The value of hiring interim managers
6 MINUTE READ
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Sometimes when a company is going through a period of transition or a particularly hectic time they may decide to bring in an interim manager.
An interim manager is an individual with a management background that is employed on a temporary basis to oversee these difficult transitions.
To highlight exactly what is meant by “interim manager”, here is a hypothetical situation:
An IT company has decided to extend their service to another country. However, demand for their service was much higher than initially expected. This has put a strain on the data analytics and customer service teams and the company is struggling to keep up. So the company decides to bring in an interim manager with an exceptional knowledge of tech and plenty of experience working with high-volume applications. The manager helps the company adapt to a new workflow, the company finds its feet again, and the manager then moves on to his next project at another company.
Although this is just one example of why a company may choose to employ an interim manager. Alternatively a company may decide to employ an interim manager due to the departure of an executive, for a manager’s unique and hard-to-find expertise, or even just because the management position isn’t permanent.
This article will give an overview of some of the benefits of an interim manager, what they are used for and some of the traits of good interim managers.
What Are The Benefits Of Interim Managers?
When times are tough interim managers can add a lot of value to a company. They offer many benefits which can prove invaluable during busy periods or times of significant change.
A fresh perspective
Sometimes when you try to solve a problem you can get bogged down with useless details that make it harder to see the bigger picture. One of the advantages of hiring an interim manager is that they are new to the company and can offer a fresh perspective on the situation. They might be able to spot simple solutions to what seemed like a very complex problem. This is because they aren’t burdened with loads of other irrelevant details about how things operate at the company.
Years of experience
Interim managers are normally hired because they have years of experience within their industry. They are experts who have seen and done it all before. This means whatever problem your company is facing, the right interim manager will have dealt with something similar. At the very least they will have a strong set of transferable skills to tackle the problem at hand.
By their very nature, interim managers must be willing to start working with a company within a matter of days and continue for however long the task takes to complete. When a company is in a difficult transitional stage, the last thing you want to do is go through multiple rounds of the recruitment process to find a permanent team member. What you need is an interim manager, someone that is willing to start quickly and see the project through to the end.
Proven track record
One of the benefits of hiring an interim manager is confidence they can deliver. Because they have years of experience you can look at their track record and see what problems they have solved in the past. If you can see evidence of them delivering in the past, you can be confident they can help you out in similar situations.
When should you hire an Interim Manager?
A company may hire an interim manager for the following reasons:
To stand in for a senior team member – when a senior member leaves a company this can create a lot of chaos and uncertainty. An interim manager may be employed to try and stabilise affairs whilst the search for a new senior team member is ongoing.
To aid a company in a transitional period – as described in the hypothetical situation in the intro, interim managers provide well needed support during the difficult times of a company’s transformation.
To offer expertise – interim managers are often employed because they are experts in their field. These individuals can offer real value to a project because they have a highly specialized skill set.
The traits of good interim managers
When considering hiring an interim manager it’s important to pick the manager that’s right for the job. Though each individual will have unique skills and experience there are some qualities that all good interim managers should have.
The ability to prioritise
A good manager will be able to analyse a situation, formulate a solution and come up with a set of steps to reach that solution. Prioritising what steps are the most important and need to be performed first is an essential skill for an interim manager.
A good interim manager should be able to tell it like it is. In challenging periods there is no time to walk on eggshells. They have to be able to tell you what you’re doing right but also what you are doing wrong. Equally, a good manager should know how to give feedback in a constructive way.
Possibly the most important quality an interim manager should possess is determination. The last thing you need is a manager that is going to crack under the pressure of a demanding project. A good manager should be determined to produce their best work and be able to inspire determination in his or her team.