18 Feb The Benefits of Using an Interim Leader
When a company goes through a shift in leadership or loses a key member of their management team, it creates a void that impact the business on multiple levels. During this shift, a company may use an interim leader to temporarily fill that void. Interim leaders are mostly experienced, skilled and knowledgeable managers who can fill this gap left by the outgoing manager or leader. An interim leader is usually brought in to help the organization adapt to changes while a new manager takes over at an appointed time.
This transition period may be short (i.e., weeks or months) or long-term depending on the circumstances. There are a lot of great benefits to using an interim leader or interim executive in this role, including development for a better candidate and allowing for more time to search for a long-term leader and make it a seamless transition. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the best benefits of using interim leadership, with input from several of the managing directors and leadership professionals at Scion Staffing, Scion Nonprofit, and Scion Executive Search.
Why would an organization need to use interim leadership?
Organizations will sometimes utilize interim executives during a time where a confidential change of leadership is occurring. For example, if the CFO of a company is getting let go, an interim CFO or consultant could be brought in to assess the position and offer insight on how to improve the role. After this period, they will report back to the Board of Directors, Executive Director, or CEO and then take over the role while a permanent search is taking place. This can help with the search, as interims can sometimes serve as a consultant for the position and provide feedback to make the management role more effective.
It can also be extremely helpful to ensure that organizations take the time they need to find the perfect match for their mission and culture, while still making the sure the needs of the staff are met.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the other great benefits of using interim leaders!
Interim Roles Start Quickly
Because of the need to keep an individual in a particular role, the interim executive roles tend to fill up very quickly for companies and organizations, especially when the organization uses an executive search agency. This is a great advantage for companies looking to fill the role in the long term. It helps keep the time gap between the two individuals at a minimum, meaning the transition becomes that much easier for both people.
Since the majority of interim leader roles are taken by individuals with leadership experience and aren’t necessarily looking to have the role long-term, organizations don’t have to feel rushed to make a permanent hire in the position. This also allows a fresh set of eyes to the organization. The experience and past knowledge can create positive change and growth.
Interim Executives Help Organizations Obtain Time
As an organization looks critically and deeply into itself to make changes, having the time buffer through interim leadership can enable this thorough research to take place. Having the interim leader helps obtain the company or organization time to truly reflect and research what kind of person they want in that role for the long-term. This helps the organization be in a much stronger place to identify their incoming leader, by harnessing information learned through their own self-reflection.
Sometimes interim leaders can be chosen to be the long-term answer, but it has proven to be more beneficial for companies to choose an interim leader who is not going to be a candidate for the full-time role. With not being a legitimate candidate for the job, the interim leader will be able to properly navigate through any potential issues with an honest assessment. This helps the organization be in a position to reach both short-term and long-term goals without any sort of bias.
Interim Leaders Save Businesses Money
Making a wrong hire can have detrimental effects for an organization. Having interim leadership allows the management team or hiring committee to make the right decision for the long run. It saves both time and money to ensure that a long-term match is made for the business. Interim leaders are also very focused on delivering results efficiently and quickly. It’s beneficial for both sides, as the business gets a great return on investment and the interim leader’s reputation will benefit greatly, creating better client relationships.
Making split-decision hires for important leadership roles can create setbacks that can last years and take more resources to mend. The committee must take the proper amount of time to make thorough evaluations about permanent leaders in their search.
An Interim Executive Can Calm the Storm
Sometimes the exit of an executive can cause anxiety amongst staff members and teams within an organization. When a leader departs, the staff will often find themselves required to make sense of new ways of working while also sorting through what the future may hold for themselves and the organization as a whole. During this transition time, staff members may try to jockey for position or even disengage. The loss of an executive can create a loss of morale for all those involved. This loss can also lead to a lack of harmony, potential organizational decay, collapse, disappointment, and even feelings of abandonment.
An interim leader can help bridge that gap and lessen the blow of the loss. While the loss may be a sudden change or shift, the interim leader can be responsible for keeping morale up for both staff members and the board. This is where the experience of the interim candidate comes into play. Can they step into these sticky situations and weather the storm? Can they keep the staff engaged through this transition? When a company utilizes an interim leader, the interim manager or executive can have conversations with the staff and the board to get a sense of what everyone may know or not know. This helps them work to pinpoint where their development priorities are at an organizational level.
Are You Looking for a Interim Candidate? Scion Executive Can Help!
Utilizing an interim leader has its benefits and Scion Executive can help you find the right interim leader to help with your transition period! If you need help in your search for a long-term solution, Scion Executive offers award-winning executive search solutions for both interim and long-term executives and leadership roles. As experts in corporate and nonprofit searches, we assist your decision-makers in uniting resources and offer clear expectations of the decision-makers responsibilities while engaging us. Learn more about us by visiting our website or by contacting our experienced executive search team.