Interim Executives and Other Professionals are the Solutions to Your Company’s Talent Gap

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Forty percent of companies worldwide are suffering from the inability to find and onboard talent at every level of operations, from the c-suite to the shop floor and front office. In Japan, the talent gap is an alarming 86%. By 2024 the shortage of executive talent and skilled workers is expected to double. The only immediate and long-term solution for most of these companies is to increasingly add interim talent to the staffing plan. Period.

Here are the major reasons the talent gap is growing and probably won’t begin to shrink for at least two decades:


  • Between 2018 and 2028, 48% of the global workforce will retire,
  • while only 53% of companies have a talent development program,
  • with only 39% practicing leadership development and succession planning, and
  • 83% of human resources (HR) executives reporting they have little faith in the talent and leadership development and hiring pipelines they do have in place.

Lack of Skilled Applicants

  • A staggering 85% of HR managers are struggling to get new executives on-board,
  • 46% aren’t getting skilled applicants, or report no applicants for most non-executive positions,
  • additionally, 60% of employment opportunities require a college degree, but only an average of 40% of applicants have one,
  • all exacerbated by the fact that, globally, the unemployment rate is hovering around a relatively low 6%.


  • Aging population — by the middle of the century, almost 25% of the world’s population will be over the age of 65 compared to about 12% in 2018.
  • The erosion of the middle class will reduce the laborer-to-middle-management workforce up to 50%, and it’s not predicted that automation will fill the gaps as 73% of business owners believe the requirement for staff to manage the technology will be high.
  • The depletion of vital resources like water and energy as the demand for both will increase 50% by 2030, drawing an unknown percentage of skilled professionals into those industries.
  • Climate change — to be determined.

These are key influencers of the talent gap now, and the skills deficit the future of work faces. Because of these trends, McKinsey predicts up to 375 million people in the U.S. alone will need to retrain entirely for all-new positions/careers by 2030. Furthermore, lifestyle preferences are changing the workforce. Already, people are demanding to work at home/remotely more and to shorten work days to five hours from eight. They are also choosing to be interim workers rather than permanent until:

  • their dream opportunity presents itself,
  • they get a better insurance package than they can provide themselves,
  • the c-suite no longer outsources (won’t happen),
  • companies stop cost-cutting in the staffing arena (won’t happen),
  • work never gets repetitive and boring (won’t happen), and
  • loyalty translates into job security (a thing of the past).

The sum of all these parts is this: the skills gap is widening, not narrowing. This requires that companies embrace interim professionals in order to be flexible, scalable, adaptive, have a pipeline of talent on-demand and development effectively in place, and to drive value through transformative projects and project management. In Switzerland, 63% of chief executives have interim project managers on-board at all times, and one of the lowest skills gap percentages.

So what’s the landscape of interim executives and other professionals globally, and why are interims the answer for you?

  • The demand for interim executives is increasing rapidly with the majority (46%) serving as CEO/president/GM, followed closely by operations execs (42%); IT, marketing, finance, sales HR, and engineering round out the picture.
  • Ninety percent of chief executives anticipate working with interim project managers and subject matter experts within the year.
  • Interim executives do temporary work because they like the freedom and diversity of it (58%) and are looking for their next perfect fit (33%).
  • On average, interims cost 32% less to onboard and pay because they are vetted to be a perfect fit (so minimal hiring and exit costs) and don’t receive benefits from insurances to paid time off, or perks like company cars.
  • In fact, 84% of executives who have worked with interims consider them a cost-effective way to achieve business goals.
  • Over 82% of interims get high marks for efficiency and ability.
  • While it’s hard to quantify these characteristics, executives laud using interims because they are readily available and onboard quickly, they get fast results, are masters at putting sustainable systems and processes in place, and they consider knowledge transfer to be part of their charter.

Using interims was once considered to be a thing done out of desperation. Now, it’s becoming standard operating procedure. Why? Because it delivers so much value… and value-adds like:

  • They know how to deploy strategic solutions.
  • Their experience is real, not theoretical.
  • Being exceptional is the only way they get more interim positions.
  • They don’t get distracted from getting it done.
  • You don’t have to have them on the payroll for any more time than you need them.
  • They work with you and your people rather than just dictating what should be done.
  • They cost a lot less than consultants for equal or better value.

If you place interims in your organization through a company like MetaExperts™ that has an intensely rigorous vetting process, the value will far outweigh the risk. In fact, insist on using such a company as they carry the risk, while you get the value. The afore-listed reasons make it obvious why 90% of executives will use interims this year — it’s the future of work — and you should too.


The greatest talent shortage ever now exists globally.Check out our talent gap data infographic here:

Your Talent Gaps Are Slippery Slopes Interim Executives Can Solve

Additional Reading

Top Talent: Staffing for Operational Excellence

Why Great Employees Quit You, and Great Consultants Don’t

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