My next move

Q As an interim manager, are my skills transferable between the private and public sectors?

A In short, the answer is yes. However, it does require some personal application and more targeted marketing to move between sectors. All organisations, whatever sector, expect an interim manager to have the skills to do the job, from an HR perspective and in terms of contribution to the bottom line and business results. Invariably, organisations are keen to find an HR professional with a track record of resolving key HR and business issues. This is usually more important than experience within a particular sector. It is vital that you highlight and demonstrate your transferable skills and experience.

Here are my top tips:

  • In both public and private sectors, it is extremely important that your CV contains your results and achievements. Show the features of what you delivered in previous jobs or assignments and how they benefited the organisation.

  • Try grouping areas of your expertise together. Different sectors are currently looking for different skills and experience:

  • In the private sector, within the pharmaceutical market, organisations have recently been looking for HR professionals with skills in mergers and acquisitions, Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) and change.

  • In retail, companies are looking for recruitment and employee relations experience.

  • In the financial services sector, business partner experience is highly sought after.

  • If you’re looking to move to the public sector then be aware that, for example, the NHS tends to look for HR professionals with specific Agenda for Change knowledge or a particular blend of HR generalist skills. Local government invariably seeks employee relations experience, while the police service requires particular HR project skills.

  • At interview, be prepared to discuss your involvement in previous projects, the competencies you used and how you applied them to solve the immediate business/organisational issues.

  • After completing your assignment, ensure you secure references and feedback, ideally from an HR and business perspective.

In summary, the professional HR interim market is a growing, fast moving, highly competitive sector where you are rewarded directly according to your skills and experience.

By Gail Bell, managing director, Interim Performers

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