How to find the correct Interim Manager?

The most important words in the title to this article is the correct interim. It’s not that difficult to identify some interim managers now though various sources, such as dedicated agencies or trawling the internet. However, to quickly find an interim who is most likely to deliver the assignments objectives is the challenge. You are not only looking for an experienced interim who has a proven track record but importantly one whose approach fits culturally within the organisation.

Spend time to specify and justify the appointment with the assignment sponsor. Time spent at this stage will be recouped several times over by not having to look through unsuitable applications.

How to specify the assignment
Specify the interim appointment in terms of: background to the assignment; assignment deliverables; must-have skills and experience; preferred skills; the person; contractual; and fees.

  • Background – What is the business reason for the appointment? Why an interim and not an internal resource or permanent hire? A large number of interim appointments are made because there is an imminent requirement for a management resource. Interim managers can be deployed within days.
  • Assignment deliverables – What are the main deliverables you are expecting from the interim? Or, in other words, what would constitute a successful assignment?
  • Must-have skills – What is the minimum set of skills and experience for this role? For example, the interim has achieved this before; his or her sector experience and qualifications.
  • Preferred skills – What would be nice to have (i.e. the icing on the cake)?
  • The person – Team player? Self starter? ‘Hands on’? (i.e. what is required?).
  • Contractual – Professional interim managers contract through their own limited companies and carry professional indemnity insurance. Through their limited company they enter into a contract with the hiring organisation which sets out the terms. Always take up references personally before committing to the engagement. This will give you first hand knowledge of whether their approach will be appropriate to your organisation.
  • Fees – Interim managers are paid a daily fee for their services. These fees vary according to market forces and scarcity of the skill set. Find out what is the fee range and factor than into the Return of Investment (ROI) for the assignment.

When you ask for applications make sure they not only provide a CV but also specific detail on where and how they have achieved similar assignment deliverables before.

Best regards Mike


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