Why HR is the most popular domain for Interim Managers

olivier van outryve

As recently published in our 2016 Salary Survey, the interim management market has been very active in the past year.  We particularly noticed a significant demand for interim managers specialised in the areas of general management, supply chain & production and finance & project management throughout 2015.

Interim managers specialised in human resources were however the most in demand and we are expecting for this trend to continue in 2016.


Olivier van Outryve, Senior Manager of the Interim Management Division, gives us three reasons as to why the demand for interim HR managers is so high.

1.       A fresh and unbiased look on HR policies

Companies are currently executing process optimisation projects and often realise that they are not equipped with the right skills in-house. In order to efficiently and successfully close these projects, more and more companies are coming to rely on an experienced interim manager. “We have seen a significant increase this past  year in the demand for generalist HR interim managers in order to review a company’s HR policy.

“The times where an interim manager was solely hired as the temporary replacement of a sick employee, for example, are over". 

Employers are relying on their vast experience and unbiased position within a business in order to effectively define and implement process optimisations,” Mr. van Outryve explains.

“The times where an interim manager was solely hired as the temporary replacement of a sick employee for example are over. Even when looking at the small amount of replacement assignments which we have recently worked on, we can notice that aside from their daily responsibilities, HR interim managers are also being asked to define certain HR processes and optimise them where possible,” Olivier van Outryve continues.

2.       Stability in times of change

An HR interim management assignment will in general have an average duration of six months to one year – assignments are however often extended and could even last for up to two years. Mr. Van Outryve comments: “Companies undergoing a reorganisation are often dealing with employees who choose to leave due to a lack of stability as they are confronted with changes in their once dependable and solid work environment. Though interim managers are highly involved in a company’s reorganisation process, they are however able to in many ways bring stability and structure to a company during long-term assignments.”

3.       Added value

Interim managers are still viewed as senior professionals looking to be self-employed for a few more years until their retirement. But this is not the case. An interim manager is only successful when he/she is willing to be fully committed, delivering results quickly and bringing a real added value to a company. Working as an interim manager does indeed allow for some kind of flexibility, leaving plenty of room to build a healthy work/life balance. “This healthy work/life balance could probably explain why more and more women are today deciding to step away from a permanent HR function and into a self-employed HR interim manager role. After all, an interim manager is not solely evaluated based on the amount of hours they have worked, but mainly based on their results,” Mr Olivier van Outryve explains.

Are you interested to find out what interim management could bring to your organisation?

Do not hesitate to contact Olivier van Outryve.

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