Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Proof that Interim Managers are more successful than Permanent Managers

It’s not just business where Interim Managers can make a significant impact. The football industry is awash with Interim Managers, and if we take one club as an example (Chelsea) the performance of their Interim Managers has been pretty spectacular, and probably mirrors the stellar performance of professional interims working today, making careers out of turning things around.

If we look at the performance of Chelsea’s Interim Managers since the departure of Jose Mourinho in September 2007, it’s clear that they were all successful and left the club in better shape than when they joined (and with more trophies in the cabinet).

After Mourinho left, an experienced interim was appointed in the guise of Avram Grant who took Chelsea to their first ever Champions League Final, and they were a John Terry slip away from winning the Champions League; losing on penalties in a match they could have won. In the Premier League, Grant created a cohesive and organised team who pushed Manchester United all the way to the last game of the season, before finishing a close second.

Avram Grant then moved on and Chelsea appointed a Permanent Manager, ‘Big Phil’ Scolari a Brazilian World Cup winning Manager with a big reputation and supposed winning formula. Big Phil lasted 244 days before being sacked.

In came new Interim Manager Guus Hiddink, a wily and experienced Dutch manager. Hiddink’s impact was immediate, he got Chelsea organised and greatly improved their points tally in the Premier League and got Chelsea playing decent football. Success in Europe also looked likely, and if not for incompetent refereeing, they would have made the Champions league final for a second successive season under the guidance of an Interim Manager.

Chelsea then appointed Carlo Ancelotti as Permanent Manager who against the odds managed Chelsea to a league and FA cup double in his first season. He failed to follow up on this success in his second season though and was sacked just hours after the last game of the season. But with 1-year left on his contract he still walked away with a severance payment of £6 million from Chelsea.

Andre Villas-Boas was then appointed as Permanent Manager, but failed to make an impact and was sacked after 256 days, leaving with one of Mr Abramovich’s cheques in his pocket by way of severance payment. (Perhaps the reason Chelsea like Interim Managers so much is because they don’t have to pay them severance payments!).

Villas-Boas deputy Roberto Di Matteo was then appointed as Interim Manager and he magically won the FA Cup with Chelsea before taking them to glory in the Champions league final, winning the European Cup, the one trophy that Abramovich craved and had so far eluded him.

What happened next is a familiar story, Di Matteo was offered and accepted the Chelsea job on a Permanent basis but could not re-create the success he enjoyed as the interim boss, and was fired just 6 months after leading Chelsea to the greatest night in their history.

Enter Rafa Benitez, new Chelsea Interim Manager until the end of the season and looking to continue Chelsea’s great run with Interim Managers…..Will he be a success? We’ll know by May, but looking at Chelsea's previous Interim Managers, you wouldn't bet against him.

The reality is that every time Roman Abramovich brings in an Interim Manager it works. This is the fourth time (with Benitez) Abramovich has done this and the last time he did it, they won the European Cup!

What has happened at Chelsea demonstrates the almost immediate impact that Interim Managers can make on any business in any sector. Football clubs have latched on to the benefits of Interim Management and their increased popularity is a direct result of the success they have enjoyed.

If interims can succeed within the highly competitive world of Premier League and European football, then they can succeed in any sector and organisations need to recognise this.

Some Positive News for the Interim / Contracting Community

2012 Autumn Statement HM Treasury – Some Positive News for the Interim / Contracting Community 

Earlier in the Year, HMRC had issued a consultation paper setting out proposals to tighten IR35 compliance by requiring organisations engaging “controlling persons” through personal services companies to deduct income tax and national insurance from fees paid to their companies.

HMRC were looking at a new definition for a “controlling person” defined as someone from the contracting organisation who is able to shape the direction of the engaging organisation during the year. “This would be someone who has managerial control over a significant proportion of the organisation’s employees and/or control over a significant proportion of the budget of the organisation,”

Today, we have leant that the Government has decided not to go ahead with the proposal detailed in the consultation paper, to tax those who meet the definition of a controlling person at source. It was decided that the Government’s current policing of IR35 and future strengthening of intermediaries legislation (IR35) is adequate to prevent the loss through disguised employment in this way. HMRC will be reviewing this periodically.
This is positive news for the interim/contracting community.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

What will the backlash be for Interim Managers in the Public sector??

What will the backlash be for Interim Managers in the Public sector??

The government is investigating how the head of the Student Loans Company worked as an Interim Manager and had his £900 a day rate paid through a private Limited Company, thereby avoiding PAYE and National Insurance contributions worth £40,000 pa. Although Students Loans Chief Executive had the deal approved by Ministers and HMRC, Chief Secretary to the

Treasury Danny Alexander said that Mr Lester's deal has been stopped and he will now pay PAYE and NI as a standard employee would. Mr Alexander has also written to all other Government departments to ascertain how wide spread the practice of using Interim managers in long term contracts is. A full review is expected to follow.

Mr Lester had a 2-year contractual agreement. Will this mean that anyone working as an Interim Manager in the Public sector for a period longer than 12 months will have to start paying PAYE and NI as a standard employee???

Personally, I can see Interims avoiding work within the Public sector if they were forced to go 'on the books' after 12 months. Or even worse I could see Interims declining to work past the 12 month point, leaving projects shelved or in disarray!!!!

Would appreciate your comments on this, particularly from those Interim Managers working in the Public sector.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The Age of Unreason - 20 years on

The Age of Unreason – 20 years on

Charles Handy is one of the World’s pre-eminent management guru’s, was one of the first to see the flaws in the ‘jobs for life’ concept and wrote about the importance of ethical business practice years before it became mainstream. After reading a recent interview with him, it dawned on me that Handy’s excellent book ‘The Age of Unreason’ was first published over 20 years ago (1989)!!

One of the concepts promoted in the book was that of the ‘shamrock’ organisation, where there would be ‘three leafs’ of worker consisting of, a core of permanent employees, independent contractors, and temporary workers.

Handy predicted that the intensity of competition and an increasingly unpredictable economic environment would result in the ‘shamrock’ approach becoming common place. The insightfulness of Handy’s prediction is truly remarkable as 20 years on many organisations are using the ‘three leaf’ approach to maintain a lean and competitive workforce. Handy referred to a “network of peripheral staff brought in to carry out specialist/project based work”, and these are the modern Interim managers of today, brought in to perform change management and other tasks.

The current recession has seen more flexibility in the work place than perhaps even Handy predicted, as workers have acted like butterflies, jumping from ‘leaf to leaf’. For instance, some employees made redundant have tried their hand at contracting and some experienced interims have looked at permanent roles due to diminishing interim rates. Employers have been swift to seize the moment and some have engaged rookie interims at half the cost they would be paying an experienced interim; with less than favourable results in many cases!!

But the fees some companies have been paying for Interim Managers seem unsustainable and as we come out of recession and unemployment falls (latest figures reveal 7,000 less unemployed) I expect that a more orderly ‘shamrock’ will return. That said, Handy has pointed out that the UK workforce will need to develop 'portfolio' lives, a mix of different bits and pieces of work, some for money, some for fun, some for free and it will be interesting to see if this resonates in 2010.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Which Interim Recruiters provide the best service to Interim Managers

Which Interim Recruiters provide the best service to Interim Managers

Leading Interim Management Jobs site,, can reveal some interesting findings from their latest Interim Management Poll. The Poll surveyed 437 Interim Managers, who rated the service they have received from Interim Management Recruiters, based on a scale from one-to-five. Interim Managers were asked to rate the service they received based on the following criteria:

- What is your overall impression of the recruiter? - Did they maintain contact and keep you updated on your progress? - Did they understand what you were looking for in an interim assignment? - Did they understand the industry you work in?
Key findings reveal:

• 437 Interim Managers rated a selection of Recruiters they had worked with in the previous 2 years;
• Only Interim Recruiters with more than 15+ ratings were included in the results, with a total of 52 Interim Recruiters being rated;
• The company with the highest rating as voted for by Interim Managers was Capita Interim;
• Capita Interim received 122 ratings with an average score of 3.3 out of 5, voting them the best Interim Recruiter by a considerable margin;
• Capita Interim received the highest number of maximum scores, with 35.2% of respondents rating their service as a 5* (Excellent);
• The company with the second highest rating was Jarvis Johnson, with an average score of 3 out of 5;
• The Recruiter with the third highest rating as voted for by Interim Managers was Hutchinson Consultancy with an average score of 2.9 out of 5;
• The Recruiters ranking second and third are both Food Industry Interim specialists;
• The Recruiter with the largest volume of ratings was Michael Page with 138. Michael Page’s standing in the results table is 33rd out of 52 recruiters;
• Four recruiters who are members of the Interim Management Association made it into the top 12. They are: Interim Partners, Alium Partners and Campion Willcocks, and IMS Worldwide;
• Of the top 12 rated Interim Recruiters, 6 specialise exclusively in Interim recruitment, and the other 6 either provide both interim and permanent recruitment services, or are part of an organisation who provide permanent recruitment services.

The results reveal a surprisingly diverse mix of companies serving different markets and disciplines made it onto the list of the top dozen companies.

This includes niche companies operating within one sector only (Jarvis Johnson - Food, Hutchinson - Food), a company who recruit for one discipline only (Digby Morgan – HR), companies who only cover three-to-five specific sectors (Practicus, IMS, Campion Willcocks), a company who work only within the Public sector (Gatenby Sanderson), an organisation who work mainly within the Public sector (Capita Interim), and companies who cover almost any sector and discipline (Interim Partners, BIE, and Alium Partners).

Results ‘Premier League’ of Interim Recruiters

1 Capita Interim (Champions) -
2 Jarvis Johnson (Runner up) -
3 Hutchinson Consultancy (Runner up) -
4= Digby Morgan -
4= Interim Partners -
4= Practicus -
7= Alium Partners -
7= BIE Interim -
7= Brooklands Executive -
7= Campion Willcocks -
7= Gatenby Sanderson -
7= IMS Worldwide -

A full ‘League Table’ with 'Four divisions' of results for all 52 Interim Recruiters featured in the Poll can be found on the Interim News section at:

Friday, 13 November 2009

Can LinkedIn-Twitter deal help Interim Managers?

There is no denying the growing importance of Linkedin when it comes to marketing yourself to potential clients and networking with like-minded peers. It is therefore interesting to learn that LinkedIn announced this week that they have signed a deal with Twitter, to gain extra exposure for LinkedIn members. The idea is simple: when you set your status on LinkedIn you can now ‘tweet’ it as well, amplifying your message to followers on Twitter. Likewise, when you ‘tweet’ you can send that message to your LinkedIn connections as well.

This LinkedIn / Twitter alliance looks good on paper, as I suspect that LinkedIn doesn’t have the ‘younger’ (18-35) users that Twitter has, and I would guess that Twitter is lacking users in the 35+ age demographic, which is LinkedIn’s bread and butter. So the deal means both websites will be widening their reach which will enable them to increase their advertising sales revenue and reach a wider demographic.

It may be the zeitgeist for 2009, but can Twitter really help Interim Managers to network and find interesting assignments? Or will it be just another networking tool in a sea of networking tools?

Whereas LinkedIn is a fantastic ‘business’ networking tool, Twitter is a ‘social’ networking tool, and I think there should be some demarcation between social networking and business networking, otherwise the waters will become mudded and time will be wasted wading through page after page of non-relevant content. For this reason, I will not be ‘tweeting’ until the benefits become clearer.

Interim Market Conditions

A high profile business with a global client-base recently approached a Recruiter I know for assistance with making a number of appointments, ideally on a temporary basis, with a view to taking the best candidates on as permanent members of staff. They asked about market conditions and this is what the recruiter told them…..

“The interim / contract market has been slow for much of the year with downward pressure on day rates. There are still a number of good interims / contractors without work at the moment so employing good people on an interim basis shouldn’t present any problems, but these people are typically not looking to go permanent at £50k or below.”

Sounds like a reasonable assessment of the market in a nutshell.