What is an interim manager?
Crisis management, performance improvement, company restructuring… Calling on an interim manager to bring a large-scale project to a successful conclusion or to intervene in a complex situation can prove tricky for companies that are sometimes in a fragile state.
When should you use an interim manager? What skills should you look for in an interim manager? How much are they paid? We take a closer look at this new kind of firefighter.
Interim manager: role and skills
Working on a one-off basis with companies faced with the challenges of change or a new problem, the interim manager provides operational support, ensuring that the objectives of the assignment are achieved.
Here are some possible objectives for a transition assignment:
- replacement at short notice of a manager from the client company ;
- improving the performance of an entity or teams ;
- reinforcing teams in the context of a project or an increase in activity ;
- crisis management.
What is the role of the interim manager?
First introduced in the United States in the 1970s, the interim manager arrived on the French market in the following decade. Long regarded as the expert to call on in the event of a crisis in senior management, they are now a support team tasked with helping companies through a major transformation, in particular :
- cost reduction;
- crisis management;
- business restructuring;
- the implementation of a PSE ;
- supporting projects such as a merger and/or acquisition.
The interim manager takes on the role of director or manager for the duration of the assignment, on a part-time, shared or full-time basis. Their management assignments can vary from 3 months to 2 years, depending on the scale of the transformation.
Interim management is aimed at senior executives, or even managers, who have held positions of technical and/or managerial responsibility for many years.
Good to know: there are several options for working as an interim manager: freelance administration, self-employment, or working for a specialist firm that will send you on assignments for its clients.
What are its key skills?
Interim managers have at least 15 years’ experience behind them. While this position requires technical skills, also known as hard skills, it is the interim manager’s behavioural aptitudes, or “soft skills”, that make the difference. This senior profile possesses a number of skills and qualities that are essential for a successful assignment:
- leadership : because they are involved at what are often difficult times, mobilising teams can prove complicated. The interim manager must be able to motivate employees, make them understand the challenges of the change underway, and reassure them: he or she is a leader;
- listening and communication: these are qualities that all managers need to possess, but they are all the more essential for a professional working temporarily in a company they don’t know: they need to be able to quickly get the measure of the people they are dealing with, know what is expected of them, and get their messages across ;
- adaptability and responsiveness : the company is faced with an urgent situation that requires it to be up and running straight away. The interim manager must understand the culture and moral values and adapt to them as soon as he arrives. They must also be able to react immediately and modify their strategy if something unexpected happens;
- mobility : assignments may require you to travel anywhere in France, or even internationally.
Good to know: sector knowledge is often required by companies that call on the services of an interim manager. However, a fresh perspective can provide the hindsight needed to get things moving.
What challenges lie ahead?
The interim manager is involved in large-scale projects that can have a major impact on the company’s results and future. Their scope of action can range from a few changes in the way work is done to major structural reorganisations. The interim manager therefore plays a key role in the company’s performance and even survival.
Note: gaining acceptance from all employees will be one of the major challenges for the interim manager.
The remuneration of interim managers depends on their experience, level of qualification, and the duration and complexity of each assignment. According to the Fédération nationale du management de transition (FNMT), interim managers can expect to earn a minimum of €80,000 gross per year, but the average salary tends to be between €120,000 and €150,000.
How does the profession work?
There are many different ways of working as an interim manager.
Temporary employment contracts
As an employee of the interim management firm, which has the status of a temporary employment agency, you are placed at the disposal of the client and remunerated.
Fixed-term contract (CDD)
Employee of the firm that pays you for the duration of the assignment.
You are an employee of the freelance administration company, which invoices your client for your fees. The freelance administration company then pays you this income as a salary. You act independently, without having to set up your own company.
You can work as a self-employed person by setting up your own company.
How do you find the right interim manager?
The interim management firm
Despite the urgency with which this type of recruitment is often carried out, don’t rush the choice of the professional to be entrusted with such an assignment. A casting error could have serious consequences for a company already weakened by the changes it is going through. How do you go about finding an interim manager?
As a company director, there are several ways of finding the right interim manager:
- Social networks and manager networks:
- It seems the simplest solution, but it’s also the riskiest. There is no guarantee that he will find the right person.
- The interim management company (EMT) or interim management firm :
- it does all the work for the company to find the right profile very quickly from its pool;
- it’s the simplest, most secure and fastest solution;
- If the interim management company is a member of France Transition, this guarantees compliance with best practice and provides security for both the client and the interim manager.
Who should you contact at an interim management firm?
Talent pool – the Relation Manager team
Specialised interim management firms have a pool of several thousand interim managers managed by a dedicated organisation within the firm: the manager relations team.
This team will identify for each manager :
- the functions held by the manager during his or her career ;
- the functions the manager wishes to perform as part of an interim assignment ;
- the specific skills acquired by the manager during his or her processional career: carve-out, integration of acquisitions, M&A, restructuring, etc.
Interim management and general management with Procadres
Company: find your interim manager
Our interim management solutions for your company
Areas of intervention
Developing, transforming, managing crises, replacing a manager…Procadres International can help you solve your problems.
In which sectors?
40% of our customers are large French and international groups, 40% are SMEs and 20% are growth companies.
Procadres international’s interim managers cover all the company’s management, transformation, engineering and support functions.
In an interim management market that has been growing for a number of years, we have carried out over 1,650 assignments, 20% of which were international.