The rise of the permanent Business Change Manager

Change is vital for business success. Whether it’s a shift in company culture to portray a new brand image or a fundamental change in the products and services an organisation delivers, change is crucial to remain competitive. Without change, companies stagnate and face eroding market share as their competitors take advantage.

In recent years, the FTSE 250 travel company Thomas Cook has gone through a great deal of change. With falling market share reaching a low of 14.5p in July 2012, Thomas Cook hired a new CEO – Harriet Green. With decreasing sales, the company’s retail presence on the high street was reduced and instead, Harriet led a great deal of digital change to take advantage of the online consumer market. By January 2014, the share price had grown to 186.7p. Over this short period of time business change managers would have been imperative to this success, changing an offline mind set and old habits to implementing online best practice.

But why has business change become so popular in the last few years? And what experience and expertise do employers seek?

Why has business change become so popular?

Business change has become much more prominent over the last three years and as such, the demand for people who can lead and implement change projects has also sharply risen. A catalyst to this uplift in demand has been the number of business acquisitions and mergers, as well as new technology which demands updates to systems and processes. Other causes of change stem from branding, transformation, culture, and organisation restructures.

The importance of culture was highlighted in our recent Voice of the Workforce research, in which 44% of technology professionals said that a negative culture was one of the main reasons for leaving an employer.

A new era of Change Management?

Traditionally, if a company wanted to go through a period of change they would reach out to boutique and large consultancies to implement the change. However, business leaders are becoming more aware that change is constant, and subsequently moving away from outsourcing their change initiatives on a contract basis and instead, bringing Business Change Managers in house on a permanent basis. 

Sab Choudhury, Team Leader – Technology & Business Change, Networkers offers his insight:

“In the past, the fast moving nature of change projects led to a contract centric job market and  the ratio of permanent to contract Business Change Managers has been as disparate as 20:80. Traditionally, the only permanent Business Change Manager positions were with huge global firms or consultancies.”

“Today, permanent change vacancies are on the rise across all sectors, and without enough Change Managers willing to fill these positions, job seeking candidates now have the opportunity to obtain a role with slightly inflated salaries. While average contracting rates for a Business Change Manager start from £550 per day, average permanent salaries range from £65k - £80k per annum.”

What experience are employers looking for?

With demand for Business Change Managers increasing, how do employers differentiate between job applicants and what kind of experience are they looking for?

Sab offers some words of advice:

“The Business Change discipline is maturing significantly and is becoming more sector specific than ever before. As this is a candidate rich market employers will be looking for people with the most relevant change delivery experience within a particular field.”

To see our latest Business Change Management roles please click here.

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