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When your firm is left in limbo and require an Executive level ‘fixer’

06/07/17 Greg McHugh Partner

Interim Managers are brought into organisations to provide short-term complements to existing capabilities. They lead transformation and change; getting projects in place quickly and effectively. Their purpose is to effect change, devise, implement roll out processes which they can then leave when they depart.

The demand for interim management is at an all-time high as companies struggle to fill temporary roles for executive positions, or to fill critical gaps that emerge when permanent employees cannot be sourced quickly enough. Many interim executives who approach the role will often be called ‘Consultants’, but they differ from consultants (who mainly advise) as they offer a more hands-on approach to their day-to-day operations, while Consultants frequently work silently in the background. We will take a look at why interim management jobs makes a great career option for those with executive potential.

Interim Executives and Senior Managers are the ‘fixers’ of the business world. When an engineering and technology company needs extra guidance or a safe pair of hands to help them transform and grow, an interim leader is the first person they should call in. The question is: how much do we know about these illusive masters? Greg McHugh, Redline Executive’s Search Partner looks at the advantages of hiring an executive interim:

  • Experience - Interim managers offer instant experience and a capability which is almost always one rank higher than the job requires.
  • Objectivity - Interim managers are objective and do not like being side-tracked into office politics. They do not expect to have a long career with you so they tell you what you need to hear – not what you want to hear.
  • Availability - Interim Executives are available immediately. Typically it could take a minimum of 4-6 months to hire a permanent executive, as they may have to serve out their notice period.
  • Value for Money – Recruiting a CEO, NED, D-level or C-level on £100,000 is actually costing the business a lot more. Once you have added in bonuses, holiday pay, NI contributions, pension, health and company car benefits, the real cost is likely to be nearer to £175,000. These costs do not apply to interim managers.
  • Immediate results - Unlike a permanent employee who is typically given a honeymoon period to settle in, the interim manager will start delivering results within five days, identifying quick wins and rapidly building relationships.

Greg continues: “It takes guts to lead an organisation for a short period of time. Not every executive has the composure to walk in to a change situation and deal with it. Those that can are proactive, decisive, results-oriented achievers who combine strategic experience with a ‘hands-on’ approach. They adapt rapidly to different cultures, sectors and organisations. They are most definitely people-oriented, able to motivate, assess and handle a new team quickly. Above all, they are resilient, energetic, fit and work well independently. They are rarely available, because they are in such demand.”

Greg continues: “They have significant change, transition, programme or crisis management experience. Used to accelerating change or managing transition for a range of clients, they are usually overqualified to do this. Crucially, they always focus on the assignment at hand – not how long they can stay or whether they might go permanent.”

What are the advantages for the client?

“They can be recorded as a variable cost rather than a permanent or fixed overhead from an accounting perspective. Additionally, interims provide companies with valuable time to look for a permanent executive to take over after the first stages of the new set-up have been completed. Once this is the case, the role will also be far more attractive and marketable. In terms of what they can offer to an organisation undergoing widespread change, it is typically an Interim Executive’s versatility that gives them the edge over permanent senior staff.”

“Interims often have experience of restructuring and/or building a new team, cost reduction, system installation and/or implementation and operational or organisation redesign. On a more practical level, they will also be used to working to tight deadlines, dealing with unplanned departures and raising capital.” says Greg.

“Ultimately, they are specialists in managing transformation – it is what they do on a day-to-day basis. Although a business’s challenges may appear unique, it is likely there will be an interim with the experience of providing solutions in similar circumstances. Not only that, these interims are keen to take on the challenges and do not worry about the risks on their long-term career.”

Redline Executive deliver exceptional interim executives who solve challenges and manage transformations for the European Technology market. By defining the desired outcome and mapping out the best way to achieve success, we deliver the results you require. For more information please call Greg McHugh on 01582 878853 or email GMcHugh@RedlineExecutive.com