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Six top tips for working with Interim Managers

By Thomas Reid, Oct 16 2014 02:34AM

Hiring an interim manager can be a complicated process, with many things to consider. Here are our top tips to achieve the best hire. By keeping these tips in mind it will help you to reach your goals and to closely monitor the results and accomplishments of your interim manager.

1. Be clear about the brief

After your hire, in order for an interim manager to fully utilize their experience and achieve the best results you need to clearly define the brief before the assignment commences. An interim’s brief could be virtually anything so it is important that everyone is clear from the outset on your expectations and what they have been hired to achieve.

2. Explain required outcomes and how they will be measured

Things need to be clearly established from the outset. For an interim to deliver the best possible performance, setting out expected deliverables and performance indicators need to be clearly defined from the beginning – not half-way through the assignment. This will ensure you get the results you need because if there is any delay, then your time and money will have been wasted.

3. Hire the right person

It sounds obvious but there are many things to consider when hiring an interim manager. The first thing to think about is the process of finding the right person. This includes taking advantage of your personal network and hiring based on the solution, not the CV. By providing a full written brief for the role in the hiring process, you’ll be sure of receiving candidates with relevant experience, who have a clear under¬standing of your requirements.

4. Have clear lines of communication between interims and permanent staff

Induct your interim manager properly because a structured induction program means your interim will start to tackle issues sooner. To keep consistency in performance it is important that everybody knows what everybody is supposed to be doing. This communication is not just for the extant staff – it is necessary for the interim to have the freedom to work. It is important from the start to allow them access to the people and resources required to achieve their desired objectives. Everything is all about delegated authority and freedom to operate. You need to give the interim permission to act on your behalf, to ask difficult questions and to challenge the status quo.

5. Be clear about reward

Whenever an interim is to be utilized it must be clear what the reward scheme is and how it ties into results. There’s no reason why you can’t create incentives based on achieved deliverables and performance indicators. This is especially important to avoid any misunderstandings regarding the relationship mid-assignment.

6. Ensure a legacy

Interims have skills that mean they can be of a greater and longer lasting benefit to the company, especially after they have completed their assignment. Interim managers are often more experienced than their permanent equivalents, so use them to put in place better processes for your perma¬nent staff to adopt. Performance should not only take into account the delivery of the project but also successfully facilitating knowledge-transfer to permanent staff, thereby creating a legacy. An on-going dependence on the interim manager is not a desired outcome.

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