How could an Interim Manager help you through the Covid lockdown?
- January 25, 2022
One thing is for sure, the Covid-19 pandemic will cement the year 2020’s place in the history books. At the time of writing (May 2020) it looks unlikely that we will ever return to the life we knew only a few weeks ago. Our social and commercial activities have been forced to go through a period of massive and rapid change.
Most companies are still coming to terms with this dramatic shift in operation and will need to go through more periods of change as the year progresses. They will need to overhaul their operating procedures, devise and implement brand new ways of working, and manage their staff through these traumatic periods.
As if business wasn’t hard enough without a global pandemic, companies are now expected to have the skills and experience immediately available to work on these diverse projects. Quite simply, they don’t. Their businesses have been stress-tested to their maximum over the past few weeks and all of their focus is on surviving. Thriving can come later.
So how can you simultaneously manage all the new problems your business might have, such as remote working, communications, customer and supplier problems, while planning for an uncertain future?
Bringing in an Interim Manager might be your best solution.
In this article, we take a look at five key reasons why recruiting an Interim Manager/Director could help your business this year. Before we dive in, let’s start with clarifying what we mean by an Interim Manager.
What Is an Interim Manager?
An Interim Manager is someone who steps into a senior position in an organisation for a limited time frame. Their contract can sometimes be open-ended if there is no contingency yet in place for a more permanent member of staff or to stabilise the ship whilst strategy is being developed, although it is typically between four and eighteen months.
People often ask the question - what’s the difference between an Interim Manager and a consultant? The simplest way to describe this is to say a consultant will usually provide an organisation with a plan of what to do to create a piece of change. Often the consultant then leaves the business to implement the plan. An Interim Manager in contract is brought in to ‘implement’ a plan.
Organisations use interim directors for several different reasons:
- Merger and Acquisition
- A vacancy exists in a key strategic position
- As a result of multiple internal moves, a structural gap exists
- A skill set is required that doesn’t exist in the business
- Expertise within a specific technology or market
All of these could be factors from the Covid-19 pandemic but, in summary, it’s mainly when the company in question is going through a period of change or finds itself with a critical gap in the management structure.
So, what are the benefits of using an Interim Manager?
1. Their Expertise
An Interim Manager will have gained invaluable experience in many companies in a similar position to the point where they are an expert/subject matter expert in their field. They will have developed in-depth market knowledge, strong communication, management, operational and strategic skills which, when combined, will be ideal and essential for leading a team through an uncertain period.
For example, during the Covid-19 lockdown, crisis-management has become a key skill. Even though nobody has previous experience of managing a company through a pandemic, there are many Interim Managers who have been through other crises previously. They have the experience that can be invaluable to a lesser experienced management team, when formulating and implementing their course of action.
Making the wrong decision during these critical moments is vital. Companies are in a delicate state and now even more than ever, simply can’t afford to get things wrong at the moment.
2. They Are Impartial
An Interim Manager may have extensive knowledge or your sector or expertise in a specific functional area, but not your organisation – and this makes all the difference.
The interim will have no personal investment in the company and will be unaware of company politics. This gives them an unbiased view of your organisation and the situation they are coming into, which allows them to focus solely on the job in question, allowing them to objectively assimilate the situation and develop a plan
The objectivity of an interim director can give clarity to your organisation when it is needed the most. This is particularly relevant during the Covid-19 crisis. Emotions are running high and need to be taken away from the decision-making process. Decisions need to be made with the future of the business and its staff in mind.
Someone without emotional ties to the company can make those decisions with a clear mind.
3. For a Change of Direction and Troubleshooting
Aside from stepping in to help you through the current Covid situation and its aftermath, an interim director may also be able to add additional value to your business, initiating a change of direction.
With the vast experience such individuals have, they can effectively troubleshoot problems that your organisation may be facing. They will have insight into potential solutions and the pros and cons, having experienced them in previous interim roles or permanent roles within their career
As they are not tied to the company, their independent perspective can influence senior leaders’ decisions and choices in a way that internal colleagues may not be able to.
Also, if your organisation is going through a restructure, an interim director will be able to effectively give feedback without being concerned about any backlash being directed towards a permanent employee.
Some restructuring will be inevitable in the post-Covid world.
A new perspective is sometimes what is needed, particularly if your organisation has faced recent challenges. Which bring us on to…
4. To Quickly Help Your Organisation Through a Difficult Period
“Difficult period” may be the understatement of the year for 2020. Companies who survive through these periods of tremendous upheaval will emerge in a strong position to capitalise on competitors who have folded, or new products born from the pandemic.
Acting quickly is the key to success in these scenarios. A company may need a to employ a permanent member of staff but, rather than holding out for the ‘perfect’ director, an Interim Manager can step in and manage the team and any situations that they are facing. This allows you, as the hiring manager, to continue to recruit the right person for the role, knowing that your business is continuing to run smoothly.
5. For an Excellent Return on Investment
Despite all the challenges from Covid, there will be opportunities for businesses who can identify them then move quickly.
If the business requires a specialist skillset as part of implementing a project, an Interim Manager is often a more cost-effective option compared to an internal employee as the additional elements of a remuneration package do not have to be covered.
Interim Managers can provide organisations with short term access to top talent who have a strategic eye and bring the latest thinking to a company, combined with the ability to fast-track projects. They can bring speed to projects because they have no company history and can think and operate in a detached manner. Something that can be refreshing for employees that the Interim Manager works with.
What Stops Companies From Taking The Interim Route?
One of the reasons organisations often hold back on hiring an interim director is that they believe the fee of hiring at first for an interim, and then later for a permanent director, will not be economically viable. The opposite is true.
The cost to your company when failing to deliver on contracts has the potential, in the long run, to be far worse for your organisation than the relative cost of hiring an interim director.
About Martin Veasey Talent Solutions
The Secret to your Success is Hiring Exceptional Talent. Our Talent is helping you find it.
- A 35-year track record successfully recruiting for blue chip and SME businesses both in the UK and Internationally.
- Essentially, we match exceptional talent with excellent jobs. We have a reputation for proactively finding and placing hard to reach talent into our clients’ businesses.
- Martin Veasey Talent Solutions have a unique expertise in hiring managerial, professional, technical, functional specialists and senior executive roles, including complete teams both in the UK and internationally.
- We place a strong emphasis on developing partnerships that enable us to get to know your business objectives, your challenges and your specific requirements.
- We then create a tailored campaign that delivers the best talent to add value and become an integral part of your business growth and success.
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- Our Recruitment Solutions division is complemented by our Talent Management Solutions division, which offers talent strategy planning, psychometric testing and executive coaching.
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