Research Puts Spotlight On Strategic Value Of HR Interim Executives – Green Park Interim & Executive Search’s annual survey of interim and consultancy trends in Human Resources highlights a move towards employers using interims in a more strategic capacity.

More than one third (35%) of respondents reported that they are increasingly used as a strategic resource for turnaround change and growth, or to help organisations drive innovation. Additionally, a quarter (25%) of senior HR interims said that they had an important role to play in helping organisations innovate and generate new ideas and approaches. A further one in five (20%) felt that they could help organisations create the best structures for growth in a challenging market.

That said, the survey indicated that the full scope of the value that HR interims can offer is not necessarily fully understood. Just over one third (36%) of HR interims surveyed said that being recognised as a strategic resource was still a key challenge when looking for a new assignment.

When asked about the most important key attributes in today’s business environment nearly four out of 10 (39%) responded that senior HR interims need to be able to embed and drive sustainable change. The ability that interims have to adapt to an organisation’s culture and engage stakeholders was also deemed important, just under a third (31%) highlighting it as a key attribute.

Additional findings show that:
• Interims have also been hit by the recession, with seven out of 10 (70%) unsurprisingly saying that it was harder to find a senior HR assignment since the beginning of the economic downturn. This is also reflected in increased competition for senior HR interim roles over the next 12 months, with almost all interims anticipating increased competition.
• At the same time, there was a general mood of optimism with more than half (56%) of senior HR interims saying that they anticipated an increase in demand for Senior HR Interim skills over the next 12 months.
• HR interims believe the greatest demand over the next 12 months will be across Restructuring/Redundancy/TUPE (44%), HR Project/Programme Management (43%) and Organisational Development/Change (40 %).
• As new corporate governance and regulations kick in, four out of ten (42%) HR interims say that organisations are now paying more attention to due diligence in the selection of interims.
• Interims felt that they needed to demonstrate the value they created to access new assignments: more than half (58%) of respondents said that highlighting the ROI they had generated in previous assignments was the best way to demonstrate their potential value to prospective employers.

Jo Sweetland, Head of HR Practice, Green Park Interim & Executive Search says:

”HR has always been a stronghold for interim management. Over the course of thousands of HR assignments in the last decade, we’ve seen the gradual transition from ‘gap cover’ style interims to more strategic resources used to drive growth and fuel innovation. That’s a trend that will continue apace as the market gets more competitive and looks for ways to grow and differentiate. But while demand is strong, the economic situation has increased competition, and prospective executive HR interim candidates are increasingly needing to demonstrate not only technical HR competency, but also commerciality, business acumen, and the ability to deliver added value.”