Do you need to recruit an Interim Manager? When should you ‘rent’ talent?

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Do you need to recruit an Interim Manager to navigate a period of transition, crisis or change within your organisation?

An interim manager operates at a senior strategic/executive level, with the explicit remit to deliver a specific piece of work or to cover a senior role until a permanent hire is identified or defined. 

Highly experienced professionals with a niche skill set, interim managers will step into unique business situations quickly, and deliver real impact. 

They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, having often worked on numerous projects across a diverse range of companies and sectors. 

Specialists in their field, they’re often over-qualified (and too expensive) for the role on a permanent basis, and will work autonomously, with little guidance.

Their primary focus is to deliver results, and deliver them swiftly.

Research into the interim recruitment and management sector

The recently published IIM Interim Management Survey contains comprehensive results from their latest survey of interim managers and executives. We recommend this report to anyone considering interim management as a career choice.

Carried out in May 2020 it is a fascinating read into this often misunderstood field, and it is what inspired me to draft this insight.

A recent article on the identified 4 Trends That Are Shaping the Future of Work also got me thinking. It identified the need for a scalable workforce in a post-COVID world.

They state that:

“The business landscape continues to change, the size of a business’s workforce will need to adjust as well. A scalable staff allows for flexibility to adjust as needed, accommodating changes in the industry and financial circumstances that businesses will face in the future.”

With challenging times ahead, and an increased need for agility and scalability across our workforces, could we see an even greater rise and demand for interim management?

Is this something your organisation might need in the near future?

Why would you need to hire an interim manager?

Hiring a permanent employee is a complex, costly process – finding the right long term employees makes for significant investment and commitment. 

COVID-19 has already shown us that a flexible home-based workforce is part of our new reality. 

Could it lead to changes in how we recruit and employ too?

Businesses need to adapt and evolve to survive. But to do that, they’ll need the right talent to deliver. 

Maybe Mr(s) Right Now, rather than Mr(s) Right.

What’s appropriate? Permanent or Interim? 

Of course, it depends on a number of factors. 

However, you may need new senior exec talent to help you navigate the uncertain times ahead, so the big question we really need to ask is… 

Would you better off renting rather than buying? Happy to discuss, of course.

Is interim management for you?

The role of an interim manager is not for everyone. 

That’s why we say to people, talk to some experienced interims. It’s a career choice, not a soft option.

There is, of course, significant risk. Can you ride out the gaps between assignments – mentally as well as financially?

It’s a competitive, you’re competing against other good people. Confidence in your abilities is critical, and you must be willing to embrace continuous self promotion, working hard to secure that next contract.

In recent years, the market has become less reliant on agencies, more so on networks and reputation.

You have to be better at doing what you do than an organisations permanent employees without the majority of benefits and security those in a permanent role receive.

However, if you want variety, potential flexibility and personal control over the direction of your career, then interim management could be for you?

Demand for capable, delivery-focussed interims will continue. According to the IIM report:

“Interim managers are mostly in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, it’s a line of work for business veterans.”

They also state that the majority of:

“Interim assignments are not advertised, a trend which has been well established with the growth of social media and sites such as LinkedIn, and personal network connections, especially prior clients. Being ‘easy to find’ is much more important than being good at ‘applying’ to vacancies.”

The advantages of hiring an interim manager?

An interim manager can provide your organisation with an objective and impartial viewpoint. Their independence and objective views can be highly valuable.

They aren’t constrained by company politics or ingrained with a ‘this is the way we do things here’ attitude.

They are delivery and value-focussed. Once they cost more than they add, they’re gone.

Interim managers are used to being constantly measured and assessed on their ROI, they deliver results in quick time, and will deliver real value – quickly. 

Their experience, skill and knowledge, combined with a quick time-to-hire, means that we can get them through the door quickly and working on whatever issue you may have, usually within days. 

No training, no handovers, no working of notice, etc.

Professional interim managers charge only for hours they work, so costs are controllable (for all you FD’s out there 🙂)!

You might only need a top senior exec for a number of months during a period of change, for a specific project or to fill a gap?

Maybe paying a day rate could potentially work out more cost effective than a permanent hire or having to restructure other permanent roles to address a temporary issue?

Why use Barron Williams for that next interim manager hire?

We are a specialist search service provider, our process is designed to find the right person, regardless of whether we’re searching for a permanent exec or interim for you.

At Barron Williams, executive search is the core of what we do. 

We have established networks in multiple sectors and functions, as well as a core network of top class interim contacts.

We have handled a number of confidential interim searches, common amongst them is a need to find the right person, quickly. 

It’s different to permanent search, however, the same principles apply… Know your clients requirements, good comms with your candidates, and all ‘at pace’.

If you’re looking for that kind of service, then we should definitely have an exploratory conversation.

We can help you by clearly defining a precise role brief that will help identify the type of person you need. Defined objectives, candidate profiles, timescales etc.

We can establish if you need a permanent or interim hire (or both). 

Whilst interim might sound like an attractive solution, if the recruitment process isn’t handled correctly, it can hinder rather than help!

The recruitment landscape is changing

In 2020, our industry, and the wider business world, has changed in ways nobody could have envisaged. 

Post-COVID, will there be a greater need for additional short-term resources and quick turnaround specialists? We think so.

I know as a senior exec recruitment firm, Barron Williams have to be prepared to evolve. To look at both new ways of working, and potentially new business opportunities.

We will all have to roll our sleeves up for the difficult months and years ahead.

The recently proposed IR35 Reform and a Government seemingly determined to disrupt the UK contractor market is of course a concern for those in the interim sector.

That issues hasn’t gone away, however, in the meantime, professional interims continue to operate in a difficult market, offering great value and delivering important projects. (Resilience is another quality you need as interim!)

As organisations adapt to the wide-ranging changes COVID-19 (and let’s not forget Brexit) will necessitate, advantage can be gained by resourcing ‘flexibly’. 

Interim is potentially valuable, both as a strategic and tactical approach to addressing those challenges.

And of course, if you’re looking for an interim senior executive for your organisation, please use our Client Upload Form or Call Us now.

Barron Williams

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