There is no substitute for experience so here are five companies who relate how their interim managers measured up, By Sally O'Reilly
Bringing in interim HR managers is increasingly useful. With organisational change now the norm, it is often more cost-effective to use temporary HR managers than recruit a full-time member of staff. But how do you make sure you get an interim with the right skills? And, once in post, how do you ensure you get the best possible performance from them? Here are five examples of how different companies tackled the issue.
Charter - Interims with international experience
Mergers and acquisitions are endemic in business today, and this often means integrating systems and staffing structures across national boundaries. Interim HR staff with international experience can be extremely helpful to companies going through this kind of transition, as international engineering company Charter found when it acquired Howden, a firm which specialised in air and gas handling.
When Charter went to interim executive provider Board Level Interim Executive, it wanted an interim HR manager who could help with a programme which included closing four sites, cutting staff from 1,400 to 1,100 and bringing in a new IT system. And to make life more complicated still, the interim would have to steer all this through the Howden European works council, in order to comply with EU regulations. The staff elected to this council would have to be consulted on issues such as redundancy.
Change needed to happen quickly, so bringing in an interim for 18 months was essential. But it had to be someone with the right skills. "Finding someone who really knew their way around European HR issues was critical," says Bob Boland, chief executive of Howden European Air and Gas Handling Division. "If you don't know your way around the legislation, it can get you into a lot of trouble. I was losing staff in a number of countries as well as moving staff across boundaries to work elsewhere."
"We drew up clear guidelines about what we wanted to happen," says Boland. "We presented this to the management board and it included cost savings and target dates for the restructuring. It was the interim's job to operate within that but they would hav