Advice For an Interim Manager

Variety, they say is the spice of life and is one of the main reasons why I embarked on a career in interim management? I found myself one evening looking back at previous jobs I had experienced and progressed within and realized I had come to the point where I had reached a plateau with no obvious ways to progress. That is when I came across interim management as an option and have never looked back since.

Making the initial decision to change career I remember was full of fear. The decision to move into interim management required a fair degree of risk taking, especially with family and mortgage commitments. At the age of 40, I had no idea how I would market myself or even how to describe my skill-set .I had spent most of my career in IT Management so where would I go now?

Here are some tips on what to look out for when embarking on a career in interim management:
It is vital to maintain your own pace and drive, especially if the client’s culture is less pacy than you are accustomed to.

On longer-term contracts, it is easy to be succumbed to the local culture and becoming indistinguishable from the employed staff. The contract and working relationship between the Interim Manager and client is an excellent way to focus on making a difference and then move on.

Clients expect immediate delivery so there is little or no time to learn the ropes. By the end of the first week you will be required to have added tangible value to the business. Every week you will cost the client money – often more than an equivalent employee – so you need to be very focused on the improvements you are making or it’s time to go.

You will appreciate that each new contract and client is a learning opportunity. The cumulative experience and knowledge gained over different commercial sectors is what enriches skill-set and makes you worth your daily rate. They also build your network but you must make the effort to maintain it.

A big benefit for an interim over being an employee concerns the clients corporate politics. They can’t be ignored as they represent significant constraints on how you operate, but ultimately they don’t have the same long-term personal impact.

What you need to become an Interim Manager

  • Strong track record of delivering results in a corporate career
  • Demonstrate progression through roles of increasing responsibility.
  • Demonstrate focus, concentrated expertise, progression and success in a particular functional discipline and/or industry, or in closely related specialities. Managers who have switched functions or industries a number of times may be equally good interim managers, but their skills may be more difficult to sell to a prospective client.
  • In addition to having a strong curriculum vitae, the best interim managers are comfortable operating in highly uncertain circumstances. There are many uncertainties in the life of an interim manager: not knowing when or where the next assignment coming from: not knowing the client environment thoroughly yet still being expected to make a significant contribution; and not having a network of peers on the job with whom to share challenges and brainstorm solutions.
  • Successful interim mangers are physically and mentally fit enough to start a new project every six months, and are financially secure enough to weather the inevitable months without an assignment. They can live out of a suitcase for weeks or months when necessary. They interview well – which is important because the interview process to select an interim is often shorter than for permanent roles. When in assignment, they have the skills to assess quickly what is going on in a totally new environment – to analyze, develop solutions, and then deliver those solutions on time and within budget.
  • Successful interim managers are confident in their accomplishments and can both sell their achievements to their clients and deliver the results on each assignment. They may rely on agencies to deliver a portion of their work, but they know they must generate much of it via personal networking (on average two-thirds, higher among new interim managers). When in assignment they enjoy a level of remuneration (in day rate) far exceeding their peers’ in corporate life, and numerous other benefits of the interim lifestyle.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Acting Executives for Your Company

If you have to hire a new executive for your company but you are struggling to find the right match for your company then hiring an acting executive might just be the answer for you. In order to find the right acting executive for your company you might want to look at getting in the help of an executive search firm.

An executive search firm can help you to get the right match for your company, but sometimes it can take a very long time to find the right executive for your company, so here is a look at the pros and cons of hiring an acting executive for your company.

Why Hiring an Acting Executive is Good for Your Company

Interim executives are very useful in getting a company in shape and helping to better improve the company in order to attract a specialized permanent executive. In many cases executive search consultancies will tell a company that unless they ‘clean-up’ and improve their working environment they will be unable to attract highly qualified industry specific executives. The interim executive’s role would then be to prepare the company for the arrival of the new executive.

The use of interim executives in smaller companies that experience sudden and rapid growth can mean the difference between success and failure. Using the experience and knowledge of an executive will give a small business the guidance and knowledge to succeed until they can find an appropriate permanent executive.

Often investors in big companies feel that the company has not performed as planned and is unable to achieve their goals under their current management. They will then make use of an interim executive of their choice to turn things around and achieve results. Numerous companies make use of interim executives for this means.

Why Hiring an Acting Executive can Be Bad For Your Business

Interim executives can cause a lot of unrest and uncertainty among employees. Many employees can become apprehensive against an outsider being brought in to shake things up. This may make some employees feel uncertain about their job security and future in the company. If an interim executive is not introduced properly into the organization, and their role and purpose is not clearly specified to employees, you might end up with a lot of nonresponsive employees.

Another downside to hiring an acting executive is the cost. Experienced interim executives charge a very expensive daily fee for their services. Often smaller companies that really need experienced and professional guidance cannot afford these exuberant fees. Furthermore there is o guarantee that an expensive investment in an executive will even pay off and better your company.

Success is not guaranteed and you might end up in debt with nothing to show after hiring an interim executive. Thus you need to carefully consider the pros and cons before you make up your mind.

Interim Management a Great Way to Be Successful

Many companies may benefit from an outside source as new and fresh ideas can be implemented into the work place. Interim management is the temporary provision of management resources and skills. Interim management can be seen as the short-term assignment of a proven heavyweight interim executive manager to manage a period of transition, crisis or change within an organization. In this situation, a permanent role may be unnecessary or impossible to find on short notice.

Additionally, there may be nobody internally who is suitable for, or available to take up, the position in question. These outside managers may be brought in for many reasons. If there is someone taking maternity leave an outside source could be temporarily brought in to take on their role. If an employee is on long term sickness then again an outside source can be temporarily hired to take on the job. An increase in work or new tasks that need to be completed may also require the assistance of a temporary employee to help with the work load.

A business can benefit greatly from the experience and knowledge of interim management. Interim management can bring in personal expertise and skills to deliver an outcome for a company. A huge benefit of interim management is that temporary staff can be brought into a company in a matter of days, compared to others who may take weeks or even months to start work. These managers also operate at a senior level and are often more than qualified to do the job in hand. Due to the high level of experience and expertise these temporary managers often make a huge impact on a work place and carry out tasks at speed. They are also very productive which increases the likelihood of success from being achieved.

Interim managers often take responsibility for a project and take control of it. This helps to give other managers and employees piece of mind that the project will be finished at a good standard. Interim managers are usually paid for the work that has been completed, rather than the number of hours spent in the workplace. Again this enhances the speed at which tasks are completed. Interim managers often analyse the effectiveness of a company and can bring a change into a company to enhance the effectiveness, leadership skills and company teams. Companies often worry about new employees in the work place. However interim managers maintain high standard and quality of work as their reputation is on the line. They need referrals from other companies and are therefore required to set and maintain a good impression.

There are a number of different business out there that may require the use of interim managers or could benefit greatly from the use of them. Overall interim management employees are a great way to get extra tasks done quickly and effectively, without the hassle of bringing in temporary staff as usually the process can be delayed for weeks or even months before the temporary staff start. This setting the business behind.