Need senior level expertise, but working to a budget? Hiring an interim may just be the answer
For businesses going through a period of growth, there’s always a dilemma; invest in a senior hire to help you meet your growth targets but then you’ll have to tighten budgets or have a recruitment freeze.
Alternatively, you can wait until such times you can comfortably afford to bring in a senior professional, but, without them, growth may not be as fast as you like; which begs the question when is the right time to hire?
From the perspective of a startup business, things move and change so quickly, so you may not always need a senior level professional on a permanent basis, but you may need them during ‘high octane’ periods, such as securing investment, creating a new department or business development.
This is when hiring an interim can really help and why this is a fast-growing market. In fact, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), over a million people are placed in a temporary or contract role on a daily basis.
One of the reasons for this is due to the fact that, as a way of working flexibly, it’s not about fixed or rigid thinking based around the traditional, permanent 9am – 5pm job, it’s about getting the best person at the right time for your business, and a reason why interim placements are becoming so popular.
Why hire an interim?
When we say interim, we mean somebody who is highly experienced in their field who works for an organisation on a non-permanent basis. This could be over the course of a few weeks or months. They are also known as contractors or temporary placements.
The whole idea of hiring an interim is that they can hit the ground running, ask the right questions to get themselves set-up and immersed in your organisation – this is where experience comes into its own. It also frees-up your time from having to deal with inductions or sitting through lengthy briefing meetings.
As experience is key, demographically, most people who work this way are in the 35+ age range and tend to be a mix of men and women who are looking for more varied projects and a chance to share their expertise.
From the candidate’s perspective, being an interim means they are in more control over when and how they work, as well as the type of work they want, which ensures they are always highly focused on the role they have been brought in to do.
What are the business benefits?
Appointing somebody on a temporary basis means you’re in more control of how and when you need additional expertise or support. Interims can start or stop at any time, and on your terms.
For a growing business or startup, this gives you the best of both worlds; experience and knowledge share, without the long-term commitment and responsibility you would have with a permanent employee.
Financially, this puts you in more control of spend and gives you the breathing space to get a better idea of where you need to focus your growth strategy.
Interims can help you identify the long-term support you really need
As with any business going through change, it’s not uncommon to realise that where you think you need to focus your growth can be very different from the reality.
Hiring somebody on a permanent basis, only to realise this is not the resource you require is very risky; not just for you, but for the new employee. Bringing in an interim, however, means you can make a more informed and strategic decision on longer term hires.
How to get the best out of an interim
As you’re buying experience, there are many projects or roles where an interim can add value and help grow your business, which includes:
- Setting-up new departments or divisions
- Bringing outsourced functions in-house, such as Finance or HR
- Brand strategy and development
- Marketing and digital strategy, as well as implementation
- Project management
Of course, these are a few examples of what can be achieved by hiring an interim, but it gives you an idea of how they can help with business transformation.
There is a lot of discussion around how flexible working benefits employees, but there is so much more to it than that as it can also be a great way to grow your business.