What Drives the Need for Interim Management. by Tom Englander

“Do more with less.” “We can’t afford to hire anyone right now.” “You will just have to shift priorities; we need to get this done quickly.” “I don’t care how, you just do it.”

We have all heard these comments during our work lives, but today we are hearing them more frequently and louder. The squeeze is on and has been for some time as companies demand more results from a downsized staff. And with the uncertainty of the near-term, let alone the long-term future, they are unwilling to add expensive talent to get needed tasks accomplished.

The economic downturn is into its third year for many companies. And while there are signs of an uptick, hiring is still being restricted. Yet there are demands to increase business, and create new product/service offerings with existing employees who are pushed beyond any type of normal bounds. The economists call this “productivity gain;” those of us affected call it “unbearable.”

One alternative to hiring, while still achieving the increased demands, is to use a very qualified (often, sensibly over-qualified) interim employee to do the work. Interim Managers/Executives can step in and be productive very quickly, doing the work, not just figuring out what needs to be done.

An interim executive can take the place of a permanent employee, but for a defined period of time – No long-term commitments. No expensive fringe benefits. No participation in the company bonus pool. Just hard-working expertise that helps the company achieve desired results. Interims do not merely give advice and suggest alternatives, they get their get their hands dirty by leading, managing and doing the work. They are an active part of the leadership team, albeit for a limited period of time.

So, when your company needs to get more accomplished but can’t or won’t hire more talent, using a qualified interim executive or manager may be the best solution: you get the results you want and, when the assignment is completed, the interim leaves without impacting your unemployment rate, your internal reputation or the morale in the organization. Is now the time for your company to consider interim management?

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