When to recruit an interim

IMA members appoint Interim Managers to undertake assignments with change management as the common theme. As illustrated below the assignments broadly fall into two categories Project/Programme Management and Gap Management.

Project/Programme Management – Interim Management, the alternative to retaining a management consultancy

  • The Client is planning to undertake a strategic or tactical project and is broadly clear on what needs to be achieved but the organisation does not possess the relevant knowledge and proven skills to deliver. Assignments range from tactical project management to full business transformation.
  • Interim Managers lead programmes to create or extend shared services, manage outsourcing (UK and offshore), M&A – due diligence to integration, facilitate and lead restructuring, organise relocations, implement new technology, risk and regulatory systems.
  • In the past the Client used a management consultancy to undertake this work but today these tasks are successfully delivered, and at significantly cheaper daily rates, by retaining Interim Managers.
  • Clients value the simplicity of the contract, the Interim Manager’s relevant experience and focus on delivery, hand-picked by a member of the IMA.

Gap Management – Interim Management, the alternative to hiring on a permanent basis

  • The Client has a role, the leadership of a function or business area, a senior and key brief in the management structure. The need can be created by a variety of different circumstances – promotion, secondment, restructure, resignation, peaks of activity, maternity leave or health related. The bottom line is, the client does not have the in-house resource capable of undertaking the role and progress must not be lost.
  • Whatever the cause, the IMA member will select a suitably qualified and experienced individual to fulfil the brief to recover, accelerate or maintain momentum, and for the exact period required. The Interim Manager can also help to hire the replacement, mentor and coach the team.
  • Clients value the simplicity of the contract, the Interim Manager’s relevant experience and focus on delivery, hand-picked by a member of the IMA.
Top tips on hiring an interim 

1. Check if you really need an interim manager or whether the skills and knowledge you require already exist within your organisation.

2. Have an ideal candidate in mind to ensure you pick the right person for the job.

3. Always use a reputable interim provider that can find managers with the right balance of management skills, technical know-how and market knowledge.

4. Don’t waste time as the best interim managers can get snapped up quickly.

5. Remember that interim managers can speak openly to clients about changes such as job losses because they don’t have emotional attachments to companies.

6. Agree the aims and timescales of the assignment at the outset, so that both parties know their objectives, and review as the assignment progresses.

7. Ensure the interim manager understands your needs from the start; once a contract is signed, an interim has five working days to understand the role and requirements.

8. Clarify the role of the interim manager to permanent staff, so that they understand the person is being taken on for a defined period of time and can transfer skills to permanent employees.

9. Don’t make pay comparisons to permanent staff; it is misleading because the interim manager is chargeable at an inclusive rate and does not enjoy benefits such as pensions or holidays.

10. Interim managers can work for any size company and may be suitable for an SME that lacks skills in certain areas but is not able to justify employing someone full time.

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