Interim management is an incredibly rewarding career for anyone who appreciates flexibility and independence coupled with high-intensity and challenging – yet fulfilling -- work. But for anyone considering becoming an interim, you need to be aware of not only the benefits of interim management, but also the risks you take with accountability. Knowing what accountability you will assume as an interim will allow you to better navigate assignments and more successfully manage your stakeholders.
What does an interim manager do? Where does the accountability lie?
Essentially, an interim manager is a highly skilled and experienced professional who is employed for a set period of time. Like a temporary employee, interims can work with a business for anywhere between two weeks to two years, but typically have set deliverables and targets versus covering ‘business as usual’ tasks. Interims are frequently brought in to manage or oversee periods of major transition, including business transformation initiatives, systems implementations or upgrades or business process improvement. They become important resources of expertise, industry knowledge and crisis management.
The significant expertise and industry knowledge that interim managers have means that they are usually brought in at a very high level, because of this they are extremely accountable for delivering exceptional results. An interim’s stakeholders usually have high expectations for them to achieve target-driven solutions by:
- Analysing and suggesting processes to improve current procedures
- Providing diplomatic and objective solutions to sensitive issues or inconsistencies
- Suggesting and implementing effective strategies to drive solutions
- Ensuring their team’s technology and equipment can achieve the desired results of the assignment
- Ensuring high levels of motivation and productivity for the duration of the assignment
What are the risks of interim management?
Aside from the immense pressure on an interim due to their accountability to achieve or provide the aforementioned business solutions, interim management also poses certain risks:
- It is less predictable and therefore less secure than permanent employment
- Interims usually have to source their own assignments
- Personal development is not always practical as employers usually need the skills you have immediately, rather than giving you the time to develop and progress to the right skill set as you would in a permanent position
- You might feel marginalised as interims often aren’t with a company for long enough to integrate with the permanent staff and company culture
- It is stressful to have to need to deliver from the offset of an assignment
How do the benefits of interim management outweigh the risks?
It might seem like all the responsibilities and accountability coupled with the risks associated with interim management would outweigh the benefits, but interim management also offers the following benefits:
- Contract rates can often be significantly more lucrative than a permanent position
- You have the ability to dictate how much and how often you take a holiday
- You will have the opportunity to control your work schedule as you choose when you take on assignments
- You can gain significant experience with different industries and sectors
- You will gain the opportunity to develop soft skills like team management, communication, adaptability, and self-motivation skills
- You will have numerous opportunities to expand your networking contacts
Oakwood Resources’ expertise in the interim management market can help you find the best assignments to fit your skill set and ensure success for both yourself, and your stakeholders.
We work closely with interim managers, businesses and consultancy firms to support their growth goals, matching the best professionals to appropriate opportunities. If you wish to discuss interim management opportunities contact our specialist interim recruitment team who will be happy to talk with you.