Interim Manager as a substitute for overworked and sick leaders: When time is the company's wings

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The commercial manager of a medium-sized company is short-term due to a traffic accident. Diagnosis: complicated thigh fracture. An operation with subsequent rehab and physiotherapy is essential; The re-entry into the job for the next six months unthinkable - a disaster for the Company. Best of HR –®

Here writes for you:


Manfred Faber has worked as an interim manager in various companies for years; Since 2011 he has been managing director at "Till & Faber" and arranges interim managers for the finance area.


Replacement wanted!

It is the problem of many companies: employees fall ill for weeks and months - keyword burnout - or take a longer professional time-out.

In the rarest cases, there is a professional substitute who can jump in immediately, and also the colleagues can cushion only a part of the work. Above all, finding a qualified agency for executives is almost impossible. what can Company to do in such a case?

Interim Manager as an almost unknown alternative

One possible solution, which is still hardly used, is the use of an interim manager. Due to his professional expertise, he can immediately take over the tasks of the failed management and carry out projects smoothly.

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Interim managers only remain temporarily in the company and leave the company as soon as the mandate is terminated or the former owner is again operational.

The advantages of a manager on time

Because they are self-employed and only calculate the number of days actually worked, company interim managers are typically more cost effective than a comparable permanent employee.

They also bring many years of experience, an unbiased view from the outside and a fresh breeze - new ideas and solutions are developed and implemented more quickly.


Nevertheless, there may be inconsistencies, irritations and mistrust in the cooperation between the interim manager and the “new” team, after all, both sides have no time to work together.

Here, it is up to the management to set the course at an early stage - the following tips have proven themselves in practice:

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  1. Selecting the right interim manager: A good but often complex way for the company is to research on your own network, on Internet portals such as XING and LinkedIn or with colleagues from other companies. Alternatively, companies can also get in touch with professional agencies: niche providers specializing in a specialist area and maintaining a close personal contact with their interim managers are suitable.
  2. Briefly but concisely familiarize the interim manager! This means clearly defining their tasks, competences and powers and communicating them to the workforce. However, it is especially important to give him a sense of the corporate culture with its Dos and Don'ts.
  3. Inform all employees personally about the use of the interim manager; but make it clear that it is a temporary solution and the permanent holder returns to the company - this is best marked with a concrete date.
  4. Clearly define objectives and expectations, and keep them in writing - interim managers, employees and management have the opportunity to clearly evaluate their successes.
  5. Keep the failed executive in the loop - if so desired. In particular, a thorough handover between the interim manager and the job holder when returning to the company is decisive for success.

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  1. Werner

    In the meantime, it is widely used to rely on the services of the Interim Manager. This job profile is very interesting, but very demanding. Not everyone is capable of becoming an interim manager. The claims are great. Recently, I read an article explaining requirements for an interim manager. If interested, here is the link:
    Exactly as high as the requirements are, is also the fee of the interim manager. But it is worth not only to bridge an illness, but also to carry out projects. But also with a corporate crisis and much more.


    • Simone Janson

      Hello Werner, thanks for the hint!

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