The ideal workforce: balancing your interim and permanent staff

As businesses look to emerge from months of uncertainty, having the right balance of permanent and interim staff will be vital to make sure companies are poised for opportunity over the coming months. The ratio between the amount of permanent and interim staff may seem like an odd concept at first, as interims are often seen as short-term or ad hoc resources rather than part of the wider talent acquisition and resourcing plans. However, by finding the ideal balance between permanent and interim staff your organisation can benefit from a better understanding of its long-term benefits.  

What are the benefits of interim staff?

Interim staff are usually brought in to oversee periods of transition or change, or to fill a skill-set deficit within an organisation, they usually have high levels of seniority and autonomy, and are there on a fixed-term contract, not to be confused with senior temporary staff. They can be beneficial to organisations in the following ways: 


Many interims have years of experience and are very experienced at overseeing or managing particular types of projects across different industries. Or they can be industry specific. Their experience is invaluable to companies who are implementing new systems implementations, undergoing change, or commercialising the finance function – among other specialisms -- as they will have been involved in a similar project before.  

Objective point of view 

Interims are only a part of an organisation for the duration of their contract and usually do not get involved with internal politics as it will not affect their position. This means they are usually able to give objective insight into a project and can suggest clear-sighted solutions without worrying about ruffling feathers in different departments or at senior levels.  

They keep the project’s best interests in the foreground of their priorities as it benefits them to have a successful project to add to their portfolio. Ultimately this helps the interim find new assignments and benefits the organisation at the same time.  

Cost-effective and flexible

Interims will have an hourly rate rather than an annual salary, and although this can be higher than a permanent hire, their involvement and services can be increased or decreased depending on the project’s requirements. They are also usually able to harness their experience and can quickly integrate into an existing team to produce results with minimal onboarding.   

What are the benefits of permanent staff? 

An organisation’s foundation is usually its permanent staff, each selected to fill a certain skill set and function as individuals, in teams, and as entire departments. Striking the right balance for both a technical and cultural fit can make the difference in developing high performance teams and functions, plus during uncertain times, your permanent staff and their commitment to the business can help weather choppy economic waters whilst preparing for future smooth sailing. 

Having a recruitment plan with a set amount of hires per year can help ensure the stable growth of an organisation, as well as the following benefits: 

Long-term stability

Having strong teams of permanent employees mean that you can manage business-as-usual activities with individuals that are comfortable and skilled in their roles. With regular learning and development incentives, permanent staff will be able to exceed their initial roles and carry skills and understanding with them through the ranks of your organisation’s structure. This means better leaders managing junior staff and overseeing day-to-day operations.  

Creating a company culture

Your company culture is influenced by the rules senior management make and employees’ attitudes towards them. Easy-going incentives and happy, motivated staff create a company culture that encourages loyalty, longevity, and teamwork, reducing overheads from staff turnover and increasing revenue from high levels of productivity. 

How do you work out the ideal interim to permanent staff ratio? 

Although there is no set benchmark for the ideal balance of permanent and interim staff an organisation might need, a general rule of thumb is to have an adaptable amount of both. 

As a business grows it will need more permanent staff, overseeing transitions and periods of change where interims will be needed to facilitate. Having a good understanding of the future projects or movements the company will help you assess how many interims you will need, and what sized team will help support the project. Making these decisions now will serve you well in the coming months.  

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, allowing businesses to find the right interim that will fit in with their unique culture and skills requirements. 


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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