More and more Swiss companies rely on interim managers. Demand rises with their level of awareness. Interim management is clearly a growth market. But what exactly does the term “interim management” mean? How do interim managers work and what benefits do they bring to a company? These and other questions are answered below.
“Interim” comes from Latin and means “meanwhile”. In business administration, the term “interim management” is therefore used to describe a management activity for a limited period of time. This means that a temporary executive takes over his or her position in a company, fulfils it in the time allotted for this purpose and then leaves it again.
Where does interim management originate?
Interim Management originated in the Netherlands in the 1970s. This heralded a flexibilisation of the labour market, for example by avoiding long notice periods. In the 1980s, the model was adopted in Great Britain before slowly gaining acceptance in Germany. In Switzerland, the industry is still considered to be very young. In 2006, the umbrella organisation Schweizer Interim Manager (DSIM) was founded as an independent association for interim managers.
When is an interim manager appointed?
There are different reasons for using an interim manager. The big advantage of interim management for companies is that they can deploy specialist managers at short notice and for a limited period of time. Interim managers are usually called upon in times of upheaval or crisis. A temporary executive makes sense in the following situations, for example:
Short-term loss of a manager
Development of a new business segment
Turn Around Management
Acquisition or sale of a company
Control of complex processes
Support in an area for a specific period of time
What are the requirements for an interim manager?
Very high demands are placed on an interim manager. This is one of the reasons why it is usually older managers who work in interim management. Increasingly, younger managers are also working as interim managers. Although they have less experience, they are correspondingly cheaper. A basic distinction is made between generalists and specialists.
In addition to professional competence, leadership qualities and strong social skills play a very important role. An interim manager must be able to familiarise himself very quickly with a company. He must analyse the situation of a company in the shortest possible time and then quickly find a solution for a result-oriented implementation of the task assigned to him. A high degree of social competence is required so that the employees pull in the same direction as the interim manager.
How to find an interim manager?
An interim manager can be found through various sources. On the one hand, personal recommendation is a very popular option. On the other hand, professional providers, such as Power Sales, will find suitable candidates from their network.
How long is the interim manager on duty?
In order to achieve meaningful results, the interim manager should spend at least six months in the company. The assignment can take up to two years, for example in a turnaround. After this period of time, results are already visible.
What are the advantages of an interim manager?
The advantages of an interim manager are manifold. The independence of an interim manager from the company is regarded as very advantageous. He is free of internal competition and roped parties. Since he comes from outside, he has a different view of things. The limited duration allows the costs for interim management to be planned in advance.
For the majority of companies, it is not the costs that matter, but rather the efficient solution of the tasks. With an interim manager, a company can purchase expert knowledge for a certain period of time. This option is particularly suitable for special topics that are not of lasting relevance for a company. An example of this is the introduction of SAP. Another advantage is of course the short-term availability of interim managers. If, for example, an executive is unavailable at short notice, an interim manager can take over the job immediately. Thus, the pressure is removed from the search for a suitable fixed successor. In contrast to a permanent employee, an interim manager has no notice periods and does not claim social benefits or vacation days.
How does an interim manager differ from a consultant?
The difference between interim management and management consulting can be quickly explained: while the interim manager himself gets involved by implementing his tasks in a result-oriented manner within a certain period of time, a consultant only makes recommendations. The interim manager is integrated into the company as a manager and is responsible for a result. For this he can have employees at his disposal. A consultant develops a strategy, but does not implement it operationally.
What are the night parts of interim management?
Normally, the advantages of interim management outweigh the disadvantages. Frequent disadvantages are training time, acceptance problems in the workforce and ignorance of internal (power) structures. However, a professional interim manager has a very quick grasp and a very high social competence, so that he can convince the staff of his project and get everyone on board.
Which industries rely on interim management?
In the meantime, interim management is in demand in a wide variety of industries. Initially, interim managers were mainly to be found in the automotive, telecommunications and media industries. In addition to corporations, medium-sized companies are also increasingly relying on interim management.
Future market Interim Management
For 2020, futurologists expect up to 60 percent of employment relationships in Germany to be on a free and flexible basis. One reason cited for this is that specialist knowledge is becoming outdated more and more quickly. As a result, companies are increasingly relying on external knowledge by employing interim managers.
Even though there is still no reliable data on the interim management market in Switzerland, it is expected that industry sales will continue to rise. A look at Germany creates a positive mood among interim managers.
According to experts, the German market for interim management will grow by between 10 and 30 percent per year. Accordingly, interim management is also considered a growth market in Switzerland.