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Interim Management

Published on May 28th, 2014 | by Scott Hutchinson


Lessons Learnt: What Training Interims Teaches us about Today’s Market

What are the professional challenges facing interim managers today? Marketing yourself as an interim is top of most people’s lists, after all without this how will anyone know you are out there and available for engagements?

Recently, I was proud to host Alium’s inaugural Introduction to Interim course, exclusive to Alium interim managers. It was well attended by a diverse mix of existing interims and others wishing to start this exciting career path. The day went really well and we are already planning dates for the next “intro” course – but it is always the comments and conversations afterwards which we get the most insight from.

Thorough Feedback

Usually when we ask for feedback on the interim training courses previously there is a recurring theme – the part of the course relating to “marketing yourself as an interim” is by far the most popular topic – and this course was no different – candidates want to know how to put themselves out there effectively.

It should hardly come as a surprise – the mechanics of setting yourself up as an interim – (accountancy, IR35, HMRC, contract law) don’t instantly scream “excitement” as subject headings. As important as they are, they rarely make the headlines when we ask for what really makes the training day come alive. But why is this?

Market Change

It could be that the route to market has changed so much in the last few years – I sound very old when I say that as a search consultant in the 1990s, our initial process was often as sophisticated as putting a recruitment advert in the Times or Telegraph and waiting by the letterbox.  Now, we talk to candidates about looking at themselves as  a “multi-channel brand” (don’t laugh at this description – we can’t find a better one for marketing yourself as an interim).

By way of explanation, when we send CVs to clients nowadays, increasingly the first thing they (the client) will do is go straight to the LinkedIn profile of the prospective applicants, as a further vetting process.

Market Yourself as an Interim: Don’t be Daunted

The message is clear – you are going to be found and win assignments (or not) in many different ways and on many different platforms in today’s market. Marketing yourself as an interim is now a very different proposition to a decade ago, but needn’t be daunting. It’s about doing a few key things correctly and making tiny incremental differences that will give you the edge.

In response to the demand shown for marketing yourself as an interim, we are putting together another course – so interims old and new – watch this space.

How do you go about marketing yourself as an interim?  Are there any hard and fast rules a prospective interim should follow?  Will you be attending our forth coming course?  Please leave your comments below.

Photo Credit: galloween

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About the Author

Heading up the FMCG Practice, Scott and his team are responsible for finding the very best leaders and transformational teams across all disciplines, including the provision of board-level executives and professionals in Operations, Technical, Supply Chain, Engineering, Commercial and Development/Innovation.

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