Skills of interim managers are wasted

Apr 20 2006 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Companies spend a fortune hiring and keeping interim managers, but then fail to make the most of them once they have them on board, new UK research has suggested.

The poll by HR consultancy Chiumento of more than 100 interim managers found more than two thirds – 69 per cent – felt organisations neglected to ensure their knowledge and experience was transferred or harnessed effectively.

A similar number – 63 per cent – believed industry could not now manage without using interim managers.

"Companies no longer see interim managers as "stopgaps" but use them to deal with a broad range of HR issues," said Graham Bird, director of interim management at Chiumento.

"However, organisations are missing a trick by not fully tapping into interims' skills and proactively harnessing their experience," he added.

This could be addressed by setting objectives at the start of an assignment that included provision for knowledge transfer between the interim and organisation upon completion, he suggested.

But it was also up to interims to ensure their skills were recognised and fully used and that handover arrangements took place.

Nearly four out of 10 of the interims polled said organisations failed to make the most of their HR expertise, and 72 per cent agreed that their skills and knowledge could be better used.

Almost eight out of ten believed they add value because organisations were now so lean they had lost key talent and were left with a knowledge vacuum.

One interim manager, Mark Fraser, said: "Knowledge transfer between the interim manager and the organisation is essential in helping that organisation gain maximum return on investment, similar to other procured services.

"At the moment though, it isn't happening nearly enough. Interim managers also frequently have greater skills than those they are brought in to demonstrate," he added.