• Ethan Hirschberg

When Is The Best Time To Hire An Interim Executive?

There are employees, there are contractors, and there are interim positions. An interim executive is an individual who comes into a company - on a long or short term basis - to fill a position, usually until a full-time position is established and a candidate is hired. Common examples of interim executives include chief executive officers, chief financial officers, chief operating officers, and chief marketing officers. In reality, interim positions can be established for any role.


So when should companies hire an interim executive?


There are three main reasons why companies hire an interim executive: an immediate need, an undetermined need, and an emergency need.


Immediate needs are situations when a current executive leaves his/her post and/or is relieved of a position. The business still needs somebody to complete these tasks in order to keep operations running smoothly. It's normal for a senior executive job search to take a number of months, and someone needs to step in on a temporary basis until a permanent solution (a new employee) is hired.


Undetermined needs are situations when a company may not need a full-time executive position, but still needs specialized work to be completed. One common experience is that many companies have the need for a chief financial officer, but do not have the money to pay a full-time employee salary plus benefits. So, they hire an interim.


Emergency needs are situations when something has gone terribly wrong. Sales have tanked, employee turnover is at an all-time high, or a bad leadership structure falls out. An interim executive then can come in and put out the fire, determine what caused the fire, and repair the damage.


Interim executives have been proven to be a great economic investment, and may not be as costly as you think. In reality, even the smallest budget may provide the necessary funding to allow an organization to hire an interim professional that they would never be able to pay on a full-time basis. Here's an example:


According to Payscale, a compensation software and data company, the average Chief Marketing Officer's base annual salary in San Diego, California is $174,441 plus $45,000 worth of bonuses and benefits. So for approximately $220,000, a business can get a full-time CMO. There are many businesses that need a part-time CMO to work 15 hours a week. At $90/hour, a company would only have to pay $67,500 (no benefits). This results in a massive savings of 70%. Business management services like this are a great option for many ventures.


If you have any questions regarding interim positions and how they can help you in your unique situation, feel free to email me and I'll do my best to assist you. Interim executive positions are such a valuable asset to companies of all sizes - whether you're a startup or a Fortune 500, interim positions can easily, effectively, and successfully be utilized.

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