or to implement a turnaround, major project or corporate restructure, call me today on + 3 1 ( 0 ) 2 0 3 0 1 2 1 5 9 us to discuss how an interim executive from Executives Online can help. Interim managers have become more diverse, with more women, and with a wider distribution of ages and lengths of experience. 24
  • About Executives Online We offer a unique, full-service process which is a balanced blend of technology and personal service. Executives Online delivers fast-track executive resourcing – interim management, project management, and permanent executive recruitment – leveraging our 80,000-strong Talent Bank of senior executives. We source talent globally, via the Talent Bank which is built and drawn upon by each of our growing network of offices around the world. We offer a unique, full-service process which is a balanced blend of technology and personal service. Our approach attracts both the best candidates and the most challenging opportunities, and enables us to rapidly and effectively match them together in successful placements. 25
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