U.S. Companies Demand Sophisticated Management

According to ManpowerGroup’s 2011 labor-shortage study, 52% of U.S employers surveyed said that a shortage of talent was keeping them from hiring more robustly.

“We know employers are struggling to fill open positions that require specialized and technical skills,” according to the staffing group’s survey. Management/executive positions made it into the study’s top-ten list of the hardest jobs for U.S. employers to fill.

Maybe those companies aren’t looking in the right places.

In the interim executive community, the skills and experience that companies now demand from employees can be found in abundance.

C-level executives always have been expected to arrive ready not only to do the job, but also to bring in fresh approaches and leadership skills to turn the boat around if needed. No training required, thank you very much.

What’s actually lacking might be corporate foresight to utilize available resources effectively, some industry sources argued.

“So many companies are not fulfilling their potential, because they are not willing to go outside to bring in talent,” said Ian Smith, an interim executive who recently served as interim CEO on behalf of a venture fund to turnaround a software company. Smith recently wrote a book, Fulfilling the Potential of Your Business: Big Company Thinking for the Mighty Small Business. “They’re still thinking like a dinosaur, and can only see one type of solution,” he said, the sometimes arduous and costly process of hiring long-term executives.

But a shift to this way of thinking appears to be afoot. Interim executives see opportunity as companies search for more innovative ways to operate. It’s expensive to bring on a permanent senior executive both in terms of time and investment: companies needing, for example, change experts—just one of the specialties companies in-the-know can tap in to–don’t have to undertake an enormous expense when the right interim executive is available.

The Wall Street Journal followed up on the Manpower survey with an article, “Why Companies Aren’t Getting the Employees They Need,” by Peter Cappelli. The article suggested that in order to get America’s job engine revved up, “companies….need to drop the idea of finding perfect candidates and look for people who could do the job with a bit of training and practice.”

Or, easier yet –and remarkably cost-effective and results-oriented—find the perfect candidate in an interim executive.