Hints for both interim clients and candidates

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Sarah Palmer - head of recruitment and interim managementThe interim market is of course a difficult one at present, with its slight contraction and the complication of IR35 hanging over our heads. That said, the rate of change and the need for an injection of external expertise and support has never been greater for many of our clients.

Competition for good interim candidates and interim positions is fierce. Although filling an interim position is often subject to time pressures for the client and candidate, these few pointers may help to create a better selection process all round.

For clients, a short and sharp brief explaining the context for the requirement as well as some tangible deliverables and timescales, and a candid explanation of any challenges is always useful. A selection process that allows for discussion about the issues and possible solutions rather than a narrow Q&A-based approach will produce a more meaningful result. Feedback to candidates after interview is not only respectful of the time they have invested in the process but can also help to promote a good image of your organisation and build productive contacts for the future.

For interims, having a market-ready CV is essential. As an interim management service provider, I am looking for a CV that focuses on what the candidate can offer a potential client – e.g. transferable knowledge, experience and skills, rather than a list of deliverables (or worse, a list of responsibilities). So a summary of what you have done and what you can offer is a good start (particularly if it is then tailored to suit the particular role you are being put forward for).

A list of five or six successes e.g. key achievements that really made a difference to your previous clients (in a short space of time), evidenced with facts and figures, is also useful. These key achievements should also demonstrate your ability to do the following:

  • Hit the ground running
  •  Provide a depth and breadth of expertise
  • Address issues from a position of neutrality
  • Operate equally effectively at board or near-board level
  • Lead businesses, departments and teams to deliver effective solutions

Last but not least, the ability to provide practical support on occasion should also be evidenced in your CV.

I am delighted to be leading Altair’s interim management service as well as contributing to executive search assignments. I am looking forward to using my experience, gained from over 15 years in senior executive recruitment, to guide both our clients and interim managers through the process and create the best possible matches and successful outcomes for everyone involved.

If you are a client and would like to discuss an actual or potential interim need please give me a call for a confidential discussion on 07806 602933.

Further advice and guidance on how to write an effective CV is available from our LinkedIn group. Click here to join.

If you are currently an Altair associate and would like a “CV MOT” please email your CV to me at sarah.palmer@nullaltairltd.co.uk. If you have senior executive experience and would like to become an Altair associate, please email your CV to me with a short summary of your experience and key achievements (as described above).