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Why I believe Interims should fill out the IIM 2023 Survey


Sally Wilson, (Senior Consultant, Interim Leadership) shares why the IIM Survey is far more than a popularity contest and is a fantastic research tool for all Interims.

As the Institute of Interim Management (IIM) launches its 14th annual survey I wanted to spend some time reflecting on what the survey means to me and why I believe interims give their time and data every year to the IIM.

For anyone who is new to the industry or who hasn’t completed this survey before here is an overview for you.

In April of every year, the IIM launches its annual survey to gain insight into the industry. Last year over 2000 interims gave 20-30 mins of their time to share their experiences of the sector. This information is then analysed and published as a report covering everything from; who are you, what do you do and how do you secure your work. The survey changes every year so that it can gain insights on what’s important to the sector right now and is recognised as the most comprehensive and prestigious insight into the Interim Management market. Here is a link to the back catalogue of past surveys.

Whilst the survey can in part be seen as a popularity contest for service providers and consultants to be recognised as one of the top providers, its important to remember that the data captured by this survey will help interims develop and grow their businesses, as well as be used by policymakers in Government to shape decisions.

The impact of IR35

In 2021 the Private sector rules for IR35 came into line with the Public Sector. In 2021 37.8% undertook assignments Inside IR35, 45.4% Outside IR35 and 16.8% did both. Last year’s survey, the 1st survey looking at assignments that fell into the new alignment only 39% of respondents had 1 or more roles Inside IR35. I will be interested to see this year’s data and whether the percentage of Inside roles have increased.

The changing profile of interim managers

I am also keen to see this year’s data on the changing profile of interim managers. This year I’ve seen an increase in recent retirees telling me they are not interested in moving into interim management or consulting and they just want to enjoy their retirement. I worry that burn out and poor health is meaning fewer interims moving into the market. This could potentially show the average age profile decreasing. However looking at past surveys the average age rose slightly from 54.5 years in 2021 to just short of 55 years in 2022.

Gender and ethnic origins

As someone passionate about equality I dream of the day that we have workforces and leadership teams that are reflective of our communities, so one of the first sections I will look at in the survey are the stats on gender and ethnic origin. Last year saw significant improvements in the percentage of female interims. 29.5% v’s 25.2% in 2021. I am hoping for 2023 to top 30% which will be the first time since 2015. In 2021 the IIM started collecting data on the ethnic origin of its respondents and 86.4% of respondents were of a white background. 2022 saw this number reduce to 84.4%. Given the 2022 census report showing that 81.0% of the UK population identifies as white I would expect to see this number of white interims decrease further in this year’s report.

Average day rates

Given the UK’s cost of living crisis and inflation sitting at over 10% I’ll be interested to see how Interims average day rates are faring. Last year saw average day rates rise by £9 (£794- £805). As someone who places into the Public Sector I will be hoping to see an increase in Public sector average day rates. These dropped by an average of £12 per day last year from £668 to £656.

Public vs private sector

Working for GatenbySanderson, a Public Sector Executive recruitment provider I will be interested in seeing what percentage of interims are working in the Public vs the private sector. Last year we saw an increase from 38.5% to 42% of respondents. Could this be the year where we hit 50%? Or will further austerity cuts mean a decrease?

Last year it’s estimated that around 13% of market completed the survey. I understand that as busy interim managers, finding 20-30 mins to work through a very detailed survey may not be easy, but if we can raise the proportion of the market that responds to a survey we’re more likely to get insights that we can use to support you and your business.

You can complete this year’s survey here.


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