by Chris Lain1
Starting Out? Interim Management Today and How to Get That First Assignment
The use of interim management has changed fundamentally over the last few years. Head of Research Chris Lain takes a look at these changes and how this affects those who are now considering entering the industry.
In times gone by interim recruitment was quite straightforward. Clients were clear that they wanted skilled and experienced individuals with the right background – but crucially with a strong interim track record too. Clients would often overlook candidates entering into the market in favour of those with interim experience – making entering the industry difficult for newcomers.
Today, labels on candidates are less relevant and clients are making decisions based upon a candidate’s skill set and achievements, rather than how many interim assignments they have completed. In my experience, over recent years, it’s results that you have achieved as an individual that are important to organisations, rather than the nature of the contract you performed under.
A topic that has been heavily discussed in the interim market is that of a candidate that uses Interim management as a “stop-gap” for permanent professionals between roles. I think that this occurs much less than it used to and is down to the recovering economy and the increase in business confidence, that has created more permanent positions; meaning that there are more opportunities for experienced interims to take interim roles.
Interim Management in a More Positive Space
A change that I have observed over the last twelve months has been the type of assignment that we have worked on. It is now not always associated with cost cutting, headcount reduction and crisis, although there are still plenty of “troubleshooter” roles. Interim management has moved, along with the economy, into a much more positive space with a large focus around business change, transformation and growth.
The Interim Newcomer
However this competitive environment also makes it harder for first timers. So what steps should you take if you are considering going into interim management?
- Financial – when establishing your daily rate or range, ensure that you understand exactly what you need to earn in order to live, and is in line with the market.
- Lifestyle – the interim world is one of peaks and troughs – an assignment may last for 6 months, but you then may be out of work for another 6 – are you ready for that?
- Assignment – when you do get that first role, make sure you fully understand the brief and what is required of you, with clear objectives and timescales.
- Define your proposition – it seems obvious but you would be surprised how many candidates don’t know or understand the importance of their key differentiators. Ask yourself, what are you an expert at – and then make sure you can articulate it.
- Networking – with the advent of social media such LinkedIn and Twitter, it has never been more important not only to keep up with your personal network, but develop it too. Along with working with providers, utilising your professional network online or face-to-face, is often beneficial to gaining that first (or next) assignment.
How do you think the interim management industry has changed over the last few years? What are your top tips for gaining assignments? Share with our community below.