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European Biopharmaceutical Review

The Life Science Love Affair with Interim Management



The life sciences industry consistently ranks among the top three users of interim managers, according to the latest figures from Ipsos MORI for the industry body, the Interim Management Association. It’s a significant development over just a few years, as Perry Evans, of RSA explains

Since it arrived in the UK in the mid-1980s, the interim management market has been growing steadily and the industry is now thought to be worth £1 billion a year. It has taken longer for pharma and biotech industries to realise the benefits of interim management than some other sectors. However, human resources managers are now embracing flexible ways to add value to their businesses.

There are also corresponding changes in the ‘typical’ profile of interim managers – the age range has dropped significantly and we are seeing more successful professionals in their 30s and 40s making a career out of short-term interim assignments. Better understanding of what interim management is and how it works has made the hiring of readily available hands-on experts a more appealing, cost-effective option. In life sciences, interim opportunities are now available in almost every area, from discovery through to sales and marketing.

Interim management is the answer to a short-term resourcing need at senior or specialist levels. It places an experienced professional in an operational role on a short-term assignment within a company. Assignments typically last six to nine months, and the specific skills and experience required can range from leadership, managerial, functional, or a combination of each at multiple levels. Interims operate independently as limited companies and are paid a daily fee. For clients, this means that they only pay for the time the interim spends there, and when the job is finished, the interim leaves. They can add value in a variety of ways, but two key factors usually apply.


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Perry Evans is the Manager of RSA Interims and has a BA in Business Studies. He is a British Psychological Society approved test administrator and is trained in conducting competency-based interviews. Perry has 20 years’ recruitment experience in a wide range of sectors, including medical, healthcare, automotive, telecoms and FMCG. He has experience in key account management, international recruitment and managing volume recruitment campaigns.
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