How to hire the right interim manager

What to consider when hiring an interim manager? How do you manage to get the right person in place within 2 weeks when a permanent recruitment takes 6 months? We give you valuable advice for a fast and spot on recruitment.

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9 success factors for a spot on recruitment

Most companies rarely need to hire an interim manager. But when the situation arises, other practices apply compared to permanent recruitment. We provide 9 success factors for a fast and spot on interim recruitment.

Infographic 9 success factors to hire an interim manager

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#1: Anpassa kravprofilen till interimsuppdraget

#1: Adapt the person specification for the assignment

In most cases, an interim assignment is a temporary solution for a permanent line role. This means that the long-term strategic work often becomes less prioritized and operational work gets more focus during an interim assignment. As it is a shorter time horizon for the assignment compared to the permanent role, the person specification should also be adapted to current needs and priorities.

Assume what is most important for the role for the next 6 months. For example, the role may require specific skills or experience to drive current change management initiatives.

#2: Nyttja tillfället för en kompetensinjektion

#2: Opportunity for a competence boost

When recruiting an interim manager, you don’t need to take into account all the factors that may be important in a permanent position. For example, many candidates are open to weekly commuting if you don’t find the right competence locally.

Above all, don’t be afraid to include candidates who are slightly overqualified in the selection process. They are motivated by getting into a new organization with new prerequisites. Therefore, take this opportunity and hire a really experienced person who can contribute with a competence boost to the organisation. Most consultants are prestigeless and can work high and low, even though they have had fancy titles in previous positions.

#3: Kvalitetssäkra rekryteringsföretaget

#3: QA the recruitment agency

Most interim placements require speed. Thus, there is no time to advertise job vacancies or have lengthy recruitment processes. At the same time, the quality of the recruitment work must be as high as in traditional recruitment. Many traditional recruitment agencies are now offering interim management but hasn’t adapted the way of working. Interim recruitment has different prerequisites and requires special processes to be successful. What references does the recruiter have from similar assignments and how are their reviews from clients and sub-contractors?

It is crucial to have both a large candidate database and to keep it up to date. The recruitment company must continuously work proactively to have full control over its candidate database and the candidates’ availability. In particular, timing is a key factor when it comes to interim. A reputable interim agency can attract a large number of all available candidates in the market and reach even the most selective. When it comes to niche roles, there is only a small selection of candidates that can fully match the person specification, cost level, geographical location and availability.

For these reasons, Brightmill has created a unique digital platform for interim management that optimizes our processes and ensures quality work even if things go really fast. This means that after only a few days’ work, we can present qualified candidates, even to the most challenging assignments.

#4: Läs omdömen om rekryteraren

#4: Read reviews about the recruiter

Another critical success factor is the competence of the person performing the recruitment assignment. Many recruitment companies divide the work of a senior recruiter who has customer contact and who conducts candidate interviews, while putting the search work on a junior employee.

As it is usually a matter of fast processes and challenging recruitment assignments, the best result is undoubtedly achieved when a senior recruiter keeps the whole process from start to finish. Therefore, our senior recruiters handle every single step from the first customer dialogue until the interim assignment is accomplished. This is one reason our clients have given us top ratings on Trustpilot.

#5: Säkerställ en kompetensbaserad urvalsprocess

#5: Ensure a competency-based selection process

We know that competency-based recruitment gives the best results, also when doing interim placements. In contrast, it is rarely successful when management pick someone in their own network as interim manager. We don’t favor any candidates that we prioritize to place on an assignment. On the contrary, this is often done by consulting companies when consultants don’t have assignments. This means that we always conform to our client’s specific needs for each individual assignment.

With a competency-based selection process, we ensure the right person for each interim assignment. The effect over time is that half of Brightmill’s placements are women and half are men, despite the fact that there are 70% men in the interim market. Additionally, age is rarely an issue our clients take into consideration for interim assignments. In the end, it is the competence, experience and cost that will be crucial in the decision-making process.

Against this background, we have developed a tool that provides a clear comparison between the candidates’ competence profiles in relation to the prioritized competencies in the person specification.

#7: Gör alltid bakgrundskontroll och referenstagningar

#6: Block time slots for interviews

Make sure to block time slots for candidates interviews in order to keep up the speed in the recruitment process. Then you can compare several candidates within a few days with short notice. The candidates do it similarly. When available for new assignments, they search for assignments in parallel. Then they meet several potential clients and usually choose the assignment they are offered first.


#7: Do background checks and check references

Even of it’s urgent to decide on a final candidate, always do a background check and check references. Accordingly, we always do background checks on candidates before they are presented to a client. It’s just as important to check references as a quality assurance, whether you take the references yourself or leave it to the recruiter.

#8: Betala marknadsmässiga konsultarvoden

#8: Pay market rates

The hourly or daily rate for an interim consultant varies in the same way that salary levels vary between different roles and industries. Similar to permanent recruitment, you have to pay more for the most sought after candidates.

The cost includes the consultant’s salary, employer contributions, occupational pension, vacation, sick pay, recruitment fee, liability insurance and other minor expenses. It is always a premium to hire an interim consultant compared to the cost of having someone employed on the same position. The reason is that a consultant, whether self-employed or employed by a consulting company, can never expect 100% billable hours over the year. Therefore, expect to pay a certain premium in order to be able to quickly hire the right competence and to have a flexibility in the length of the assignment.

Have an open dialogue with the recruiter about your expectations on the cost. With this in mind, the recruiter can, early in the recruitment process, opt out of candidates who have too high claims for compensation. Thanks to almost 10 years in the interim industry, we have solid knowledge of the market rates for various roles and assignments. This causes us to always negotiate competitive consultancy fees before presenting candidates to the client.

#9: Skapa förutsättningar för ett framgångsrikt uppdrag

#9: Create prerequisites for a successful assignment

Give the consultant a good start by:


If you consider all 9 success factors when hiring an interim manager, you have created good prerequisites for a successful recruitment. Even if it isn't the idea from the beginning, it is common that interim managers turn into employees after completing their assignments. As an example, 20% of our assignments lead to employments. We think it is extra fun when we can contribute to a long-term solution for our customers.

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