October 14, 2016 – Sydney-based executive recruiters Watermark Search International has launched a new interim search practice in Melbourne and appointed Jacinta Whelan as its leader.
The practice focuses on interim appointments in both public and private sectors with a particular emphasis on CEOs and COOs, senior executives in IT, human resources specialists, project and program management experts and business turnaround and change consultants.
The interim opportunities the firm offers range from providing professional guardianship, managing a business or department through a turbulent period, bringing in specialist skills for a particular project or auditioning for a potential senior permanent vacancy. The practice works with career interim managers as well as those considering it as an option among others in their career plan as well as executives in between permanent roles.
Ms. Whelan is a thought leader and popular speaker on the concept of interim management, portfolio careers and future ways of working. She over 20 years of experience starting and leading Interim businesses in Hong Kong, New York and Australia. Previously, she was a general manager at Jo Fisher Executive Search, where she launched the firm’s interim practice Flex Executives. She also served in various roles at JW Management Consulting, Resources Global Professionals and Michael Page.
Rising Demand for Interims as Strategic Option
“We see a rising demand for the skills that executive interims bring to companies. This is born out not only by the rising number of interim executives that are working on client assignments, but also by a reduction in the amount of time that these executives are experiencing between those assignments,” said Graham Willis, a Watermark Search managing partner. “We see continued growth in this service offering and an increasing willingness from clients to consider an interim executive as a ‘strategic’ rather than a ‘last option.'”
“Another interesting shift over the past couple of years has been the internationalization of the interim executive offering,” Mr. Willis continued. “There is both a willingness among executives to consider an overseas assignment as well as clients being open to an international option” being filled by a part time executive.
“In summary,” said Mr. Willis, “the demand for interim executives continues to grow and executives are increasingly seeing the interim opportunity as an active choice, not a ‘stop-gap.'”
Competitive Advantage In the Gig Economy
According to Watermark’s Interim Management Report, there are significantly more interims currently ‘on assignment’ this year compared to previous years. Notable growth in business transformation was noted as the reason why interim managers are hired for assignments.
“We are now experiencing a significant growth and awareness of this credible and effective resourcing solution,” said Caroline McAuliffe, a partner at Watermark. “The rise of the ‘gig economy’ and the more contingent workforce is seeing a demand for seasoned operational executives to provide a competitive advantage.”
Watermark Search has provided executive search services in Australia since 1979 and specializes in C-level executive roles for various sectors, including manufacturing; renewable energy; transport; corporate and institutional banking; mining services; local, state & federal government; utilities; engineering and construction; education; professional services; and not-for-profit sectors.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media