Let our industry specialists listen to your aspirations and present your story to the most esteemed organisations in the UK, as we collaborate to write the next chapter of your successful career.

See all jobs

Together, we’ll map out career-defining, life-changing pathways to achieve your career ambitions. Browse our range of services, advice, and resources.

Learn more

The UK's leading employers trust us to deliver fast, efficient hiring solutions that are tailored to their exact requirements. Browse our range of bespoke services and resources.

Read more
About Robert Walters UK

Since our establishment in 1985, our belief remains the same: Building strong relationships with people is vital in a successful partnership.

Learn more

Work for us

Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters UK

Learn more

Interim executives help businesses grow

We discuss how hiring executives on an interim basis can help businesses to overcome difficulties presented by organisational restructuring and divestment.

The executive search team was recently asked to assist a large multinational business cope with major organisational change following its divestment from its even larger parent. Despite being a multi-billion euro business, the company was small in comparison to the rest of the Group and most of the top level and corporate functionality (which had already been devolved to Group level) effectively disappeared overnight.

Creating functionality

The company was then faced with the challenge of creating functionality – such as financial planning, treasury, procurement, and group consolidation – from scratch whilst trying to implement new financial systems before the transition services agreement expired.

Although this is a particularly extreme example, at some stage in their development many businesses are subject to major change restructuring and/or divestment. A loss of key personnel may be coupled with widespread changes to the business model, leaving reporting lines unclear and many departments disoriented.

Professionals who specialise in interim roles are often highly motivated by short periods of intense problem solving and the variety of an ever-changing professional landscape. 

To help resolve these issues, we are often asked to source executives on an interim basis who have the skills and experience to assist these new businesses in achieving their short-term strategic goals as well as implementing foundations for the medium and longer term.

What are the advantages of interim executives?

In a time of great change, hiring an interim rather than a permanent executive has many advantages. Professionals who specialise in interim roles are often highly motivated by short periods of intense problem solving and the variety of an ever-changing professional landscape. They are independent and therefore able to take a fresh look at a company’s problems without needing to please a potential future boss.

The best interims are used to adapting to new environments quickly and have proven track record of delivering projects within a defined period of time. They are typically results-driven and will therefore be highly committed, offering flexibility in terms of the hours and location they are prepared to work and the specifics of the role.

What are the advantages for the employer?

They can be recorded as a variable cost rather than a permanent or fixed overhead from a bookkeeping perspective. Additionally, interims provide companies with valuable time to look for a permanent executive to take over after the first stages of the new set-up have been completed. Once this is the case, the role will also be far more attractive and marketable. 

What can they offer your organisation?

In terms of what they can offer to an organisation undergoing widespread change, it is typically interim executives’ versatility that gives them the edge over permanent senior staff.

Interims often have experience of restructuring and/or building a new team, cost reduction, system installation and/or implementation and operational or organisation redesign. On a more practical level, they will also be used to working to tight deadlines, dealing with unplanned departures and raising capital.

Ultimately, they are specialists in managing transformation – it is what they do on a day-to-day basis. Although a business’ challenges may appear unique, it is likely there will be an interim with the experience of providing solutions in similar circumstances. Not only that, these interims are keen to take on the challenges and do not worry about the risks on their long-term career.

Whats the difference between a management consultant and interim executive?

In times of major change restructuring, businesses may also consider using management consultants as an alternative to interim executives. It is worth highlighting a crucial difference between the two. Unlike interims, it is typically the management consultant’s job to recommend rather than implement changes.

By contrast, interims will not only proactively identify suitable options to a business but will also then make the changes required. It is this ability to formulate and execute a value-add business plan that ensures their ongoing popularity among organisations undergoing major change.

Benchmark your team's salaries with the Robert Walters Salary Survey.


Share this article

Related content

Submit a vacancy
Salary Survey
Hiring advice
Get in touch

Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Related content

View all

Contractor Recruitment Guide

In today's business landscape, organisations are continuously seeking ways to optimise their workforce and stay agile in the face of changing demands. Contractors can support businesses in meeting project deadlines, covering peaks in demand, addressing skills gaps, and minimising staff costs. Contra

Read More

The value of hiring contractors

Many employers see contracting simply as a temporary solution until a permanent hire is found, helping to bridge shortfalls in staff numbers and manage short-term growth. However, there are many different advantages to taking on contractors. Here, our contract recruitment experts explore the numerou

Read More

UK Hiring Trends Report 2024

Looking for a comprehensive overview of the UK's recruitment landscape in 2024? The latest UK Hiring Trends Report reflects on the significant shifts and trends in 2023 and forecasting the developments likely to shape the job market in the year ahead. We explore key economic indicators, sector-speci

Read More

I'm Robert Walters Are you?

Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.