The interim manager, the nugget of companies in transformation

An industrial company, faced with tensions over supply, which needs a logistics specialist to cope for a few months … A retail company that must create a digital platform but does not have the resources to internal … a business takeover that must be secured and completed …

Thanks to the economic recovery, interim management, which consists of entrusting a mission or a project lasting a few months to an experienced and specialized executive, is regaining its colors. “We have had very strong requests since March to find quick solutions, and with an average duration of longer missions, increased from seven to twelve months”, indicates Gregoire Cabri-Wiltzer, at the head of the cabinet Nim Europe and ex-president of France Transition which brings together the main players in the sector. A breath of fresh air since according to the federation, activity fell by 5% in 2020 while the profession flirted with the 15% growth in previous years. Today, around 135 firms work in this sector, compared to 85 five years ago.

Digital transformation

And yet, an interim manager costs “up to 30% more than a normal hiring”, recognizes Thierry grimaux, partner at Valtus. Or the cost of expertise, flexibility of employment, and support that the firm provides during the duration of its mission, even if it means changing manager if it is not suitable. “Since the takeover, we have new clients who are trying interim management for the first time, in digital transformation or to complete a merger,” points out Thierry Grimaux. Specialists in finance, digital or logistics have been snapping up in recent months, “which generally pushes up prices”. Among the new requests, the opening of an industrial unit in the wake of a few relocations.

In this period of tension on recruitments, interim management can be seen as an alternative. Gray areas exist between the two. “A company can call on us because it is having trouble finding someone for the job, but at the moment companies are in a hurry, and we are a quick solution”, notes Grégoire Cabri-Wiltzer. Existing managers can also be ultimately hired “even if this is not our objective, interim management is not pre-hiring” defends itself. Thierry rogeon, of the cabinet Lincoln. “Hiring at the end of the mission represents 15% of cases with us, and it is obviously more frequent when companies have difficulty in recruiting” specifies Thierry Grimaux.

End of the chain

If the transformation missions multiply, on the other hand, the profession has little demand in the restructuring of companies in difficulty, which represent between 10 to 20% of the market. Because of the aid, companies are not at this extremity which consists in calling on these “cost killers”. “For restructuring players, not much is happening, there are a few working, there were a few files in retail in the spring of 2020, but there are fewer now”, explains Arnaud Marion , one of the local business rescuers, and founder of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Crisis Management (IHEGC).

These tensions on recruitment weigh in on the profession, which has difficulty finding interim managers, “with increasingly strong customer requirements on skills,” says Grégoire Cabri. “We are like companies, we are at the end of the chain, we also have difficulty recruiting. “

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