While Dinte has been placing interim executives for 11 years, he says several trends are uniting to create more room for them:
*More financially strapped, high-profile companies are seeking turnaround specialists to make immediate changes.
*Entrepreneurial companies are scrambling for executives with “proven operational expertise” who can get up to speed quickly.
*More senior executives are interested in interim assignments because they are trying to achieve work/life balance, are sampling different organizations and industries or are leery of accepting a permanent job in light of downsizings.
Acting executive appointments also are being used to “test-drive” candidates, mentor an up-and-comer or carry out a special project.
The use of short-term executives tends to peak when the labor market is extremely tight, as it was last fall, and when businesses suspect that the economy is turning around but lack the budget for permanent hires, says John Sturges, managing director of Contract Professionals in New York.
His prediction: More companies will turn to interim chiefs “if this [business] cycle continues.”