Interim management in the social sector is on the increase. Charities and not-for-profit organisations are finding it to be an invaluable resource when managing a period of change or to fill unexpected skills gaps.
Has your organisation considered interim management? Not sure if an interim can fit your needs? Bernice Rook, our Director of Membership and Resourcing, breaks it down – what is interim management, when should you use it and what are the costs and benefits.
Firstly, what is interim management and how is it unique?
Interim management is the recruitment of someone, not on your payroll, who will temporarily become part of your team. A good interim manager will be someone who you know has the experience to do the job, is a doer not an adviser and is available at very short notice.
When should you use an interim manager?
The more traditional uses for interim management are filling a gap in recruitment whilst you wait for your new employee to start, covering maternity or paternity leave, or covering for sabbaticals or long-term sickness absence. Less known, are some of the strategic uses for interim managers which can help your organisation to:
- manage a period of change
- get a new project or idea off the ground
- tender for a contract
- set up a collaboration, partnership or joint venture
- manage the re-organisation of your departments or regions
- deal with downsizing, merging, integration or acquisitions
Why use an interim manager – what are the benefits?
- You gain a wealth of knowledge and expertise to tackle a problem where there is no suitable professional or resource in-house
- They can provide a new and objective point of view
- Interims can concentrate on the job in hand as they won’t be distracted by day-to-day issues and office politics
- The long-lasting value of skills learnt – a good interim manager will ensure an effective transfer of skills to your team
- A cost-effective way of accessing experienced, high-calibre professionals who deliver a flexible recruitment option
What do you need to consider when hiring an interim manager?
There is often confusion about how to manage an interim and how to get the best out of an appointment. If you decide to use an interim, here are 6 key things to consider:
- Be clear on your priorities for the next month, 3 months and 6 months and what you would like the interim manager to achieve across their appointment
- Ensure that you communicate your brief and deliverables clearly at the start
- Review progress with the interim manager on a regular basis
- Clearly communicate the role of the interim manager to your team and to the people they will be managing
- Treat the interim as part of your team, keeping them informed as you would others
- Give adequate time for a handover and embedding of knowledge before they leave
Interim managers are often regarded as expensive but comparisons with full time employees are not straightforward and the difference in total cost is often significantly closer than expected. It’s important to remember that you only pay an interim for the actual days he or she works – not for holidays or sickness – and there are no added or hidden employment costs such as pensions or redundancy. Of even greater importance, you will also be getting exceptional value-for-money, as a good interim manager will be extremely well-qualified for the job in hand and will pass on their skills and knowledge to your team for invaluable long-term benefit.
Interim management is not for every situation but when it is right, there are countless benefits for the organisation. Here are a couple of examples of organisations that have benefited from interims:
“David Lawrence has done a wonderful job as Interim FD at Arvon. He had the right skills, knowledge and expertise to resolve many issues that Arvon was facing and his warm, charming personality made him a great cultural fit too. He was a great ambassador for Eastside Primetimers and I would not hesitate to use your services again, should the need ever arise” – Dr Judith Abbott, Trustee, The Arvon Foundation
“I can say that Adam Stebbings has provided tremendous support and I would like to express my thanks to Eastside Primetimers for your part in facilitating their placement with us. Adam’s assistance has been indispensable, and we are very grateful for it” – Daniel Morriss, Trust Manager and Trustee, Jesus Fellowship Community Trust” – Daniel Morriss, Trust Manager and Trustee, Jesus Fellowship Community Trust
Bernice Rook, our Director of Membership and Resourcing, runs EP’s Interim Management and Recruitment services.
Bernice specialises in the human side of organisations and advises on governance issues; board appointments and executive recruitment. She is also responsible for recruiting, nurturing and maintaining the quality of the Eastside Primetimers consultancy talent pool. She previously worked in recruitment for the Vedior Group as Branch Manager at Beresford Blake Thomas and then as regional Resourcing Manager for Randstad. Having gained a Masters Degree in Occupational Psychology, Bernice has helped all kinds of businesses to identify gaps and weaknesses in their executive teams, and used her extensive experience of leadership resourcing and recruitment to source and secure the right candidates for them.
Contact Bernice at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7250 8337 now to have a free consultation about whether an interim is right for you.