Are You the Interim of Choice? Do You Get the First Call?

Written by EO Executives on Jun 21, 2017

As an Associate Director of global executive search firm EO, I am frequently asked by candidates, what makes a great interim manager and how do they make sure they get the first call from their network.

There is no succinct or one answer to these questions, however when looking back on the most successful interim placements I’ve made, there are several synergies that all these candidates have in common.

Agility
Alarm bells arise when a candidate is complaining regarding a lack of job description for an interim role. The question the interim should be asking is “what is the business problem they are trying to fix?” A great interim needs to land in a new role and immediately get up to speed with high pressure and complex situations. A true interim will also have a mobile mentality and will be willing to travel the length and breadth of the country for the right role.

Expert & honest
Once establishing the exact nature of the business issue, make sure its within your sweet spot and be honest with yourself and the client. Remember you are the “knight on the white horse” coming to the client’s rescue. Taking on a role you can’t do, will damage your reputation and credibility in the marketplace. Make sure you interrogate your recruiter and the client once in front of them.

Lose the ego
As an interim, there is no time for Ego! Too much to do and not enough time to do it, requires a resilient approach and someone who is happy with the “lifting and shifting” Remember there is no job description so you can’t say that’s not part of role.

Be pragmatic
Your job is to be pragmatic. You can’t change the world in 60 days and you need to remember you’ve been hired to get the job done to a high standard. There is no time for getting involved in politics, so you need to remain laser focused.

Make an instant impact & execute the strategy
As an interim the mandate is to find the business solution and that starts on day 1. Nearly 90% clients surveyed agree they know by the end of week 1 whether an interim is going to be a success. Get your strategy sorted early on and start executing the plan as soon as possible. This will gain credibility with the organisation and will also raise your profile with internal stakeholders.

Be straight forward
The interim market has no time for delays. Agree your rate, terms and conditions up front. An interim who comes back to the table to re-negotiate the terms once agreed, rarely get what they are looking for and will more than likely have the offered rescinded.

If you are considering making the leap to interim and would like further information please feel free to reach out to us and speak to an expert who can help at: craig.saxby@eoexecutives.com

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