Well, I’m calling them free agents. In the always innovative food sector of franchising, they’re being called “interim.” For the purpose of this post, let’s call them “interim executives.”
It’s a crazy job market. I recently spoke at a Cleveland area meeting of ExecuNet, which is a national networking group consisting of downsized middle managers and executives that were making at least $100k annually, before they were let go.
The last time I spoke at an ExecuNet meeting, almost a year ago, the medium-sized amphitheater where I did a presentation on “Is Franchise Ownership for You?” only had a couple of empty seats. There was a lot of networking going on, and it took almost an entire hour for everybody to introduce themselves, and share their two-minute elevator pitch, which is an important exercise.
This time around, I did a similar presentation to about 14 people. The facilitator told me that candidates were getting jobs, and that’s why the meeting was so small. He added that “some of them didn’t even have to relocate.” I was pretty surprised. After all, the economy has been a bit on the weak side, and the unemployment figures haven’t been all that encouraging. But, hey, I’ll take some good news for once.
So, if executive job-seekers are getting hired, I’m curious as to what types of companies are doing the hiring?
I may have found part of the answer; some of these executives may be getting positions as “interim CEOs, CFOs, and HMOs.” (I was kidding about the HMOs; it was just there for the taking.)
The folks over at the Investopedia website write that “increasing numbers of businesses are now bringing in interim CEOs from outside their firms. One of the reasons for this is that the skill set desired for interim CEOs is generally unique, as they are often required to manage a crisis situation, as opposed to the day-to-day operations of the company.”
Since this is such a specialized position, there’s probably not a huge amount of job candidates being placed in these jobs, but if you happen to be a downsized executive, it could be worth a look.
The quick-serve food sector seems to be using the interim executive model to its advantage.
According to the writers at QSR Magazine, it’s having quite an impact.
Chris LaCorata, executive director of the Interim Association in Charlotte, North Carolina, says hiring an interim rather than a full-time executive serves many functions for a company. For instance, he says, a company may be looking for better execution on strategy and solutions.
“They need people to come in and execute change in a company to show its real value,” LaCorata says. Also, some businesses may not have the financial incentives to offer to a full-time executive right away, LaCorata says. Read the rest of the story at QSRMagazine.com.
I really do look at interim executives as free agents, and I would imagine that they look at themselves that way also. Their positions are usually not permanent, but they certainly have the potential to become permanent. It sounds like a great way to position oneself, and it probably doesn’t look too shabby on an executive-level resume.
If you’re looking for an executive position, could this be an innovative way to expand your horizons?
Joel Libava, The Franchise King,® is the president of Franchise Selection Specialists Inc, a franchise consulting firm that specializes in helping prospective franchise owners all over the US find great opportunities in franchise ownership. Joel discusses all aspects of franchising on The Franchise King Blog, is quite active in social media, and serves as the community promotions director for Small Business Trends.