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Interim Management

Published on March 31st, 2014 | by Chris Lain


Hiring an Interim Manager? Speed is the Essence Today!

Following on from his popular blog article on candidate etiquette in the interim market, Head of Resourcing Chris Lain gives his thoughts on what clients who need to hire an interim manager should be doing in order to succeed in a rapidly changing business environment. Read Chris’ opinions below:

A Better Economy to Hire an Interim Manager

The economy is definitely looking brighter – and it’s not just the politicians saying that – the figures speak for themselves. Inflation down, wages up, unemployment down – it seems to me that the recovery is well and truly underway. While I can say that we are seeing signs of this at Alium, with more interims out than ever before, just as with candidates in my previous post, I have found the correct client behaviours are essential if you want to hire the right interim talent.

Time and Choice: Not on your Side when you hire an Interim Manager

It may sound harsh, but I would say the reality of today’s business environment is very different from that of even just a year ago. In the past, I noticed clients who came to us were aware it was a buyer’s market. They had time to pick over the choices presented. However, since the beginning of this year especially, taking a little longer than usual to come to a decision is no longer an option as demand for candidates increases. I have a number of examples of clients missing out on preferred candidates recently for this very reason.  If you want to hire an interim manager, you have to act decisively in my view.

A Changing Market in the Interim Management Recruitment Landscape

In conjunction with this pick - up in demand is also the evolving nature of the interim industry. Our interims are now much less likely to be hired for crisis or last minute departures, and rather for more positive reasons such as business growth, transformational change and exploring new markets. For example, we have seen a considerable rise in the number of sales appointments across both large and small firms as companies chime with the economic recovery. So in this fast moving market what do clients need to do to succeed?

Well, to hire the interim manger you want, I feel you should:

  • Be certain about your requirement – why does your business need this resource?
  • Be responsive – for the sake of your business, the interim and the provider of course!
  • Be decisive – make informed decisions, engage quickly. Interims today often have other options
  • Be concise – when interviewing and assessing, try and make the process as streamlined as possible, involving all key stakeholders.

If you follow this approach to hire an interim manager, I feel you will see success.

Have you tried to hire an interim manager only to see them slip through the net?  Do you agree with Chris’ thoughts on demand in the interim management market?  What are your experiences?  Please write your views below and join the discussion.

Photo Credit: Minerva Studio

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About the Author

Chris' work focuses mainly in the private sector where he has the responsibility for identifying and assessing candidates for specific roles and the delivery of interim assignments, whilst also establishing long term, mutually beneficial relationships with candidates and clients across a variety of industries.

  • Walter De Roo

    Hi Chris,
    I fully agree that speed is very essential in some cases. Let me give you 2 examples I went through:
    - On a Friday late afternoon I got a call from a provider asking me if I was free and able to take a Skype caal that evening. hours later I was busy finding a flight and on Monday morning at 9 I was in the office some 10,000 miles away from home solving a crisis in South Africa
    - In another case I was expected on a Friday morning at a client’s office and the same day I took a plane to work on Saturday (their first day of the week) in Egypt.
    In both cases the provider had a huge confidence that I was able to help his client and therefor he decided to propose only me to his client in order to speed up the activities.
    Walter De Roo
    International Growth & Turnaround Manager
    [email protected]
    +32 479 40 78 73

    • Chris Lain

      Walter, thank you for your comments. These are great examples of
      both a client and interim service provider, acting with speed and utilising an
      Interim Manager in the right way. I would suggest that behind this will
      have been relationships between the parties involved, that allowed you to
      assist the clients who were in a crisis situation. There are many cases where
      delays in the recruiting process, causes a clients issue to grow, but at the
      same time if there is too much of a delay a client can miss out on a preferred
      candidate. If you would like to write a blog on this or any other interim subject, we would be delighted to have your opinion. Thanks, Chris

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