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Why Interim Executives are The Best Thing for Your Company

Why Interim Executives are The Best Thing for Your Company

Interim Executives are well worth the cost by bringing multiple financial and strategic benefits to your company.

The benefits interim executives bring with them are tremendous: financially and strategically. They are highly experienced individuals who have been in the industry or putting their expertise into practice for years. Their extensive backgrounds and knowledge can make a tremendous impact on your company. Whether you’re stuck in a tight spot or suddenly find yourself without an executive, interim executives can be the best thing for your business.

We are not advocating that an interim executive is the right solution in every situation. In many cases, especially when long term expertise and stability are needed, a full-time executive is the smart move. Also, looking at a company’s total talent management strategy, a mix of full-time and interim expertise can be the best of both worlds at all levels including the leadership.

Interim Executives with Experience are Gold

Most companies will agree that interim executives are worth what you pay them to do for you. They come with specialized knowledge. Getting an interim head-of-marketing for your startup might cost you more on a daily basis than to hire someone from the marketplace. But the interim comes with years of experience specifically in marketing and will be much more familiar with customer trends, what works and avoid wasting money on what doesn’t work. Years of experience, and mistakes come with the individual.

In startups, especially, you have very little flexibility to make mistakes and every decision counts. It goes without saying that you need the advice of someone who can anticipate the market and know how to prepare for certain situations.

Matthew Sauer from Cerius Executives is a Senior Human Resources Executive who has extensive years of experience with two Global Fortune 100 Companies. “Almost every one of our executives has been in the marketplace in a very senior position for 20-plus years,” he said. “With that, they bring a not only a depth of the knowledge of what their discipline is, but a breath of other knowledge because they’ve been in a mix of large corporations or smaller organizations where they’ve seen more than just their discipline. Many of them have been exposed to acquisitions, divestitures, and startups. They know what to look for in addition to just their discipline.”

Cost Comparison

It’s no hidden fact that interim executives and management consultants on an apple to apple basis are more expense than the direct cost of a full-time hire. Good news is, you are comparing apples to oranges so when you take into account the other variables, there is a closer proximity of cost. Looking at the total budget rather than a daily rate and focus on the results the individual can deliver based on past experiences, you likely end up with more value in the end.

In situations where the role may not require someone in the position full time, longer term but the reigning school of thought is to only hire full-time employees, consider this. When you look at the whole package of hiring and recruiting costs, and the time it takes for a new executive to settle in, an interim executive turns out to be a less risky and less expensive option.

“Interim executives don’t need to go through iterations, they’re an expert in what they do for what you need,” says Kristen McAlister at Cerius Executives. “Most cases it really is not an expensive option. In the long-term, it is going to save or make the company more money, as long as it’s managed correctly. Always put that caveat on.”

With the current state of the labor market, we are seeing some firms take advantage of the traditional interim executive model. Rather than keeping the position open while it takes 6+ months to find the right executive, they are placing an interim executive in the meantime. This gives them the time to make the right hire while not having the new individual walk into a situation that has had less than full-time focus during the search. Given the interim executive’s focus and expertise, quite a bit can be accomplished during this period.

They can help you with either executing or planning strategy, addressing current issues, improving performance, or simply provide an outside perspective. An interim executive can be a valued resource on a full time or part time basis with based on your business needs and the time frame, whether that is one month or six months. Let us know how we can help fill your expertise gaps today.

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