Interim Management is the concept of having a senior executive work on a full time but temporary basis. It could be required because of some kind of discontinuity, such as when a manager suddenly quits or falls sick for an extended period of time and there is no time to do a search for a replacement. The use of Interim Management can also enable companies manage change or handle some kind of transition.

The concept of Interim Management is widespread in Europe and is now gaining popularity in the rest of the world, partly because of the pioneering efforts of X-PM and the WIL Group. Senior professionals have always been open to exploring short-term executive roles rather than committing themselves for a long time to a single organization. 

The interim management industry emerged in the Netherlands market in the 1970s and then spread quickly within Europe during the 1980s. Today it is also a widely accepted HR strategy in the USA, India, South East Asia and China.  Interim management is a growing concept globally, and current trends suggest that interim managers could become the norm in industries that are undergoing rapid change. 


X-PM has prepared a number of case studies to help you understand how and when to deploy Interim Managers. While some argue that interim managers are like management consultants or permanent managers, we believe that the differences are extremely important. For example, management consultants are outsiders, whereas interim managers become card-carrying members of the client organization. And interim managers have no past or future in a company, unlike permanent managers, so they focus more on achieving a particular task rather than internal politics. An interim CFO whose task is to take a company public specializes in that task, and his contract ends as soon as the mission is complete.


The Interim Management recruitment process is completely different from traditional recruitment. First of all, at X-PM we don’t conduct a search because we are constantly building our talent pool. When a client calls us, we already know who to assign to a particular job. Second, there is usually no time for a search because we often deal with crisis situations, such as turnarounds. We have to be able to deploy senior executives withing days or weeks, not months.


Benefits of Interim Management

  • Access to high quality, experienced executive talent, many of whom have cross-industry experience and rare expertise honed from years of handling the same types of assignments for multiple companies.

  • Speed of execution: We have thousands of senior executives on standby, ready to be deployed in special situations.

  • Flexibility: Interims are particularly good in providing management bandwidth on tap during periods of transition, crisis or discontinuity.

  • Result orientation: Executive interim managers are highly focused on achieving specific a specific mission, and tend to focus more on tasks than hierarchy or internal politics since their tenure in an organization is limited.

  • Low cost, since there are no search fees. We charge on a monthly basis, like a consulting firm. Our fee includes the monthly compensation of the Interim Manager that we deploy.

Drivers of Interim Management

The business environment has been undergoing rapid change, and to remain competitive in the war for talent companies need to gain access to untapped talent pools, especially for leadership positions.  Companies also cannot wait months to recruit leaders to manage short term project, crises or discontinuities. Traditional executive firms are geared towards long term leadership requirements, but cannot keep pace with the urgent requirements that companies often have.

As a result, there is a growing demand for senior interim executives. They represent a key talent pool for organisations that need to change rapidly or deal with crises and sudden discontinuities. Executive interims are an essential part of any organizition that needs to transition rapidly to avoid pitfalls, adapt to new situations, drive innovation and fill temporary gaps in leadership.

Executive interim managers are required in many situations:

  • Launching a new division or product

  • Shutting down a factory

  • Post merger integration

  • Digital Transformation

  • Turning around a company

  • Sudden departure of a senior executive

  • ERP implementation or migration

  • Performance improvement

  • International expansion or market entry

Process of Hiring an Interim Manager

The process of deploying an interim manager is completely different from that of a traditional executive search. In the first place, there is no time to do a search. The individuals need to have been identified well in advance of the requirement, fully vetted and ready to be parachuted into an organization within days or weeks. Furthermore, the economics are entirely different. Again, there is no search fee, but simply a monthly retainer for the duration of the mission.