Hiring an interim executive has long been thought of as a band-aid solution on the heels of an unexpected resignation or a way to give a potential new leader a trial run before committing. But with more businesses taking on flexible staffing approaches combined with the ups and downs of the economy over the past 15 years, companies have realized the financial and strategic benefits of engaging an interim executive rather than seeking to make an immediate permanent hire.
In the current COVID crisis, businesses are dealing with extreme levels of uncertainty and unpredictability as they try to make wise decisions for their employees and the future of their organizations. The high-flexibility, high-expertise nature of interim executives makes them an especially viable solution in times of crisis to keep companies moving forward strategically yet cost-effectively.
In times of crisis, three benefits of engaging interim executives stand out:
1. Avoid an unsustainable long-term commitment.
With the economic turbulence brought on by the pandemic, many businesses aren’t sure what the next year will hold. Financially, this is a risky time to hire a full-time employee (plus benefits). From a workplace culture perspective, it is a gamble for companies and prospective executives alike to bring on a new hire without being able to meet in person to get a sense of culture and personality fit.
On the other hand, it’s hard to sail a company through rough waters with gaping holes in the leadership structure. So, what is a company to do? An interim is adept at stepping into crisis situations, getting caught up to speed quickly, and keeping the organization focused on their goals without all the risks of making a permanent hire in sub-optimal conditions.