Deciding on a suitable candidate for management is a very difficult task, but what about when you’re selecting for the position of interim management? An interim manager can either provide a great deal of support in your time of need, or they can cause turmoil within the company. Here are 10 tips to take note of when determining the value of an interim manager.
1. Can The Company Cope Without?
The first thing that you need to remember when considering the recruitment of an interim manager is: do you really need one? It’s easy to become carried away with the stresses of your job and you may begin to feel that you need some help in managing your company, but can you manage alone? Recruiting an interim manager may lighten your workload, but is the expense of such a thing really necessary?
2. Do You Have What It Takes?
If you feel that you are in desperate need of an interim manager, the most sought after qualities that your candidate should have is intelligence and experience. Let’s face it, you haven’t got the time to watch over your new employee 24/7, neither have you the time to answer all their questions or dictate their every move, and so your candidate must have sufficient intelligence to make decisions for themselves, without your aid.
3. Hitting The Ground Running
Past experience is a must if you’re looking to recruit a manager, temporary or not. Your candidate should not simply have “past experience” but extensive past experience. Keep in mind that you are hiring an interim manager because you need help and support in managing your business for a specified time period. If the individual that you are interviewing can’t hit the ground running, how are they going to be of use to you?
4. Flexibility – Business Ballet
Flexibility is essential for any manager. If the person you are interviewing lives far away or for any other reason isn’t capable of being flexible it can cause problems. With the company in a possible transitional stage, changes in hours, location and responsibilities may prove too much for an individual that isn’t considered to be flexible.
With the candidate looking to step into a position for a specified time period, it is likely that they will be filling in for an employee taking a sabbatical or maternity leave. Therefore if the interim manager can not be relied upon to be on time and in work every day, you won’t have someone able to step in. As there is no substitute for the substitute, your candidate must be very reliable. On the other hand, if your candidate has in the past not had a 100% attendance record, allow them to explain themselves before deeming them unworthy.
6. Talk To Me
Excellent communication skills are required in most management jobs, recruiting an interim manager is no different. The manager must be able to appropriately communicate with other employees; for instance a potential manager must be able to maintain a professional, friendly tone whilst also being able to state their concerns and deal with them.
7. How Much Do You Want This?
Enthusiasm is key when looking to recruit a member of the management team. If the contender isn’t enthusiastic about the role and the challenges they may face as a result of it, they aren’t ideal for the position. Unenthusiastic candidates make for lazy managers that are willing to cut corners where possible.
8. A Decision-Maker
Nominees with initiative make some of the best managers due to their leadership skills. Your interim manager must be able to use their own initiative and make decisions quickly. Sometimes there isn’t enough time to sit and mull over a situation and what you should do about it, you have to make a decision in a split second, and it has to be the right decision.
9. The Fixer
Nevertheless, a manager must be able to mediate on a problem. Some matters require delicacy and precision rather than reacting recklessly. Whilst interviewing the individual, enquire about various situations and how they would react to them, this can give you an idea as to how capable the person is when it comes to resolving issues within the company.
10. Have a Little Patience
Bear in mind that understanding how a company runs and then replicating the process effectively can take a little time for even the best of managers. Allow the applicant time to adjust to their surroundings. It’s understandable that you may desire productivity straight away, but the applicant is human just as you are, so they require time.
If you’re still having difficulties choosing a candidate for the position of interim manager; consider asking candidates back for further assessment or broaden your employment pool. When hiring for these positions, there is less margin for error, so ensure that you have the right candidate before proceeding.
Author: Georgina Stamp has helped Marble Hill Partners recruit for various interim manager positions over the years. They are also experts in executive search recruitment for high profile organisations.