How to unlock the talent potential with your team of interims

Empty 13 November 2020

​According to various reports, the demand for interim executives has increased by 20-30% over the last 10 years, and with good reason. The cyclical nature of business coupled with the unpredictability of the economy has led many organisations to lean on external resources with whom they can call upon as and when they are needed.

Using the services of an interim executive is all very well and good as a concept, but what value can they add to the organisations hiring them? Here we look at some of the key reasons why turning to the interim workforce for your next hire could be one of the smarter hiring decisions you make in the coming months and beyond.

Cost savings: HR departments have been under pressure ever since the last recession to streamline their recruitment processes – especially when it comes to reducing their hiring costs. But irrespective of whether the business is undergoing a period of transformation or re-organisation for instance, interims can be brought in to plug those talent gaps that exist and do so on a flexible basis for as short or long a period of time as the business requires.

Highly specialised skillset: Interims are interims because they tend to have extensive experience and expertise that is in high demand. This enables them to hit the ground running and unlike a permanent hire, interims do not need a settling-in period – they get going from day one. In private equity, for example, interims are used extensively precisely for this reason – they can adjust to the fast-paced nature of work, understand what is expected and galvanise their teams to deliver a successful project outcome within budget. These transitions often require input from experts that would otherwise not be required by the organisation.

Laser focus: Interims view a project as just that – a project. It is not an opportunity for them to climb the proverbial career ladder within the organisation. They are not looking to settle into the company culture and build relationships with their peers in the same way a permanent hire would. As such, their approach is often more ruthless in nature, though not in a way that would negatively impact the workforce. Rather, they view a project as having a set of clearly defined objectives and it is in their best interests to deliver on these expectations; as the saying goes, they are only as good as their last game and each assignment successfully completed means another testimonial that could be used to secure their next role.

Fluidity across sectors: Where interims can really come into their own is in sharing best practice. In many instances, the interims we work with and place into roles on behalf of our clients have undertaken assignments across various sectors. This can be extremely advantageous as the lessons, skills, and knowledge they have acquired allows them to bring a fresh perspective to the table – to not only generate ideas but know how to successfully implement them, too.

Competition for talent has and will always be fierce, especially at senior level. As a hiring manager, you will know that hiring a senior executive can take many months and while it is important to secure the right person for the right role, it can sometimes leave the future of any given project in the balance if its success depends on that person being onboarded. This is where an interim can help and how we can work with you to fulfil the need that you have. They can be parachuted in to provide the cover and steer that you need and do so until a permanent solution can be found.

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