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Interim Managers: Who They Are & Their Benefits

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October 6, 2022
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7 minutes
Experienced copywriter who spends a lot of money at restaurants and regrets it later.
Has an important executive left your company suddenly? Is your company being held back due to office politics? 

Do you need someone to shake things up? Are you looking for a hero who can put things back on track? Then keep reading.

You see, the world of business is unpredictable. Sometimes, even your best and most important people leave. When that happens, a company may head into total chaos and become directionless. 

But don’t worry. There is an easy solution to this problem. They are called interim managers. So, what are interim managers? When should you hire them? And what are the benefits of bringing them on board? 

We’ll answer all these questions in this article. Let’s dive into it. 

What Exactly Is an Interim Manager

To understand the term Interim manager, let’s first understand the word interim. 

Interim is something or someone that is not final or lasting. In short, it’s temporary. So, technically, interim managers can also be called temporary managers.” 

- The dictionary definition- 

Now, to define the term interim manager, we need to add more details to it. It’s true that interim managers only stay with a company for a short term. However, they’re not like your average team managers or operation managers. They are well-experienced and senior-level executives who can take charge of a tough situation and make necessary changes. 

Let’s consider an example.

Suppose there’s a company that has been in business for decades but is now facing tough competition. Executives are being victims of their own old-school mindset and are failing to innovate. To make matters worse, the managing director leaves the company, and this severely affects the daily operations. What can be done now?

Permanent Managing Director vs Interim Managers

Well, there are two choices:
  • The first choice is to hire a new permanent managing director 
But it’s not as easy as hiring an intern. Senior executives don’t get hired overnight. In fact, the really talented ones are hard to find and it may take months to get someone on board. And if a senior executive is hired haphazardly, their incompetence could bring back the company to square one.
  • The second choice is interim managers 
Unlike permanent managers, interim or temporary managers are much easier to find. Why? Because freelance consulting platforms, like Consultport, can find interim managers for companies rather quickly. Also, since they’re not permanent employees, companies don’t have to worry about holiday pay, sick leave, insurance, etc. The team will also be much more relaxed to find that the new boss is only there temporarily. Because, generally, newly appointed permanent executives may reorganize the company and lay off some employees. However, interim managers only lead a company temporarily and execute their role. 


  • Interim managers are senior-level executives that a company hires for the short term.
  • Consulting platforms, like Consultport, can find interim managers for companies that urgently need support.
  • Hiring interim managers makes sense when: the budget is limited, external opinion is needed, or a senior executive leaves unexpectedly.
  • Interim managers are cheaper to hire as compared to permanent executives.
  • Interim managers don’t just offer recommendations, they also help with the execution of strategy.

When to Hire an Interim Manager

Hope that you understood what an interim manager is. Now, you may be wondering: Should I hire an interim manager? 

Well, it depends. Let’s discuss the situations in which a company should consider hiring a temporary manager. 

1. Your budget is limited 

Let’s face it, permanent hires can cost a fortune. And if you make the wrong hire, well, then good luck! Because having them leave will also cost a fortune. This is why external hires who work on a temporary basis may be the best option when you’re short on cash. 

CHECK OUT: Zero-Based Budgeting Consultants

2. You need an external opinion

External hires, like interim managers, will give you an independent third-party opinion. They don’t know anybody in the company and they don’t need any favors either. So, they have no reason to give biased opinions. Besides, they will give you the best solution, not just an unbiased opinion. So, if executives in your company are hesitating in taking an important step, get an interim executive’s opinion. 

3. You need a senior manager urgently

This is by far the most important reason why one should hire interim managers. As mentioned above, if an important executive leaves the company suddenly, there will be instability. To stabilize things, the first thing you should do is fill a very important gap in the workforce. Get a leader in the organization first, and then you can plan your future steps together. 

4. You need a field expert from a particular industry 

The fact is, not all senior executives in your company have all the answers. Sometimes, an external hire who is an expert in a specific field is required. For instance, if no leader in the company has the remotest clue about digital transformation, it may be time to hire an expert. 

The Benefits of Hiring Interim Managers 

Great. So, now you know when you should hire an interim manager. But do you know about the advantages of hiring one? If not, then let’s find out. 

1. They don’t care about office politics 

You know that there is a need for a change in the company. But will you dare to introduce the change? This is when temporary external managers can help. These experts will straight-up tell you the facts and not care about internal politics. They know they won’t be in the organization for long, so they likely won’t beat around the bush. This can be very beneficial if politics is holding you back. 

2. They are affordable

It’s a no-brainer! Of course, a permanent senior executive, like a managing director, will be more costly to hire. Besides this, a company will have to pay a hefty salary to a permanent executive for years.

According to Payscale, an average MD earns a whopping $152,561 per year in the USA. While in Germany, they can earn more than €148,000 annually. An interim executive, however, will cost a lot less because you’ll only pay them for the short term.

3. Full focus on the task

Interim executives know exactly why they’re being hired. They don’t have to think about anything but the task at hand. Whether it’s strategy implementation or an important change in the company, interims put it in high gear from the get-go. The fact that they are temporary managers reminds them of their sole reason behind being in a company. And the focused attention one can generate because of this is priceless.

4. They help with execution

Unlike management consultants who may only offer recommendations, interim managers will actually execute them. So, they won’t just tell you what to do, they’ll actually show you how it's done! You may hire them temporarily, but they will permanently upgrade your organization. Once interim managers have worked their magic, the company can follow in their footsteps even when they’re long gone.

READ MORE | Why hiring a freelance consultant may be the best move for your company

Types of Interim Managers

‘Interim manager’ is a very broad term and may include a variety of occupations. However, their main job remains the same—to hold the helm temporarily till a company finds a permanent solution. Now, let’s understand the different titles in this occupation.

Interim CEO

When a CEO leaves a company, the board of directors may appoint a temporary CEO. These interim CEOs must be hired as soon as the existing CEO leaves. An interim CEO can quickly adapt to the new environment and ensure the organization runs smoothly.

Interim Project Managers

Many projects are temporary and hiring a permanent project manager may not always make sense. Interim project managers are external hires and highly qualified professionals who can keep a temporary project on track. A project can be divided into five phases: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring & controlling, and closure. An interim will oversee the project in each of these phases and ensure timely completion. 

Interim COOs

COOs (Chief Operating Officers) are especially important in large and complex organizations. If a permanent COO leaves, not hiring an interim COO immediately may result in complete chaos. And you already know why—every big company needs an experienced senior to oversee day-to-day operations.

Interim CTO

An interim CTO (Chief Technology Officer) can help align technology decisions with a company’s business strategy. Furthermore, they can also hire new employees to build a tech department and offer technology-related recommendations to the CEO. 

Interim Finance Managers

As you may know, financial planning is key to a business’s survival. An interim finance manager is an external hire who can offer financial insights to a company. They’re also involved in budget planning and allocation of financial resources. If hired from the right platform, their expert advice can prevent a company from committing financial blunders. 

Interim HR Managers

Some companies, especially big ones, need a permanent HR person or an entire HR team. However, if a permanent HR manager leaves, you can hire a temporary manager. On another note, a small business with ten employees doesn’t really need an HR manager. So, they may hire an interim on a contract basis to set up HR strategy and policies. In short, if a company needs an experienced HR professional quickly and on a temporary basis, they should go for interim HR managers. 

If you’ve read so far, chances are, you’re really, really, looking for an interim manager. Well, we’ll make your job a heck of a lot easier. Just get in touch with us and tell us your requirements. 

We have some of the most experienced interim managers in our talent pool. Let us find you one.