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Important Questions to Ask Before You Take on Interim Roles

For certain people, working on the contracts that are short-term might feel risky and is often associated with instability. Yet for others, it offers a lot more flexibility along with an increase in intellectual stimulation.

Read this EMR blog about Interim recruitment and see if it may suit you.


Here is my list that contains 5 key questions which I encourage individuals to answer before deciding to become interim managers:

1. Are you looking for a way to avoid office politics while focusing on delivery?

In most cases, an interim manager is hired by an organization in order to either deliver a specified project or to handle an individual business scenario. This means you have clear objectives and a deadline which requires a lot of focus and just about no time to become involved in trivia office politics.

For certain people, working in this type of environment can feel alienating. Yet the nature of these short-term contracts will mean that you are not actually embedded in any given organization. Some people thrive on these scenarios as they can focus more of their attention on the job at hand along with an inbuilt method of addressing problems or setbacks from a neutral position.

2. Do you have good communication skills?

This type of work will make you the outsider that comes into an organization to tell permanent staff what changes are required or how they should be doing things. This often means you need to handle situations with a level of finesse. Good communication skills are vital, and these skills have to be adapted to match the current culture that you find yourself working in.

You need to possess abilities to provide instructions in such a way that it encourages people and makes them feel enthusiastic about hopping on board. You also need outstanding management skills which means you are able to quickly engage with a team. You also need to be a great influencer as you will be required to shape certain processes while getting everyone on board with you quickly.

3. Do you enjoy variety?

The people that match up well to interim-management positions often find the permanent roles boring and stifling. This is because even senior levels often lack change. The advantages associated with interim management positions is that the role along with the challenges will change regularly. Many of these contracts will run from as little as 3 months all the way up to 18 months, which offers you many opportunities to find new companies, meet up with new people while tackling exciting and new problems.

There are people who thrive on this type of change, while others may feel like it is too risky. Of course, the lack of consistent and regular income can put many individuals off this route. Yet, with so many of the public sector organizations that have increased their reliance on the expert skills of the interim managers, there is now more demand, which means risks which were once common with contracting (being without work for months) is now reduced.

4. Do you crave more autonomy?

To put it into perspective you are actually your “own” boss in the role of interim manager. You get to choose which projects you would like to become involved in along with the freedom to move directly into another project or to take some time off in between. This can be especially useful when you have lifestyle commitments or family.

However, while you are offered with the benefit of choosing and picking, you will need to have the right skills at selling and marketing yourself, and you need to know how to network. If you are lacking in any of these skills finding work may become difficult.

5. Are you a professional expert in a given field, and are your skill sets in demand?

Organizations sometimes do not have staff members that are permanent with a specific skill-set in order to handle specialized projects. One of these examples is that we place many interims that specialize in social care within the local government.

Another popular emerging area is a demand for development and regeneration skills, along with experience in infrastructure delivery. This has to do with the government who prioritizes economic growth and house building. When these vital portions within the public sectors are experiencing a crisis, or if a new priority arises, hiring an outsider that has experience in dealing with similar issues, drastically lowers the risks along with maximizing chances of success. When implications become great, you really need the skills of an expert.