TUESDAY 8 MAR 2016 9:52 AM


Over 500 internal communications professionals reveal the increasing pressure on the function, driving the use of interim.

According to the report - based on an annual survey conducted by corporate and marketing communications recruitment specialist, VMA Group - this issue has been amplified by the function’s blurred lines of responsibility.

Due to an increased change in management activity requiring more specialist skills and experience, the majority of IC teams are supported by contracting resources and 57% of respondents are currently using interims.

Andrew Harvey, director of internal communications practice at the VMA Group, explains, “The business world is operating in a state of constant transformation, driving the need for more change management, which understandably falls on the head of the internal comms team. What we’re seeing is this function turning to the interim market to meet this demand due to limited resources and skills.”

Although nearly three-fourths of those surveyed do not expect an increase in the number of contractors over the coming year, the uncertain nature of the interim market suggests otherwise. One of the respondents, Allen Bruce, head of change communications EMEA at AIG, says, “Often the need is driven by a specific event, such as maternity cover or sickness. These are not necessarily things that IC leaders can predict, so the 72% of leaders not anticipating an interim hire in 2016 may yet find themselves in need of one.”

Additionally, the survey revealed that many IC teams cover management of more than just internal communications activities, with a third of respondents handling other responsibilities; external communications is the most common overlap. Harvey adds, “The fact that so many professionals hold responsibility in contiguous disciplines suggests that, structurally, IC is not widely considered to be a standalone function. The jury is still out as to where internal comms should sit in relation to wider communications strategies. While it can be argued that all comms activity should be integrated, others believe that IC’s focused remit, and growing importance, sets it up to be a separate area. It will be interesting to see how this develops over time.”


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