Managers act in both an administrative and leadership capacity within a company, and the position requires having a thorough understanding of finance, communication, project management, and critical thinking to be successful. Managers complete a variety of duties including hiring and training new employees, overseeing projects, and planning for the future.
But what happens when a manager leaves a company? If a manager’s departure is sudden or abrupt, it is important for companies to have a plan to instantly respond and keep their operations intact.
One such way companies can replace a manager is through interim management, which simply refers to a managerial position that is not permanent. This article will break down the role and duties of an interim manager and explain how interim management can benefit a company.
Types of Managers
A regular manager holds a permanent position within a company. If a manager takes an extended vacation, sabbatical, or is out of the office for prolonged periods of time due to illness or family emergency, an acting manager may step in to fulfill the roles of the manager. The acting manager is just as it sounds: someone from the company acts in the role of the manager until the manager returns.
While the roles and responsibilities of an interim manager are largely similar those of a manager or acting manager, the position differs slightly. Interim managers are brought in when there are no managers present to fulfill the responsibilities, such as when a manager quits or leaves suddenly.
In that case, a company might bring in an interim manager while they look for a permanent replacement. The interim manager would complete the tasks of the manager while the company conducts interviews or figures out a suitable replacement. Interim managers are also known as “short-term” managers because they are only with the company for a limited amount of time.
Benefits of Interim Managers
There are many benefits to bringing in an interim manager.
Acting During the Hiring Process
One of the biggest benefits of bringing in an interim manager is to avoid the knee-jerk reaction that might come when a manager suddenly leaves a company. The company might rush to fill the position as soon as possible and miss out on choosing the best candidate. The company also might spend weeks and weeks trying to fill the position while the duties of the manager go unfulfilled.
Interim managers are helpful because they complete the manager’s duties while giving the company time to conduct thorough interviews and properly evaluate their existing employees. It can also be reassuring from an employee’s perspective to see that the company is taking the time to fairly and thoroughly search for a replacement rather than immediately fill the position.
Acting with Lower Costs
Another benefit of interim managers is their cost. Interim managers don’t cost the company money when it comes to training or retirement. Additionally, many interim managers bill by the hour, day, month, or project, making it easier for companies to budget costs associated with interim managers.
Acting During Times of Change
Interim managers are also brought in during times of change as a fresh set of eyes. Interim managers with no prior relationship to the company can look more objectively at issues and can bring new solutions or ideas to move the company in its desired location.
Many successful interim managers have worked with a variety of companies and have a proven track record of success. They are able to creatively solve complex problems and deliver efficient solutions. Change is often an uncertain time within a company, and it can be reassuring to bring in an interim manager to steady the waters during this time.
Acting as a Project Manager
Another unique benefit of interim managers is when they are brought in for special projects. Though most interim managers are brought in to a company in times of higher workloads or need for management, there are instances where it makes more sense to bring in an interim manager to oversee specific projects or tasks.
Bringing in an interim manager for specific projects allows the regular manager to focus on day-to-day operations while the interim manager is focused solely on the project. Companies can bring in interim managers with specialized knowledge who can put all of their expertise into the project.
Interim positions occur at all levels of management and are needed for a variety of reasons, including resource, project, change, crisis, and countless others. While your company might know it needs interim management, turn to Bhr Consulting to help your company evaluate exactly what it needs and how to get the best candidates possible!