Organizations Face Heightened Need for Interim Leadership, Reveals Business Talent Group’s High-End Independent Talent Report

April 4, 2023

116% increase in interim demand signifies extent of business leadership gap, with most acute need in the office of the Chief Financial Officer

CHICAGO, April 5, 2023 – Despite slow, sometimes halted, hiring and frequent budget tightening amid global economic uncertainty, an acute need remains for high-end independent talent—also known as on-demand talent—with skills to pivot adeptly in today’s increasingly competitive business environment.

In its sixth annual High-End Independent Talent Report, Business Talent Group (BTG), a Heidrick & Struggles (Nasdaq: HSII) company and the leading talent marketplace for independent management consultants, interim executives, subject matter experts, and project managers, reported a strong rise in demand for interim leadership. This urgency for on-demand talent reflects the desire of companies to leverage more flexibility and bring in new skills to navigate economic uncertainty and rapidly changing markets.  

Underscoring that finding, the 2023 report registered a 116% increase year over year in the need for interim leadership at all levels throughout organizations, with the demand for such interim help in the C-suite rising by 78%. The most acute interim need was in the office of the Chief Financial Officer representing nearly half of all interim C-suite leadership requests. Additionally, requests for CEOs surged 220% year over year and climbed 100% for Chief Human Resources Officers and Chief Transformation Officers.  

“The dramatic increase in demand for interim leadership underscores the significant challenges companies are experiencing in today’s turbulent market. The uncertainty that organizations are facing emphasizes the importance of effective leaders to drive critical transformations and position companies for resilience in a world of constant change,” said Amelia Warren Tyagi, CEO of Business Talent Group. “As business leaders are challenged to do more with less, they are acknowledging the full benefits offered by on-demand talent—in both interim leadership roles and project-based work—to deliver the expertise needed to fill skills gaps and navigate uncertainty while remaining flexible with capacity and cost.” 

Among other significant highlights, the report found: 

  • An acute need for skills and expertise in the office of the Chief Financial Officer.

    Requests for interim CFOs rose 103% year over year, while the demand for interim controllers skyrocketed 233% and rose 71% for all interim finance talent. Requests for talent skilled in financial controls, accounting, and audit increased 76%.

  • Tech transformations abound across all industries.

    Demand for IT and tech transformation projects and talent skilled in tech and systems implementation increased 20% as organizations invest heavily to capitalize on rapid tech advancements.

  • Continued interest in process optimization and transformation.

    As leaders focus further on streamlining operations and improving agility and resilience by transforming nearly every function, the demand is high for business process-oriented projects, the second most in-demand project, and talent skilled in process optimization and transformation, the fourth most in-demand skill. 

About BTG

Business Talent Group (BTG) is the leading talent marketplace that connects independent management consultants, subject matter experts, project managers, and interim executives with the world’s best companies. BTG provides just the right on-demand talent needed: remote or on-site, part-time or full-time, individuals or teams. That’s why more than 50% of the F100 and hundreds of other leading companies trust BTG to curate, vet, and compliantly deliver talent who fuel growth, innovation, and performance improvement. BTG is a Heidrick & Struggles company (Nasdaq: HSII).

About Heidrick & Struggles

Heidrick & Struggles (Nasdaq: HSII) is a premier provider of global leadership advisory and on-demand talent solutions, serving the senior-level talent and consulting needs of the world's top organizations. In our role as trusted leadership advisors, we partner with our clients to develop future-ready leaders and organizations, bringing together our services and offerings in executive search, diversity and inclusion, leadership assessment and development, organization and team acceleration, culture shaping and on-demand, independent talent solutions. Heidrick & Struggles pioneered the profession of executive search more than 65 years ago. Today, the firm provides integrated talent and human capital solutions to help our clients change the world, one leadership team at a time.®

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