Why Choose Interim Work? Our Survey Reveals Top Motivations

Posted by Matt Walden on 03 24, 2023

While experts have been warning of a recession on the horizon for some time, the reality is that the job market is still strong—notably, the gig economy. We have seen an exponential rise in demand for interim talent, and we don’t foresee this slowing down any time soon.

We recently explored  why now is a great time to go interim—including increased workplace flexibility, the unique opportunity to develop a diverse skillset, ability and experience, and higher compensation. The benefits seem crystal clear from an outsider’s perspective, but what are the motivations of the actual professionals filling these interim roles? 

In this blog post, we cover some key findings gathered from over 1,000 interim professionals about their motivations for taking on interim roles so that growing companies can better prepare to attract and retain top interim talent in your industry for years to come.

78 Million and Counting: The Gig Economy in 2023 and Beyond  

Many executives and professionals alike are choosing interim as their preferred career path, but what’s the motivation behind it? We surveyed more than 1,000 savvy members of the growing gig economy to gain insight—and we’re happy to report that much insight was gained, indeed.

Let’s look at three key findings that stood out from our first Korn Ferry Interim Talent Survey. 

1. “What most motivated you to choose interim employment?” 

Perhaps the most important question of all to kick things off. Before diving into the specifics of what professionals like about taking on interim roles, we wanted to gain a high-level understanding of the primary motivation to go interim.

Survey said… 

  • 35% reported interim work being the next chapter in their career to lead directly to retirement. 
  • 26% saw the interim route as a desired shift from traditional corporate lifestyle/politics. 
  • 19% consider interim employment as their path to permanent employment within a company. 

What this means for employers: With a wide range of motivations from interim talent, prioritize getting to know each individual candidate, including their desired path and intentions for this next step in their career, during the interview process. Not only will this make them feel like a valued candidate, but it will also allow you to make the most informed decision in the hiring process that will help your organization and its goals. 

2. “What is the top attribute needed to succeed as an interim professional?” 

As an employer with open interim positions, it’s crucial to understand how you can create a workplace culture that supports incoming interim professionals to succeed in their roles at your company to create a mutually beneficial partnership that yields high returns.

Survey said… 

  • 61% of interim professionals believe the ability to quickly understand, assess and assimilate into the client organization is what best sets them up for success.

What this means for employers: Take current employee feedback seriously and act on it. There’s much insight to gain from the professionals currently within your organization to set up future hires for optimal success. Make this discussion a key focus in the interview process when filling open interim roles on your team.

3. “How satisfied are you with your career as an interim professional?” 

It’s no secret that happy employees are more productive and more likely to stick around and produce high-quality work when satisfied in the workplace. So creating a culture that your employees love to be a part of—whether full-time or interim—is key to long-term success and growth.

Survey said… 

  • 94% feel some level of satisfaction with their career as an interim. 
  • Only 7% are dissatisfied with their career as an interim professional. 

What this means for employers: Things like flexibility, competitive compensation, autonomy, and variety in the workplace are key contributors to interim employee satisfaction. Consider internally prioritizing these features to attract and retain top interim talent. 

Fill Your Next Interim Role With ICS – Korn Ferry 

59% of top interim professionals use search firms to find their next opportunity. Employers, are you taking advantage of all the resources available to move the needle forward in your business? 

ICS – Korn Ferry is proud to connect employers like you with our robust network of interim talent. Reach out to get connected with someone today. 

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