I am thinking of becoming an interim manager. What is the best approach to securing interim assignments? Should I get out and network or is it best to sign up with an interim recruitment agency?
In brief the answer is to do both. As you have rightly recognised, networking and registering with an interim provider are the two main ways of securing an assignment.
Networking is what makes the business world go around and the most successful interims are well networked. Most interims find that they secure about 55% of their assignments through their own contacts.
Whatever your field of work, you need to maintain a profile so that people know what you do and know how to contact you. Take time to find a group that suits you and attend meetings regularly. Avoid ‘working the room’ at networking events, but make sure you build quality relationships with people so that they remember who you are.
Be prepared for a long-term investment as networking can take time and patience. If you find that you lack confidence, invest in networking training.
When you are registering with an interim management provider, be sure to research and select consultancies that are specialists in your profession. Look out for agencies that are allied with a professional association such as the Interim Management Association, as this will ensure that it has reached good standards of practice.
Send interim recruitment consultancies an updated CV after each assignment to ensure that your contact details and your profile are always up to date.
Be honest with agencies about your capabilities, and use them as a sounding board for market intelligence and advice. Interim management specialists will be able to tell you about trends and how your skills fit into the market.
While the most successful interim managers will both network and register themselves with an interim specialist, they may also secure assignments through direct mail, websites or brochures.
If you view yourself as your own ‘micro business’ you can then consider questions such as: “How am I going to develop my business?” And: “What other ways can I communicate my services?” By having a clear and targeted approach to networking and marketing yourself, your chances of securing assignments will increase.