Majority of Kiwi CFOs use interim managers for cost efficiency

The development of the ‘peripheral workforce’ is reaching maturity as the majority of CFOs say they are planning to work with an interim managers.

  • 94% of New Zealand CFOs plan to work with experienced interim managers. 
  • The demand for financial interim managers is strongest for business transformation (48%) and project management (38%). 
  • 92% of New Zealand CFOs say working with experienced interim managers is cost-effective and 87% say it is efficient.
  • Today’s interim managers are also measured on measurable indicators such as project/change implementation, cost savings and increased efficiency/performance.

The development of the ‘peripheral workforce’, which includes the incorporation of more interim employees in the workplace, is reaching maturity in New Zealand. According to independent research from specialist recruiter Robert Half, 94% of CFOs and finance directors say they are planning to work with an experienced interim manager in the future. 

Megan Alexander, Director Robert Half New Zealand said: “New Zealand’s employment market is seeing companies increasingly rely on a flexible hiring policy, which they achieve through a combination of permanent and temporary employees with the right mix of skills. Finance and accounting interim managers have secured a permanent role across every aspect of any business – right through to senior management and executive personnel.”

The demand for financial interim managers is strongest for business transformation (48%) and project management (38%). Business continuity (26%), management and leadership enhancement (24%), and change management (23%) are other initiatives that will further encourage New Zealand’s finance leaders to employ interim managers.

“Not only are interim managers exceptionally useful at meeting traditional business needs like covering peak periods or filling the gap between one senior staff member leaving and finding a permanent replacement, interim employees are also sought after to provide specific expertise. Times where interim managers were solely viewed as crisis managers are over – they have become a catalyst to drive change and profitability.”

“Many companies are hiring a financial interim manager who, as an external expert with an objective view, can re-evaluate the challenges and growing pains within the company, implement the required changes and provide alternate perspectives for growth and expansion,” said Megan Alexander.

How to rate the level of success of an interim manager?
Interim managers are rated highly by finance leaders for both efficiency (87%) and cost effectiveness (92%) in achieving specific business goals.

"Companies are fast seeing the benefits of recruiting interim managers to upskill their department and gain strategic advantages on a cost reduced basis with greater flexibility. Bringing on board these expert professionals also indirectly benefits the existing employees of the businesses through offering new perspectives, mentoring and knowledge transfer,” said Megan Alexander. 

How to evaluate the success of an interim manager?
During the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), many organisations in New Zealand found themselves under increasing pressure to reduce costs and implement new projects to increase profitability. As a result, little over two in five (41%) CFOs and finance directors say that the success of interim managers is evaluated through the successful implementation of company projects, another two in five (40%) identify cost savings and more than one in three (37%) say increased efficiency or performance is an important evaluation criterion for the success of an interim manager. 

In today’s market, interim managers are not just being evaluated on their ability to manage a specific project or implement change, but also on softer aspects like mentoring and knowledge transfer (35%) and having a successful hands-on approach (11%).

How do you evaluate the success of an interim manager in your company?

Successful project/change implementation  41%
Cost savings  40%
Increased efficiency/performance 37%
Knowledge transfer/mentorship 35%
Increased revenue 28%
Less time spent on employee onboarding   17%
Continuous involvement and successful hands-on approach   11%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 100 New Zealand CFOs and finance directors – multiple answers allowed.


About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm, surveying 100 Chief Financial Officers (CFO) and finance directors in New Zealand. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]