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Permanent or Interim? Which Is the Best Way to Go When Hiring for Change Management?

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Permanent or Interim? Which Is the Best Way to Go When Hiring for Change Management?

Change Management (CM) is a tricky process as the best of times – getting it right can reap significant rewards for your organisation, but getting it wrong can be equally damaging. When it comes to making changes at the management level, there is always the choice of bringing in someone on a permanent basis or deciding that an interim manager is the wiser choice to make given the pressing needs of the situation.

As with all important decisions, the context within which the decision is being made determines which course of action is best and this is no different when it comes to going permanent or interim. However, it always helps to understand some of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach to reach a clearer perspective about which course of action will be best for you to take.

Why Interim Management Can Work

While advocates of permanent management solutions will point to the stability and long-term vision offered by such an approach, in many cases a permanent solution is simply just not feasible and can in fact be an inadvisable approach in an unstable, ever-changing landscape.

Implementing permanent solutions is a significant long-term commitment to make, something that many companies and organisations aren’t in any position to make. This is why many organisations bring in interim managers who can survey and deal with the situation at hand within a flexible timeframe without any need for a long-term commitment.

Interim solutions are also quick to implement, making it an excellent way to fill sudden vacancies and emergency positions. It can be difficult to find suitable permanent candidates to fill a position for the foreseeable future, especially in critical scenarios where someone is required to start as soon as possible. However, interim managers are available at short notice and can bring in immediate expertise and professionalism when needed.

Interim Change Management

An interim approach can be especially effective when it comes to change management. Many businesses and organisations may need to make very quick and far-reaching changes to their organisational structure due to external circumstances out of their control. For example, the impending exit from the European Union the UK is about to embark on is something many companies were not prepared for and have little understanding of how this might impact on them. In such a scenario, swift and decisive action is needed to meet the challenge, making an interim solution far more effective.

There are other advantages to the interim approach too. Often bringing in an expert who is unaffiliated with an organisation can in fact give them a more objective perspective on what needs to be done, while their status as an outsider allows them to make difficult but necessary changes without having to worry about any personal loyalties being broken.

To find out more about how we can help you source the best interim talent for your team, please contact Matt Gibbs, Head of Interim & Contract, Communications at:


VMA GROUP is a leading international interim, contract, temporary and permanent recruitment and executive search specialist. We are specifically focused on providing support to the communications, marketing, digital and change communities.

Our specialist practice areas cover: communications, corporate communications, internal communications, change communications, PR, media relations, financial communications, CSR, public affairs, investor relations, marketing, brand, digital marketing and agency services.