Guide to Becoming an Interim Manager

What is an Interim Manager?

An Interim Manager (IM) is a highly skilled professional with management experience. IMs are typically brought into an organisation for a limited duration assignment to carry out a specific activity or set of requirements.

Interim Management is still a relatively new industry and, as a business concept, is a fantastic way of injecting much-needed flexibility into the marketplace. The UK operates perhaps the most sophisticated Interim Management services in the world, with executives and managers covering a wide variety of roles at different levels of expertise and within various technical areas. The best Interim Managers are already proving that, if used effectively, they can be worth their weight in gold – and according to the Institute of Directors an Interim Executive with relevant experience and a good track record can be ‘the answer to a company’s prayers’.

Why do companies use Interim Management Services?

When a company employs an IM, that person is contracted to deliver a fixed assignment for a predetermined cost and set duration. Through this, the company gains the benefit of instant experience, a higher calibre of manager as well as having an ‘implementer’ on hand who will be focused solely on the job at hand. These benefits have led organisations to increasingly recruit IMs, creating the growing demand for Interim Managers.

Some specific situations in which a company might need to engage an Interim Manager include:

Finding work as an Interim Manager

What types of roles are available?

Almost any role which you could carry out as a full-time employee could be handled by an Interim Manager. However, Interim Managers are generally hired for middle to senior management level roles, right up to the Managing Director and CEO level in any industry sector.

What experience do I need?

Demonstrate a background of progressive achievement and clear success, especially with budgetary and personal responsibility. Clients hire successful people, so make sure your CV highlights your achievements.

What personal strengths must I have?

It’s not just about experience, it’s also about having a certain working style and personality type. For example, as an Interim Manager you must:

Creating an Interim Manager CV

Aim for no more than three pages, unless you’re adding Case Studies.

Rates of pay for Interim Managers

Daily charge-out rates vary enormously and are greatly influenced by:

In reality, interim assignments can last for any period of time, but would typically be between a week and a year. Remember that Interim Management is a career choice, not just something to do whilst searching for a permanent job.

The key to negotiating your daily rate is to focus on the value you can deliver to the client from the services you provide - either in the form of cost savings, ROI, efficiencies produced or risks mitigated. According to the Institute of Interim Management, IMs are suggested not to compare their rates to what a permanent employee might earn because Interim Managers are businesses operating on their own account and are not like employees.

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Where can I get more advice?

It’s well worth talking to the Institute of Interim Management. The IIM is the professional body for Interim Managers. It is a not-for-profit Institute run by Interim Managers and Executives. The IIM publishes an annual survey of Interim Management recruiters (known by Interim Managers as ‘Service Providers’). You may also like to visit the IIM’s LinkedIn group: Interim Management – IIM which is a leading authority on the subject of Interim Management.

Accountancy services for Interim Managers from SJD Accountancy

If you are already an Interim Manager operating through your own limited company, or if you are thinking of setting up as an Interim Manager or even working under an umbrella company and want to go limited, then SJD Accountancy can give you a wealth of information and advice. We provide a low-cost fixed-fee accountancy service which has been developed specifically for Interim Managers, freelancers and contractors.

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