Study shows charities use more senior interim staff

Charities are increasingly drafting in senior staff on short-term contracts to manage specific projects and rescue struggling initiatives, research suggests.

In a survey of 110 interim managers working in the voluntary sector, carried out by recruitment consultancy Russam GMS, 24 per cent said the roles most demanded by charities were to "turn around projects".

A further 14 per cent said "project management" was most in demand and 18 per cent named fundraising as the most called-for. Eighty-two per cent said there was a skills shortage in the sector.

Stephen Brooker, chair of the charities practice at Russam, said charities were increasingly taking on short-term staff in high-level roles. "It means the charities can employ somebody they could not otherwise afford or be able to attract," he said.

Tom Hamilton, a self-employed interim manager based in Glasgow, said he was getting more enquiries from charities. "I've done a few bits and pieces, but charities still don't get interim managers in nearly as much as private sector companies do," he said. "I feel they're a bit frightened of the private sector approach. Charities take things a bit slower."

Hamilton said cost was still a barrier for charities.

"I think it's likely that people involved in charity work will actually use interim managers more because they're starting to realise that the job gets done faster," he said. "The problem is that people just don't like the price - the cost per day of an interim manager is pretty expensive, so that can be an issue."

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