With HR departments stretched to capacity dealing with day to day employment issues from induction to exit and all matter of issues in between. Managers are often forced to abandon a strategic level focus just to keep the daily operations afloat.
Whilst a consultant is recruited to advise or facilitate, an interim offers hands-on operational leadership. Once the preserve of Blue-chips, interims from HR Director to HR Advisor level, are used by businesses of all shapes and sizes in a variety of situations.
In these situations senior business leaders looking for strategic level HR input are increasingly turning to interim HR management as a constructive way to free up existing resource or fill a skills gap.
Flexibility is the watchword that really sets apart the benefits of using a HR interim, with placements lasting from just a few days up to several months.
Whether it’s to support and/or manage change programmes, restructuring & redundancy, ensuring the delivery of critical projects on time and within budget, or covering long term absence/ extended leave. A good interim will start to provide on-site expertise the moment they land.
Advocates point to a number of key business benefits:
1) Expertise & knowledge
HR interims can bring skills and knowledge to address a specific problem or situation, and as a temporary fixture their experience is helpful rather than threatening to current members of staff. As an example Make UK’s HR consultants have practical interim experience across a range of sectors, and are often bought in because of a particular HR specialism.
2) Speed of deployment
HR interims can be placed within days (essential when business pressures are mounting and a deadline looms), they don’t require a long induction process and are well versed in adapting to their new surroundings in order to hit the ground running. Quite often an initial meeting can combine an assessment of suitability with a discussion around the business issues, negating the requirement for multiple interviews.
With no political agenda or hang-ups, they can bring a fresh perspective to a situation by taking a ‘what’s best for the business’ approach. For this reason, HR interims are adept at dealing with uncomfortable truths and picking up unpopular activities. As a result they are often deployed on sensitive business assignments such as TUPE arrangements, redundancy situations or disciplinary proceedings. They’re also well positioned to spot any potential warning signs and openly share such insight with the client.
As experienced practitioners, HR interims are responsible for delivering a project through to completion or managing an area of the business and as such expect to be held accountable for the results. They act as a ‘safe pair of hands’ providing reassurance to the senior management team that projects are on-track.
Often operating at a senior level, Interim managers are more than just an extra headcount. Where it’s required they should be given the authority and credibility to act as an agent of change, where they can use their expertise to add significant value to the business in what can often be challenging situations.
An interims career is entirely dependent on future assignments so they have a firm stake in the success of their current project. This may not be the case with some temporary workers who may be motivated by a day rate or extending their contract.
7) Leaving a legacy
With their unique perspective and experience, HR interims have a deep depository of knowledge that existing staff can tap into. And with no permanent position to defend, there should be little self interest in holding on that knowledge. In fact, at the outset stage this wish to ‘leave a legacy’ and develop existing personnel may well be written in to an initial project brief.
8) Return on Investment
Hired with a specific remit and brief, HR interims are focussed on delivering a solution or outcome that provides a meaningful ROI. From a financial perspective the expected rate of return should be estimated before the agreeing the assignment to understand objectively, if the project justifies the investment.
Why choose Make UK for your HR interim solution
Our HR Interim consultants are up to date with the latest legislation and best practice and can offer you a genuine consultative service, rather than just an off the shelf solution that may not be right for your circumstances. We'll also be providing continual support to the consultants whilst they are working with you, meaning that you're not just getting the benefit of the interim HR consultant, but the full support of Make UK’s employment law advice.
As a cost effective solution to your resourcing requirements, our HR Interim service can focus on strategic projects through to supporting day to day operational tasks. Whilst your needs may vary during an assignment, our flexibility means that you can vary the level of support both up and down to meet your demands.