What is the difference between a staffing firm (recruitment agency) and an Interim Management Service Provider? That was my question to Paul Beerli last week. Paul is the president of the Interim Management Organisation in Switzerland, called Dachverband Schweizer Interim Manager (DSIM). He worked before for Butterflymanager, one of the leading Interim Management Service Provider in Switzerland and knows the industry very well. His answere was: „there is no difference“.
And here is the problem. Out of my experience the selection criteria for an Interim Manager vary and shouldn’t be a „copy’n’paste approach“ of staffing firms.
The exception „GAP MANAGEMENT“
Finding an Interim Manager to fill a gap can and should be done the same way, you search for a full-time manager. The criteria are: industry experience, former position (title), country, etc.. Almost 40% of Interim Management Assignments are „gap management“ positions.
Maybe there are a few other Interim Management Assignments, where e.g. the industry is of high importance. For example if your job is to develop and introduce a new pharmaceutical product and you need to coordinate the FDP approval. Ok, but in most cases the knowledge of an „outsider“ can be even more productive, especially managing change.
60% of Interim Management Assignments need other selection criteria
60% of Interim Management Assignments are project based like turnarounds, cultural change program, expansions, merger and acquisition, sanitation, etc. This is my core business as well. If you would ask one of my former clients they will agree that they did not select me because of my former title, industry experience, territory experience or anything like that. They decided for me because of my flexibility, versatility, value system, communication skills, open mindset, analytical and objective driven approach, vision, drive and the willingness to take responsibility and get measured on results.
In my opinion for example the Bristol Myers Type Index would be a better selection criteria than this „copy&past approach“ of Industry-Title-Country Mix.
Sadly enough, even the DSIM adapted the standard selection approach and sends the wrong message in the market towards our clients. But this discussion just started and I am quite sure, that there are many Interim Managers out there that agree and support the fight against „throwing everything in one pot“.
Please keep posting your opinion.