What is an interim and should I hire one?

Should you hire an Interim Manager for your business? Firstly, let us examine what people who say ‘Interim Management’, are actually talking about. Most likely, they are referring to a job placement within industry at a high professional level which is taken on a temporary (short term) basis, usually with the role being taken by a person from outside of the existing company workforce. The reasons for this are varied, but will probably be at least due to the position only being necessary for a short time and usually impossible to fulfil from within an existing company structure either due to a lack of a specific skill or shortage of workforce.
While the actual concept of Interim Management has been around since the earliest recorded periods of History, notably in Roman Times, more recently during the 1980’s in the period of economic boom the concept began to gain huge popularity. Suddenly, with modern, fast communications and cheaper travel, companies could see a benefit in keeping both a core staff and a fluid, peripheral fringe of specialists that can be called upon when needed. This allowed them to deploy a powerful yet flexible workforce, as required.
Many exceptional individuals specialise in Interim Management and are headhunted by businesses to drop in to short term positions in order to utilise their specific skill sets. They often help and guide through a specific phase of development, growth or even setback, before moving on to the next assignment. It can be a particularly satisfying and exciting profession for people who have good organisational understanding, effective people skills and who thrive on tackling a wide variety of challenges and situations.
The benefits of hiring an Interim Manager are many. These might include added accountability, and a good ability to encourage growth and positive change (being employed in more than a purely advisory capacity). Goal based contracts and a new found freshness and objectivity that the prospective employer was previously lacking are also seen as advantageous. They can be deployed quickly, often have a proven track record for the task in hand and are generally more effective than a ‘temp’, as they are highly focussed and motivated and can operate freely at near-board or board-level.
Once a decision has been made to hire an Interim Manager, a fairly common pattern usually occurs involving locating and assessing a prospective employee, them reciprocating with an  assessment and proposing a diagnosis (if appropriate). A contract is then agreed and the new staff member begins implementing the necessary course of action before exiting the position, usually involving the careful handover of responsibilities, skills and commitments.
So, to return to our original question, ‘Should I hire an Interim Manager?’. If you have a specific post which needs filling and requires a skilled and experienced manager, very often due to sudden departure, illness, death, transition, mergers and acquisitions, and project management within your company, then yes! If no one from your organisation is available or looks capable of doing an effective job, (and of course, assuming that it is a short term opening), Interim Managers are generally regarded as an excellent Value Proposition.

If you are looking for someone special to fulfill your Interim Management requirements, Joe Clarke suggests you take a look at www.russam-gms.co.uk

One thought on “What is an interim and should I hire one?”

  1. The reasons for this are varied, but will probably be at least due to the unique position that is needed for a short time and usually unenforceable from within an existing company structure, either due to lack of skill specific or workforce shortages.

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