Interim Management Tips
Interim Management Tips
If you believe you are cut out for the challenges that life as an interim manager present, make sure you are equipped for the interim management recruitment process. To secure interim contracts you have to react quickly to opportunities and sell yourself, so follow the tips below:
Research your chosen industry
It is imperative you are knowledgeable about the industry you will be operating in. The nature of interim management means companies are looking for industry experts who can lead and advise from the outset. If there are any gaps in your industry knowledge you could lose out on an interim assignment to a more informed candidate. Be prepared for industry expectations. It is important to understand the demands each interim manager role will place on you. Dependent on your area of expertise, you may be away from family during an interim management contract. Being prepared for the challenges you face will enable you to take on interim roles quickly.
So you know the industry, but what do you know about the company? As vacancies arise at short notice, it helps to be armed with as much information as possible about potential employers. Interim managers must be prepared to have a fluctuating income, so do your research to find out how much certain organisations within your sector of expertise pay and the benefits they offer their interims.
Prepare a strong CV
Your CV is your first opportunity to sell your expertise to interim recruiters and their clients. They need to fill interim vacancies quickly so it is vital your CV makes an immediate positive impact. Underneath your contact details, summarise your experience and key strengths in a BRIEF personal statement that jumps out from the page. This should be a concise summary rather than paragraphs of text, as many CV books would have you believe. It’s experience that counts, so present your career history clearly and concisely. If it is your first interim management job, you can’t draw on a track record of interim roles. The more interim manager roles you build up on your CV the easier it is to demonstrate your industry knowledge. If you don’t have that widespread experience, emphasise any projects you have worked on that are relevant to the industry you will be working in. Highlight your area of specialism, significant leadership skills and expertise. Make sure you use keywords and appropriate industry language. This is your chance to sell yourself so don’t simply list responsibilities, incorporate a few eye-catching headers. Remember to quantify your achievements in monetary value, comparing them to industry averages so potential clients understand their significance and appreciate your worth.
Network at every opportunity
Effective networking skills are critical to the success of an interim manager so you must be comfortable communicating with people from a wide range of backgrounds working at various levels within their organisation. Always look out for networking opportunities. Attend relevant industry events and conferences as well as social events where there will be a chance to interact with possible employers. Set networking goals such as meeting with certain companies, attending specific events during the year and exchanging contact details with a certain number of people each month. You need to constantly develop new relationships as well as maintain those you have with long-standing contacts. Build up contacts during each interim management assignment. Networking works both ways, so remember to recommend or arrange introductions with contacts you have met.
Be ready to sell yourself
Strong networking skills help interims secure future contracts and offer the advantage of a range of contacts to turn to for business advice. It helps to have a conversational pitch prepared that enables you to sell yourself succinctly, even if an introduction or meeting is unexpected. Don’t just talk; listen too. Show interest in the people you meet and be confident without being arrogant. Always have a supply of business cards on you and ensure you have strong personal branding to set you apart from other interim managers vying for the same contracts. Stay connected online too through LinkedIn and ensure your work record and personal details are always up-to-date.
Use social media
Even if you are not from the Facebook/Twitter era anyone who can use a PC will be able to navigate around LinkedIn. It’s surprising the amount of hiring managers who check out a candidate’s professional LinkedIn profile. Candidates that invest time accumulating glowing testimonials and attaching them to their LinkedIn profile inevitably push themselves higher up the pecking order.
Set up your own limited company
Interim managers work on a range of contracts, but essentially they work for themselves. Most interims set up a limited company that protects both themselves and their clients. It instils confidence and helps to sell services to interim management recruiters. Setting up your own limited company facilitates a shift in mind-set, from temporary employee to sole practitioner. Do your research so you know what is involved in becoming a limited company. Find out what level of indemnity cover you require and get advice on marketing your services and establishing a business plan. HMRC have plenty of information online about what is involved in setting up a limited company.