The post-pandemic economic landscape continues to be characterized by tectonic shifts in how, where, why and when people work. It seems like organizations all over the world are facing new challenges and opportunities every day.
But there’s good news for jobseekers who are curious to explore interim opportunities: many of these challenges can be resolved by bringing in interim talent, making your skillsets all that more attractive to employers.
One important way that many businesses are creating both greater cost control and flexibility is by seeking the on-demand expertise of interim talent to help them navigate the uncertainties and complexities of today and tomorrow—a true win–win for interim talent and organizations alike.
If you’re a professional considering going interim, there’s truly no better time than right now to do so.
The Rising Demand for the Interim Position
A growing gig economy means the demand for organizations to hire interim professionals is also rising. As we mentioned in A Strategic Move: Hiring the Interim Professional, the New York Times reported a 31% increase between February 2020 and June 2022 in the share of workers with contractor-based income in the US.
Despite the statistics, professionals seeking an interim position might still be wary of this type of employment, with fears of high unpredictability, low stability, or the risk of not being truly valued as an expert in their field.
While these concerns are understandable, we’re happy to see through industry research, trends, and Korn Ferry’s own talent community that pursuing an interim position is indeed a smart career move.
The reality is that some of the world’s best-loved organizations are looking for interim talent with a wide range of skills and experience, and there has never been a better time to add an interim gig or two to your resume.
Three Benefits of Going Interim
There are some surprising benefits to spending time in an interim position. Consider these if you’re a jobseeker who's weighing a full-time employee setup over the perks and advantages of a contract gig.
1. Increased Workplace Flexibility Means You Can Choose Your Own Adventure and Build Your Own Career Path
This is a big one—especially in our “new normal.” Many people have re-awakened their values around work-life balance, and they have more than proven over the last three years that individuals, teams and enterprises can be just as successful, if not more so, in a flexible work environment.
Plus, flexibility now comes in many forms, including the independence to choose only the projects and organizations that are a good fit for your skills, interests, and values, having deciding power over in-office remote or hybrid work environments, and even choosing the working hours that suit your personal and/or family life.
2. Try Before You Buy: Build Your Resume Without the Long-Term Commitment
Unlike traditional full-time employees, interim professionals have the unique advantage of gaining highly valuable experience in a wide range of industries and organizations. Working with a range of employers lets interim talent develop a diverse skillset, expertise and experience—all of which can help you hone your craft and quickly adapt to new and emerging industries and their talent needs.
3. Make That Money
The financial benefits of taking an interim position are significant. Companies typically pay interim professionals more than traditional full-time employees—making this an obvious benefit to add to the “Pros” side of your pros/cons list. Plus, many staffing and recruiting firms are staying competitive by offering valuable benefits like health insurance and paid time off.
And, as an interim worker, you’re likely not bound by contract to only work for one specific organization, you can earn even more money by taking on multiple contracts at a time. Just make sure that you have an excellent approach to time management. Avoid becoming overloaded and letting one of your “clients” down by missing a deadline or sacrificing quality.
Why Great Companies Are Hiring More Great Interim Professionals
Interim talent continues to be in ever-high demand, and for good reason. Not only do they bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the organizations they work for, but they also help companies achieve their goals and overcome obstacles without the long-term commitment of a traditional employee. It also eliminates the need for associated costs like professional development, employer-paid benefits, a designated spot in an office location, etc. Plus, the two-way flexibility of knowing that either party can cut the contract short for a variety of reasons and without a whole lot of fanfare is appealing.
Here are a few reasons from a company’s perspective that should make you feel pretty good about what you bring to the table as an interim professional.
Interims Offer Fresh Takes
One of the biggest reasons interim positions are in high demand is because these professionals bring a fresh perspective to the organization. By not being indoctrinated by the culture, stuck in personal and team dynamics or politics, or embedded in the company’s legacy processes, interims lend new ideas and approaches to their teams. In fact, interim pros and their unique skillsets and expertise are often critical to helping organizations achieve their key performance indicators (KPIs) more effectively and efficiently. Most organizations are aware of this incredible value, so you should be too.
Interims Are Dynamic and Adaptable
Interims are usually highly adaptable and fast learners, helping organizations navigate and implement changes smoothly and efficiently. As an interim professional, you could also get a chance to show up in a big way to tackle specific challenges like restructuring or downsizing. While change can sometimes be more difficult for traditional employees who have a more rigid idea of what the company should or shouldn’t do or offer, contract professionals are there to achieve specific goals and are generally super-resilient, comfortable and successful operating amidst great change, uncertainty and ambiguity.
Interims Bring Deep Expertise at the Drop of a Contract
With their wide breadth of experience in different industries, challenges and companies, interim talent often possess deep wisdom, uncommon skillsets and valuable reference points from which to pull and incorporate into their interim roles. And the best part is that employers can leverage all of this on very short notice and, in many cases, with very little time invested in training or onboarding. This makes companies more flexible and responsive to the dynamics of their industry.
Plus, interims can even help companies be seen as thought leaders by sharing their keen observations and critical thinking—the kind of insight that can only be garnered from interesting and diverse personal and professional backgrounds.
The Future Is Bright
As organizations continue to face new challenges and opportunities, they will need to lean on subject matter experts with the knowledge and skills to help them win. So, it’s more than safe to say that for the foreseeable future, interim professionals will continue to be called upon to play their signature role in helping organizations adapt, grow and succeed.
If you're an interim professional, or considering an interim position, know that you have made a smart choice. There’s truly never been a better time to be an interim candidate. Take advantage of this peak demand and make the moves that continue to grow your skills and expertise. The world needs what you have to offer.
Curious to learn more about how to pursue interim work opportunities, the benefits of taking an interim position, or how to best leverage your skillset in the hiring process? Browse our resources on interim talent for more information.