How to get the most out of your interim manager 

Hiring an interim manager is a well-recognised means of gaining a high-calibre skillset and exceptional level of experience to help you through a period of transition or oversee the implementation of new systems and processes. What many businesses do not understand, however, is that no interim operates in isolation. They can’t deliver the desired results purely on their own; they need a certain amount of input on your part. The secret to getting the most out of your interim manager actually starts well before they even start work on the project! Broken down into 7 stages, we’ve detailed the best ways for you to get the best results possible from your interim staff.

Stage 1. The project’s requirements

You can’t expect exceptional results if you don’t know what the ideal outcome would be. Prior to contacting your interim service provider and long before you even interview a candidate, you need to define the parameters of the role; what is it you want them to achieve? How long will they have to achieve it? How will you measure the success of the project and the interim?

Stage 2. Team and tools

Although interims will usually bring their own equipment such as a laptop and mobile phone, they will need access to your own internal systems and software, and possibly a team to help them complete the project.

Autonomy and minimal onboarding are two of the benefits of hiring interims; that said, they’ll need to be granted a certain level of authority in decision making in order to see the project through to completion on time. If they need to go through many levels of seniority for sign off on the minutia of the project timelines won’t be met and budgets may overrun.

Stage 3. Ideal interim skillset

Based on the previous three factors you should have a good understanding of what you need from your interim role, now you can outline the ideal skillsets and qualities that could achieve your desired outcome. A good way to determine these is to think about:

  • What kind of experience would be relevant?
  • What technical skills would they need?
  • What soft skills would help? How important is communication and interpersonal skills for this project?

Stage 4. Your interim service provider

Providing an overview of your ideal interim manager as well as keeping your interim service provider informed throughout the process will help them source strong candidates, particularly taking into account preferred experience and hard and soft skills. This will make finding the right person easier and faster. They can also help you fine-tune your interview technique to ensure you find out the right information during interviews.

Stage 5. Defining your expectations

You’ve now built the perfect framework to ensure you have the right interim manager for your position/project. You know they have the right skillset and experience to achieve the desired results, and now you need to communicate a good foundation for them to get started on the project right away.

Communicating your expectations and the project’s requirements again – you probably outlined them during the interview stage as well – along with the team, tools and authority level you have designated for your interim will make sure they know exactly what they are doing and what direction to take. This will reduce your onboarding time and make sure objectives are met quickly, whilst ensuring the interim won’t be demotivated by admin, bureaucracy or vagueness.  

Stage 6. Facilitate

Depending on the level of autonomy you gave your interim, you may need to continue to facilitate any information or processes they cannot access or execute. Providing timely support here will help keep your interim on track towards achieving your desired goals and outcomes. Minimising any frustration for your interim will help accelerate their work and keep the project running smoothly and on time.

Stage 7. Assess the results

Assessing the results of your project will help you identify how to ensure that your next interim engagement will perform as well or better. Being able to assess what parts were delayed – and why – will help you tweak your expectations and how you communicate them in the future.

How does Oakwood Resources’ approach to interim management ensure success?

Oakwood Resources is able to provide businesses with interim managers who are assessed based on their experience in the market and in a variety of business scenarios. This allows businesses to find the right interim that will fit in with their unique culture and skills requirements. We can advise at every stage to help you define your requirements of the project and then tailor the process to find your ideal interim manager.

If you are looking for a results-focused and transformational interim manager, get in touch today to discuss your project requirements.


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