Interim Management – Getting Started
Before you start an interim management assignment how long can you expect it to last? When this writer ran an Interim Consultancy he put two urgently needed top executives into a government agency for six weeks. They stayed for nearly three years. It really is as variable as that. The downside is that you will be on perhaps a week’s notice only. From the client’s point of view you do not appear on headcount but you are vulnerable to any sudden downturn in his business or maybe a change of direction or instructions issued by some distant head office or parent company. Just make sure you get your references agreed before you depart. On the other hand if you are doing a good job you will find other directors and managers contacting you asking you to let them know when you have finished your current work. They have something they would like you to handle. It is much easier for them to use your inside knowledge and increasing credibility than to bring in another outsider. You have become a valued member of the team. It is where interim management becomes very fulfilling.
A starting point for pursuing interim assignments is our specialist partner: www.aliumpartners.com, UK and in fact global industry leaders in this arena. Their blog is also always full of useful advice on the interim market: www.aliumpartners.com/blog. There are of course other specialist firms which keep databases of people like you with which to fill clients’ urgent needs. Unlike ordinary recruitment which may take up to three months, Interim Managers have been known to be in post within three days of being contacted. The need is often immediate.
Virtually all of them will require you to have your own limited company or to invoice through an umbrella company. This is so that you can be paid gross and that neither the client nor the recruitment consultancy can be held liable by HMRC for your tax. You are advised to Google IR35 which will give you a host of sites on tax for self employed contractors, Gordon Brown’s incredibly ill conceived IR35 tax, and umbrella companies which, for a modest fee, will invoice your clients on your behalf and sort out the taxman to maximise your earnings.
Once registered follow up with a phone call (as you should whenever you send anyone your CV). In many cases you may only get a response from someone junior but if you can speak to a consultant and start building a rapport it can be very helpful for both parties. Don’t ask for an assignment. Just ask for advice on your CV, on where else you should be looking and on the consultant’s view of the market? People love being asked for advice. Don’t you? Likewise send your CV to all your personal network and let them know what you are up to.
Thereafter keep the contact alive by updating your CV and resubmit it at regular intervals particularly when an assignment is nearing its end. Many Interim Managers add a page to their CV to summarise their interim assignments and highlight the growing range of their skills and achievements in different sectors. At CV Experts some of us have personal experience as interim managers and can offer constructive advice. We can reframe your CV strategically to reflect your experience in a way that will appeal to most interim recruitment consultants.