Matching people and proficiencies – how to hire the right interim manager

One lesson COVID-19 has taught us is that business changes are inevitable. Even with ‘Freedom Day’ behind us in the UK, the current marketplace continues to be unpredictable, making it difficult for organisations to plan long-term.

Appointing interim managers can provide the ideal short to mid-term solution for businesses going through a difficult chapter or transition. However, it can also provide an answer outside of a global pandemic. In recent years, organisations have seen increased demand for more flexible working practices. This has led to a rise in interim workforce numbers, meaning there are some excellent candidates out there for many different situations.

A strong interim professional can offer enormous value to a business in a variety of areas. They can provide an injection of experience and capability that might not be available in-house, strengthen a specific project, offer a fresh perspective, provide new direction and leadership or help solve capacity issues arising from situations such as staff attrition, maternity leave or long-term sickness.

As with most things however, the interim market has its share of issues and some unscrupulous people, so there can be pitfalls when hiring. 

How do you ensure you’re hiring the right interim manager?

At Augmentas, we have a well-honed two-stage interview process. The first stage focuses on values, behaviours and the less tangible soft skills, and is designed to test behaviours around integrity and honesty. We’re looking to find out whether a candidate is basically a good and reliable person ready to step up for Augmentas and our clients.

The second stage is a technical interview with a trusted specialist in the space to ensure true expertise. Does the experience and CV stack up? Does the candidate offer the knowledge and skills they say they have? Those who pass both tests become part of our Alumni – a vetted network of prequalified and assured professionals.

How crucial are EQ and IQ?

Both are important for different reasons. Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a standard of human intelligence. Based on their education and experience, it is assumed that candidates at this level will be of above average intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage and handle emotions. For those with a high EQ this will be instinctive. Others may have to work harder at it or even attend courses to strengthen their understanding and reactions.

Interestingly, self-awareness is the foundational competency of emotional intelligence, meaning the more defined one’s self-knowledge is, the higher one’s EQ will be. The reverse is also true.

A Leadership IQ study found that EQ skills have an enormous 89% bearing on a candidate’s success, meaning that technical competence has only a small bearing (11%) on whether a candidate will succeed or fail. EQ can be difficult to assess simply because it is harder to measure than a technical skill set, but a robust conversation can uncover signs of self-awareness, self-reflection, empathy and compassion. Importantly, the person conducting this assessment must themselves have a good EQ.

Suffice to say, a candidate who scores well in both areas will be an excellent prospect.

What makes an interim candidate stand out?

Credibility in the interim space comes from reputation and results. Those with integrity and a determination to succeed go further and crucially get recommended by others. Being known for strong results and for having a sound moral compass goes a long way to ensuring a candidate stands out for the right reasons.

Interim managers can be a huge asset to many businesses and we’re finding that more and more organisations are becoming reliant on an interim workforce. Taking the time to evaluate those softer skills along with assessing knowledge and experience will mean you have a reliable solution for any short or mid-term requirement.

At Augmentas, we offer tailor made solutions for clients who need help in the short to medium term. On our books, we have a network of proven, security cleared experts ready to step up for you. Every candidate is vetted by our senior team and is only placed if they meet our strict criteria.

We have extensive experience in placing interim and permanent placements in a variety of roles across an organisation including procurement, commercial, contract management, supply chain, project management, training and human resources.

If you are looking at a gap in your skill set or need some additional assistance resourcing a project, speak to us on 0208 154 4057 or email us at