How to make the most of your interim role:
Interims are all about impact. Here at The Hidden Market we look at how to make the most of your interim role: we have gone through the our requirements for adding value to a business.
Demand for interim marketing roles has been growing over the past few years and it’s likely that future demand will increase. More and more, businesses are seeing real value in the flexibility and knowledge they get from their interim marketing support.
How to make the most of your interim role:
There are many different reasons for why businesses are looking for marketing interims and not permanent hire. That can be due to maternity and paternity cover, sick cover, seasonal requirements, skillset gap in the existing team or for projects that need specific marketing expertise for a limited period of time.
When businesses are going through periods of change and transition or they want to establish new strategies or launch a new campaign to give the brand a boost, interim marketing directors can be a great support. They bring required knowledge, skills and experience and are usually hired at short notice to step in temporarily and cover the essential elements of the marketing department, to fill the skills gap and deliver key projects. They add value to the company and are an attractive option for employers.
If you find yourself considering an interim assignment, here is a short guide on how to approach your interim role and make the most out of it.
Preparation is key
Before you start, make sure that you fully understand the position, what is expected from you and what success will look like in the potential role. Consider a few questions carefully: What tasks will you need to complete? What are your measurable targets? What are the deadlines and timescales? What's your overall action plan? What original ideas will you bring to the table?
Try to get clarity on what the interim role means. Will you be holding the position until the right person is found or the position means “on probation with a chance of becoming permanent”. Is this role a temporary stop and a developmental opportunity on your career path?
Be clear about your own skills and capabilities. Only take interim roles that you are absolutely confident you are 100% right for and that you can add a real value to as you are selling your reputation and track record.
Create an open atmosphere
Once you join the company, first and the most important thing to do is to take the time to listen and get a full understanding of everything. You want to know what the team has been doing, what the opportunities are, what are the challenges, risks and the priorities. Walk around, learn the daily flow, meet employees and listen to what they have to say. Immediately suggesting possible solutions to a problem is not the best approach. You need to create an open atmosphere in which people will feel free to give their point of view. Only then, you will be able to get a full and accurate picture and come up with a successful solution. It is vital that you can adjust to the circumstances and be respectful of those permanent staff around you. That will help to build confidence and trust with your employer and other employees. They will begin to value your voice more and any ideas you have are more likely to be listened to.
Build a trusted network
It's valuable to form positive relationships with those around you. Be nice to other employees you‘re working with as you need them as much as they need you. It's good to start by forming a network with few colleagues who can help you succeed. Understand their views about the challenges, share your goals and ideas and get them on your side by showing that their needs are important to you.
Embrace learning new things and acknowledge what you don’t know. Many interim marketing leaders are often selected for their leadership skills and not only for their technical expertise. You don’t know it all and you can focus on being the expert leader. Do not hesitate to ask questions in order to learn and have a better understanding. Remember that your real value comes from the extra experience and knowledge obtained in different organisations.
Keep your focus on the objectives
Generally, interim managers have a clear objective and you’re not expected to get too involved with other issues in the organisation. Your focus on the given task is crucial. You should be involved with the business enough to make a positive impact and add value to your client, but stay away from distractions. Successful delivery of the assignment is your primary goal.
Deliver your objectives on time
Show that you're focused on goals, good at prioritising and ultimately capable of delivering your objectives on time. Those you're working with will know that they can trust your ability to get the job done effectively. You will demonstrate the value for money to your employer who is investing and this is possibly the key to an extension of the contract, if additional projects become available, and a good reference for the future.
End the assignment at the right moment
Once the objectives have been met and the client is satisfied, proactively suggest a new way to add value to the client if one is appropriate, or move on to your next challenge with another successful engagement. Make sure that the changes you initiated continue after you leave the organisation. Share the lessons you learned in the process with your successor.
Your future assignments will rely heavily on referrals and a successful track record of your delivery. Proactively maintaining a network of the people you’ve worked with and partnering with recruitment agencies will help you in finding your future interim opportunities.
How we work at The Hidden Market:
We are specialists in recruiting interim marketing directors. We find, engage, and secure the best marketing professionals for businesses and therefore the best roles for candidates.
We're designed to find the best interim and on-demand marketing experts. We focus on professional hires. We find candidates that actually match your needs and will save you time in searching, reviewing, and interviewing. We have a solid current network of highly successful and proven professionals making it much easier for us to match the most relevant candidates to your organisation. We are a partner to candidates: partnering with them through their careers and as such we are able to connect our clients to passive talent.
If you would like to start your journey with us then you can register a company account here. If you are a candidate then you can sign up here. Once registered one of our colleagues will be in touch with you directly to discuss your needs. If you are interested in finding out more about us and how we work and how we might be able to partner with you then please get in touch at email@example.com
Author: James Gilford - Founder of The Hidden Market.
James has significant experience in hiring & coaching marketing & digital leaders and building their teams across a range of sectors and business types from start-ups to corporates. After running recruitment teams for leading marketing recruitment agencies, James left to set up The Hidden Market in April 2020 with the core aim to improve the recruitment market and provide alternatives for candidates and clients equally.