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Even CFOs and COOs are accepting short-term roles in Asia

Interim work is very attractive, but only at the senior level

Interim work is very attractive, but only at the senior level

We’ve written about contractors in banks before (see here and here), and as this niche market continues to mature, so has the need for veteran talent. Meet the new breed of C-level contractors.

Evelyn Chan, deputy general manager, Talent2, Hong Kong, has seen a growing demand for interim management in the financial sector. “There’s a need for senior consultants, like CFOs, COOs or directors. This is due to ongoing M&A activities in Hong Kong, process re-engineering and organisational transformation as firms undergo restructuring.”

Everyone wants them

These work arrangements typically range from three to six months, and sought-after candidates come from corporate finance, consulting or M&A. Chan explains the need for high-level talent: “Firms are obviously looking for people who can hit the ground running. These veteran professionals are sought after by everyone, from investment banks to MNCs.”

Their popularity also stems from the difficulty HR departments face in securing permanent roles. “The recruitment process has been dragged out since early this year. Headcount goes through layers of approval and firms are being extremely cautious.”

Interim is interesting (and rewarding)

As employers begin to see the value-add of interim management roles, candidates are also increasingly receptive to short-term work. These roles are attractive for a number of reasons: they offer great variety, clearer deliverables, and measurable impact over a shorter period.

The compensation packages of interim managers are usually generous. Chan says: “These people are paid on a daily or monthly basis. Most get an increment over what they were previously earning, there has to be an incentive.”

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