Understanding the Difference Between Interim and Consultant Roles in Treasury Recruitment

As a recruitment consultant, I speak on a daily basis with interim treasury candidates and large corporations. I often notice that during these conversations, a distinction is made between interim managers and consultants. For many, an interim manager is seen as a freelancer who temporarily fills a role within a company, essentially keeping operations running smoothly. This might be due to a long-term illness, maternity leave, or the departure of an employee, providing the company with time to find a permanent replacement. These candidates are often labeled as relatively “cheap.”

A consultant is viewed as a highly experienced specialist in their field, taking on projects with a clear start and end, such as implementing a Treasury Management System (TMS), setting up a securitization process, guiding the establishment of a new Treasury department, or building an in-house banking environment. These candidates are generally more expensive and come from well-known firms.

However, when I look at the market and listen to my clients and candidates, things are not black and white but often. I believe there are some misconceptions here.

  1. Interim manager as Specialists: Many of my freelance candidates have extensive experience in Treasury and can often hit the ground running when it comes to keeping a seat warm. Yet, having seen so much over the years, they could also be placed on various specialized projects that I mentioned above in the text on consultants. This brings me to my second point;
  2. Cost Perception: Whether something is perceived as expensive or cheap varies from person to person or company to company. However, my freelance candidates often charge a fee within a small range, depending on the assignment, its complexity, distance, and duration. Yet, their rates are nowhere near the prices of the major consultancy firms. Consultancy firms do of course have their merits and can pick up projects with a result guarantee. they often have a broad and deep expertise basis and broader relevant networks

What I’m trying to convey here is: look at what you need as a company and at the individual’s experience and suitability for the assignment, rather than the label they carry or the firm they come from. This approach ensures you get the right person for the job, maximizing value and expertise without unnecessary costs.

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