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Interims to the rescue?


With the 2008 recession behind us and Brexit feeling like a distant memory we're now faced with another period of turbulence. Matt Stevenson speaks with interim marketers on a daily basis and has observed some interesting opinions on marketing in challenging times. After all, providing solutions in these types of environments is an interim professional’s sweet spot. So, what could the market look like in the coming months and could it provide more, not less, opportunities?

While there were many gloomy Brexit predictions, there were some feelings of positivity among the interim market and many expected to be kept busy with projects. At EMR we noticed a 36% increase in the number of interim Financial Services marketing jobs from 2017 to 2018, while permanent roles remained constant. Indeed, Financial Services marketers have had to be at the fore of Brexit predications for some time; our 2018 Market Trend & Salary Report found that 39% had prepared a Brexit marketing plan a year ago; the highest proportion of any industry.

Senior interim marketers are used to embracing change and are faced with differing challenges from project to project. Many of these professionals endured the financial crisis in 2008 and, while the parameters are different this time, their experience of making it through that period could be invaluable to some businesses now. In particular, smaller, start-up organisations with younger marketing functions may look to enlist the help of a senior marketer to advise on strategy and use their experience to help ride the rocky road that may be ahead. 

A new opportunity

Many organisations may consider creating interim roles as a strategy to navigate these unchartered waters. This could be in the form of new product development and while it can be costly, the reward for recognising future customers’ needs will pay off if successful. New product development will require testing and perhaps need individuals with specific experience gathered in alternative areas. As such, interim staff may be more attractive to businesses taking on this approach to lessen risk but also for seasoned advice.

There can be a risk in uncertain times that companies freeze permanent recruitment. If this persists as workload increases or natural attrition means vacancies arise, work can be dispersed amongst existing team members. We see many candidates unhappy in these situations who begin seeking a new role because they feel under-valued. Many employers fail to recognise the full effects that this has on their wider team. It’s an important time to be taking care of current permanent employees, appreciating their value and being highly conscious of workload. Smarter companies have chosen to mitigate the effects of this scenario by turning to mid-level interim marketers to cope with workload and provide additional support.

Even outside of uncertain times or general fluctuations to the market, there are many reasons why an interim marketer could be the solution you may be looking for. You can read the top six benefits for hiring interim and contract staff here.

How can EMR help you?

EMR has a dedicated interim recruitment team specialising in marketing, communications and digital jobs. If you are an interim professional looking for your next assignment then please get in touch. Equally, we would love to hear from you if you are a hiring manager and would like to understand more about the interim market and how they can be best utilised. Contact us here 

View our latest interim marketing jobs here


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