The term “interim manager” is not very popular in a few economies. It is common to hear about this in First World economies, but they are relatively rare in emerging economies. So, who is an interim manager, and what does he do?
Why do businesses need interim managers?
As the term indicates, an interim manager is recruited into a business to perform a specific task or project, i.e., to fulfill an interim purpose. The most common reasons for which interim managers are hired are to get a new product line or a new line of business launched or to streamline processes, or to be part of a disaster recovery plan. Many businesses look for interim managers when they feel they need expert guidance for a while, as in the case of examples cited above. These managers are not needed after a point of time. If the management feels that the new product line or line of business is able to stand on its own feet; it can terminate her services, on good terms, of course.
HR has a major role
These kinds of people need to be headhunted by the organization’s HR, because obviously, this is not a position that is general and simple to fill. What does HR look for in an interim manager? The person is almost certainly someone with a proven track record. She should be driven by zeal to do take up challenges rather than being one who is good at taking care of routine tasks. In other words, the interim manager should be someone who is a cut above the ordinary.
An important task for HR is to make the interim manager interested in the job. What interests her the most? Since the person is necessarily someone who is quite senior, the pay is of secondary importance. A greater factor is the hunger for challenge. This is what HR has to use as the bait to take such a manager into the organization.
Give them what they need
These interim managers also need a lot of space. They need to be given complete autonomy of choosing their teams; organizing them and making them function. There has to be some synergy in the wavelengths of the interim manager and the rest of the team. HR has to ensure all these. And yes, many interim managers ask for fresh resources to carry out their tasks. HR should help them to find the right fit for their team. HR thus has a major role to play in shaping the choice of the interim manager; both at the time of selection of the manager as well as helping her achieve her goals for the organization.
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