Why Interim Managers are an essential part of your talent strategy

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Whether it is to cover a project for which there is a defined end point, a method of injecting expertise not in your existing workforce, or simply to cover an absence for a mission critical role, professional interim managers should be an essential part of any talent strategy within a fast moving life science or medical device company.

If an organisation understands the core competencies and purpose of its key roles, an acceptance of the contribution of interim managers make, combined with a relationship with a knowledgeable and reliable partner, offers an organisation the opportunity to quickly and efficiently buy in expertise whilst simultaneously providing an insurance policy against unexpected absence in a key function.

Interestingly, the medical industry has experienced vast amounts of growth and shows little sign of slowing (McLean Interim Management, 2015). It is typical of the types of industry that most benefit from the flexibility that interim managers offer, i.e., organisations that are dynamic, driven, innovative and reactive to external change.

The rapid growth within healthcare globally will present recruitment opportunities and gaps that will need to be addressed. Recruiting “high calibre candidates with relevant experience and the right personality to lead projects can be too time-consuming” (McLean Interim Management, 2015). However, using an Interim Manager is a quick and efficient alternative that will ensure the business’s needs stay on task.

An organisation’s success will be dependent on how well it can keep up to date with key technological trends and development of its ability to recognise new opportunities to generate business (McLean, 2015). This is why it could be considered critical to employ an Interim Manager, in order to develop “forward thinking strategies, leading projects and achieving highly lucrative results in an environment that faces continuous change” (McLean, 2015). The Interim Manager could also “support the development and implementation of a high profile marketing campaign or a sales strategy to win new and retain existing customers” amongst other key responsibilities (McLean, 2015).  

 “Typically a good interim manager should be “overqualified” for the position they cover. This enables them to make immediate impact and perhaps cover the requirements of the role in a shorter timescale than a lesser qualified fulltime employee.”

Deploying such an individual will enable the company to gain the skills of a highly experienced person to meet the needs of a medical device company at a particular moment in its development. They may, for instance, offer advice and expertise to a challenged management team that could be of critical importance in moving the company forward. In addition to this, Interim Managers are cost effective because they are a variable cost, not a fixed overhead and they offer great flexibility, particularly in geographies with unfavourable labour flexibility and social costs.

Interim managers can especially add value to the medical device industry by delivering added value through “successful projects, performance improvements or increased market capitalisations” (ICAEW, 2015). Other ways in which an Interim Manager may be effective include (Team Technology, 2015):

  • A period of change or transition
  • Opening up a new market
  • Acquiring a new subsidiary company
  • Managing a one-off project
  • Filling a gap between a manager’s departure and recruiting a replacement

This is a cost effective service that helps through a period where an organisation needs a particular expertise (Team Technology, 2015). It may be that they are hired for only a limited number of days a week, but their high skill level may achieve as much in this time as a lesser qualified fulltime person.

Recruiting for an Interim Manager is a much quicker process than recruiting for a long term candidate. An organisation would have to “brief the agency of their requirements, present a shortlist, conduct interviews and then appoint. This could take a few short days” (Team Technology, 2015).  Hiring an Interim Manager within the Medical Technological Industry can provide a fresh perspective to the operations of a business. They will “give an objective view on what is best for the business and are able to contribute honestly without being seen as a threat to management teams” (Page Executive, 2015).  

Another important sector to consider is Human Resourcing as a key discipline where interim managers are used increasingly. According to Russam GMS (2015) out of 11,000 Interim Managers “55 percent were recruited to supply skills that were absent in their client’s business, 39 percent to implement new strategies and 36 percent to work on special projects”.

Interim Managers are becoming a popular resource for companies that are going through times of change and transition and it will be interesting to see how recruitment and industrial trends will manipulate this factor to provide for the fast paced and demanding sector that is the Life Science Industry.  

Author: Nigel Job, CEO

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