The latest Snapshot survey from award-winning interim management provider Russam GMS shows a sharp rise in the daily pay rates for Interim Managers, with daily rates increasing from £593 in December 2012 to a record high of £660 by December 2013, although men’s pay still outstrips women’s. In banking and insurance, the pay rates for interims were the highest, with interims earning £863 a day.

On average women are receiving over £150 a day less than men for an interim assignment, with the average pay rate for a man at £686 a day and for women just £519 a day. This mirrors the jobs market as a whole, as women working full-time still earn almost £5,000 a year less men, according to TUC figures released in November 2013. However, interim management is an increasingly popular career choice for women. The latest Ipsos MORI data from the Interim Management Association (IMA) published this month reported that 36% of respondents to their survey are female – a figure that continues to increase and is the highest recorded since 2010.

The number one sector for interim assignments is banking and finance, representing just over 10% of all assignments. According to the new ‘CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey’, this sector grew at its fastest pace since 2007 and expected employment growth for the first quarter of 2014 is the strongest since the survey began.

The second most buoyant sector is the not-for-profit and charity sector.  It now accounts for over 10% of all assignments, up from 7% last year and overtaking engineering and manufacturing which was down from 11% to 9.3% by the end of 2013.

Businesses are recruiting interims to provide a specialist skill absent in a business – this accounted for over half of all assignments. 41% of interims said they were brought in to design or implement new strategies and 38% to deliver special projects.

These findings are supported by Marcus Lee, Head of Resourcing and Talent at Santander UK who recently commented: “We use Interims when we need to bring in specialist or technical skills for projects involving change, compliance or risk management. We may have specific, short term projects that require the rapid deployment of resources and a quick return on investment – interim managers are ideal for these situations.”

Other focus areas for interims were business turnaround projects, mergers and acquisition or supporting start-ups and one in five interims said they played a mentoring or coaching role as well.

The top discipline for interims is change and transformation (20%), followed by general management (18%) and finance specialists (18%). Interims in their 40s are getting the most work with those over half of them reporting they are on assignment.

Charles Russam, Chairman of Russam GMS comments: “Our latest survey highlights that companies are willing to pay handsomely to access top talent and specialist skills, especially for implementing a new strategy or starting a special project.”

“UK businesses are focusing on growth and this will fuel the demand for highly qualified interims in 2014 who offer a cost-effective and flexible resource. Interim management is an important part of the jobs market and these ‘self-drive’ workers have much to contribute to British companies and the economy in general. Companies have never had such rich pickings in terms of talent.”