Introducing the ‘InterPerm’: The Permanent Interims helping define Business

When looking to make a strategic or impact hire, companies haven’t the time to wait 6-12 months to find the right candidate, interview/assess them, reference/offer, and then wait out lengthy notice periods. An Interim Executive on a short-term basis isn’t always the right solution either.

In such situations, Norman Broadbent Group is finding an increasing number of companies are turning to a new category of employee – the so-called ‘Permanent Interims’, or as we term them, InterPerm.

An InterPerm is a high quality Interim Professional with the experience and capabilities needed for the role in question. They will have the attitude and proven ability to make an immediate impact based on their prior Interim experiences. Typically, they will also be prepared to commit for a longer than usual term.

This change in approach – from clients and candidates – enables business leaders to build greater flexibility into their organisations. This added agility creates competitive advantage, as companies are able to react to unexpected challenges swiftly, particularly when caused by factors beyond their control.

The perfect example of this is Brexit. With the inevitable increases in levies from the renegotiation of our trade agreements, and ongoing and uncertain regulatory changes, companies will need to react quickly and effectively, meaning they don’t just survive the difficult times, but thrive in them.

Since the recession of 2007, there has been a slow but steady move towards much leaner business structures. When we look at businesses today, there is a tendency for there to be a smaller, but stronger, core of people at the centre who lead, maintain and drive the key areas of the business. Gone are the days of over-resourced companies with personnel to spare. The focus is now on creating an expert nucleus of leaders who drive strategy, culture, product development and service excellence.

However, as with any new business model, there comes a different set of challenges, specifically when reacting to the unexpected. Although some businesses have become leaner and more efficient, this creates a problem when something unforeseen happens, i.e. how to react to and manage a ‘situation’ quickly and decisively if it’s outside of the team’s expertise or experience. It is at times such as this that businesses have historically turned to a professional Interim for support.

In today’s environment, businesses must be able to flex and react quickly. This has led to an unexpected consequence in the Talent market. We are now seeing an increase in the number of highly experienced executives moving into a ‘hybrid career’. These experts are no longer looking for their next permanent or interim role, rather they are now looking for their next challenge, where they can be fully leveraged to add maximum value.

Norman Broadbent has helped a number of clients find and engage an InterPerm, who combines elements of business as usual, change, leadership and a commitment to making things happen.

One example includes a FTSE250 Manufacturer/Retailer who had an urgent need for a Supply Chain Transformation Director. Having grown rapidly, their supply chain function was no longer fit for purpose, and the senior leadership team within it was in need of development. With the impending retirement of their Supply Chain & Logistics Director, matters were compounded further due to a lack of succession planning.

Under normal circumstances, they would have brought in an Interim to complete the transformation whilst looking for the right long-term solution separately. As they felt the future Supply Chain & Logistics Director needed a deep understanding of their new supply chain model, the ideal solution was an InterPerm, who could step up once the transformation was completed.

A further example involved a market-leading Consultancy who lost their Chief Commercial Officer at short notice. The client needed ‘a heavy hitter’ to not only manage the day-to-day business, but also create and project manage a new sales proposition, to build and implement a new customer service strategy, and to re-motivate their sales team. A traditional Executive Search process wouldn’t work due to the time it would take and the candidate notice period. An Interim wasn’t the right solution either, as their need was longer-term. So again, the right solution was an InterPerm, who was immediately available and had the necessary experience to hit the ground ruining.


Having decided on going down the InterPerm route, we sourced and engaged with
suitable Talent in the market. The outcome of our activity was the hiring of a highly experienced InterPerm within ten days, minimising the impact of the CCO departing. Their preferred candidate had experience of recently working within similar consultancy/service based companies in transformation, meaning they were able to have immediate and positive impact.

In certain situations, a traditional Executive Search will be the right and proper way forward. Equally, when a client need is short-to-medium term, specific or project based, the right solution will be to deploy an Interim Professional or, in some instances, an InterPerm.

If you would like to learn more about how Norman Broadbent Interim could support you in this area, or to have an initial confidential discussion about services, please contact Nick Behan or Bob Caton on DETAILS.

Nick Behan

Director – Industrial Practice


DDI: +44 (0) 20 7484 0106


Bob Caton


Director – Industrial Practice


DDI:  +44 (0) 20 7484 0049

Tony Robinson

Director – Industrial Practice


DDI: +44 (0) 20 7355 6930