The number of interim managers hired by UK companies may rocket by more than 20 per cent during the next six months.
Figures from Hitchenor Wakeford's Interim Management Index show a major boost in interest from sectors such as financial services, manufacturing and technology over the next six months.
With the interim management sector predicted to be worth a record £550 million by the end of 2008, companies are planning to make considerable 'hires' to improve efficiency, create change and bolster their bottom line
as economists predict tough market conditions in most sectors.
John Wakeford, managing director of Hitchenor Wakeford, said companies are looking beyond people experienced in their own sector and tapping into talent pools within other sectors: "The booming use of interim managers looks set to continue in 2008. The dip in the economy means companies need to get leaner and meaner. Experienced executives are in high demand for short term positions to steer companies through rocky conditions.
"Companies are increasingly pulling in people who have experience in other sectors to give them extra knowledge. With the war for talent tougher than ever before, companies will need to ensure their management teams are stocked with the right people."
John Fay, CEO of leadership and change management consultancy, SFL added: "Shrewd employers are tapping into the opportunities offered by interim management posts in a potentially turbulent market. Cross sector skill sets and experience of a competitive market are valuable strengths which interim managers can bring to a company.
"Organisations can also ensure business continuity throughout a period of change, with the added benefit of a fresh approach."