What actually are Interim Management Providers?
Those new to Interim Management tend to think that all you have to do is make yourself known to a couple or so of Interim Management Providers (Recruitment Agencies) and good assignments on a continuous basis will ensue. Some, in fact, think that getting alongside just one Interim Management Provider is sufficient!
How many serious IM Providers are there?
Hard to say. The names listed in Section 6.1.5 number about 80. If you carried out a more extensive search, you could enlarge this list quite considerably – maybe up to around 150. For practical working purposes, you should select about 40 of those you deem most appropriate – the judgement being based on how likely you think they are to come up with Assignments.
Providers come and some go and you need to keep up to date. You will note that some are Interim Specialist Providers; some are Interim Divisions in Search Firms; some are Search Firms doing Interim; some are Interim Divisions in a recruitment agency and some are Recruitment Agencies doing interim.
You should also extend your working list of Intermediaries to include Management Consultancy firms – of varying sizes and in differing sectors, although sector experience can be important and excluding those intermediaries who operate in sectors which are outside your own experience is a probably a good idea.
Available Research – albeit not very fresh – points to about 40% of all Interim Management Assignments being facilitated by Interim Management Providers, with the balance being self-sourced. The other 60% relates to end-user clients – clients to whom you need to market directly.
This ratio moves around with the economic and/or business cycles. But the 40/60 ratio is seen as fairly constant although the IIM have quoted a figure of around 45/55. Notwithstanding this, what you need to do is to make yourself known to as many Interim Management Providers that you can find which, after examining their websites and, ideally, speaking to them, look as if they will, at some time, take on a client assignment that matches your profile – and, as part of that, speak with you. See Section 6.1.5 – for a comprehensive list of primary Interim Management Providers.
Your final list of Intermediaries will include a number of eminent firms that you would not otherwise have thought of approaching. Compiling this list to include other Intermediaries that your research indicates that they might come across Interim Management opportunities is a bit of a slog – but it does work. Your final list may well include established Management Consultancies, Law Firms, the larger firms of accountants – and also selected smaller ones, professional associations who can and do introduce independent practitioners/ Consultants/ Interim Managers/ Project Managers to their members.
Also note that Project Managers also fall into this category and are supported by a separate infrastructure.