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IC Pressures Driving Demand for Interims

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IC Pressures Driving Demand for Interims

A survey of over 500 Internal Communications professionals has revealed that increasing pressure on the function is driving interim usage. According to the report - carried out by the global recruitment specialist for corporate and marketing communications, VMA GROUP - this issue is being exacerbated by the function's blurred lines of responsibility.

Use of interims high

According to the fifth annual Internal Communications market survey, the majority of IC teams are supported by contracting resources, with over half (57%) of respondents currently using interims. This demand is currently being driven by increased change management activity that requires specialist skills and experience.

Andrew Harvey, Director of Internal Communications Practice, VMA GROUP explains:

"The business world is operating in a state of constant transformation, driving the need for more change management, which understandably falls on the head of the internal comms team. What we're seeing is this function turning to the interim market to meet this demand due to limited resources and skills."

While 72% of those surveyed do not expect to increase the number of contractors over the coming year, this is indicative of the uncertain nature of the interim market, as one of the respondents, Allen Bruce, Head of Change Communications EMEA at AIG, explains:

"Often the need is driven by a specific event, such as maternity cover or sickness. These are not necessarily things that IC leaders can predict, so the 72% of leaders not anticipating an interim hire in 2016 may yet find themselves in need of one."

External comms ownership remains questionable. 

The survey also revealed that the remit of many IC teams covers management of more than just internal communications activities, with a third of respondents handling other responsibilities. External communications is the most common overlap, with 73% of IC professionals involved in this function.

Harvey comments:

"The fact that so many professionals hold responsibility in contiguous disciplines suggests that, structurally, IC is not widely considered to be a standalone function. The jury is still out as to where Internal Comms should sit in relation to wider communications strategies. While it can be argued that all comms activity should be integrated, others believe that IC's focused remit - and growing importance - sets it up to be a separate area. It will be interesting to see how this develops over time."

Read our latest (2018) Inside Insight Report. Find out more here about how we can help you develop your career in internal communications. Alternatively, if you would like help to hire the best internal communications talent for your team, read more here. For permanent opportunities, please call Sara Tehrani or for interim opportunities call Matthew Gibbs