For many executives, the option of consultancy and interim positions often appeals at certain stages of their career over a permanent position. The advantages from the social conversations of existing interim executives seem obvious: better paid, less hours, go in and do a job then get out, so no politics or long term HR problems. Is this the truth, and how do you go about finding and securing Interim Executive Jobs?
Interim Executive Recruitment
Like all consultancy engagement, Interim Executive Recruitment is based around business results: pure and simple. There are basically five types of business result that are recruited for:
- Start up
- Growth (more of the same, in the same market)
- Change (more in a new market, or new tech/ways of operating)
- Profit improvement (like change, but focused on the money)
- Save the company!
The greatest volume of hires, and hence the easiest to get employed in, are in Change and Profit Improvement. However, Profit Improvement and Save the Company projects generally require some finance experience or qualification at the top management level, and hence most practitioners in this areas are qualified accountants. Only at the secondary specialist level will the skills requirement open out, and hence these jobs look more like Growth or Change type engagements. Start Up projects often involve some equity input, so personally don’t count as Interim Executive Jobs – they are more like an investment.
Executive Recruitment Agencies
According to a survey in Executive magazine, in 2010 the top Executive Recruitment Agencies in the globe were:
- Korn / Ferry International
- Heidrick & Struggles
- Spencer Stuart
- Russell Reynolds Associates
- TMP Worldwide
- DHR International
- Egon Zehnder International
- Ray & Berndtson
- A.T. Kearney
But what do these agencies look for, and hence hat should your Executive CV include?
The basics of Executive CV Writing
A basic tool within CV Writing is that of STAR, an acronym for:
- Situation: the organisation and required change in the geopolitical environment
- Task: what were you tasked to achieve within this organisation? If you were the director, probably the whole project
- Action: how did you see the task and hence break it down? How did you deploy your resources (man power, money, materials, time) and how did you manage/ensure progress?
- Result: what was the outcome (successful)? For contract positions, success is defined both in business results and the extension of your contract
How do you adjust these factors in your Executive CV to get employed?
Change Management Jobs
Your most likely first Interim Executive Job will be in a Change Management Job. While initial technical selection will be done on the first two areas (Situation, Task), the key focus will be in the second two areas, Action taken and Result gained. The first part answers the basic Executive Headhunters question, the second part provides the assurance that you have done something similar before, and been successful in it.
The basic facts of Executive Appointments are that 90% are never advertised, and the that the greatest majority are fulfilled via networking. However, once you have a suitable Executive CV, placing it in the right places is equally important. These include:
- In front of the Executive Headhunters
- Online in the right Social Networks, including those both search able form Google (LinkedIn), and where headhunters network (Doostang)
- Personally walked in front of key people in your personal network
Time scales for the average appointment are hard to predict, but anywhere from two to six months for a first appointment is not uncommon.
Generally there will always be gaps between interim appointments, but these close greatly after two years of taking Interim Executive Jobs. The key to minimising these is to always be in contact with the key decision makers: always be networking.
Interim Executive Pay
Rates for interim positions have fallen greatly in the past two years, in part due to a collapse in parts of the market, both industries as well as any development projects; as well as through increased competition. The result has been an average pay reduction of over 35%, and an increase for even the most experienced interim executives in the waiting periods between appointments.
However, in the past six moths pay rates in key technology sectors have been picking up. Certain sectors are still down, but the interim market always picks up on average 12months before the permanent market.
Interim Executive Jobs can still be fun, exciting and well paid, but the market at present is tough and pay rates are lower in general than they were two years ago. While basics of Executive Headhunting remain the same, highly reliant on networking, the market and its use of social media bring a whole new element to getting executive appointments.
Hence, if executive headhunters have moved on, don’t you think that your Executive CV and approach to Interim Executive Jobs should as have well? Perhaps its time to find a better Executive CV service.