Interim HR leaders Series – Sharon Green, People Change and Transformation Interim Consultant

January 24, 2021

At Frazer Jones, we believe that 2021 will be an interesting one for the talent pool with Brexit, Covid and IR35 impacting the market.

However, as a specialist HR provider, we feel there is a place for a broad range of talent from permanent hires, temporary solutions through to professional interims and consultants that can help support a more flexible resourcing strategy that many organisations may need.

Whether an organisation is undergoing a complete transformation or only requires support on an ad-hoc basis, Interim consultants will take the lead on a range of critical projects where internal resource isn’t available or sits outside the skill set of the existing team.

In a series of blogs, we speak to Interim HR leaders and consultants who bring with them niche, expert skill sets and leadership capabilities required to drive forward change. We want to understand more about the decision making process that they have taken to become an interim, engagement scenarios and lessons learnt over the years as an Interim.

To start us off, I spoke with Sharon Green, a UK based people Change and Transformation Interim Consultant that has been in my network for nearly ten years.

Sharon, tell us about your story.

I resigned from my last permanent role almost 15 years ago and set up Chiara Consultancy. I help clients change, innovate and maximise the power of their people. We have twenty clients ranging from start-ups to global corporates, across a range of sectors, locations and business areas. Here I am, working on people change projects with a heavy focus on tech, engagement and comms.

What prompted the move into interim?

I got to a stage in my career where I knew I didn’t want the next step up, Global HRD, full time. I wanted to test myself, learn, have a flexible career and work with different clients in different businesses. I felt if I didn’t do it then, I might not ever do it.

What helped?

In the early days, supportive comments from people who might have thought I was crazy yet said I was brave. It helped to have a strong focus on networking and be somewhat naive. There was a lot I did not know about running a business – IT, finance and accountancy – but I was willing to learn. 

Why would an organisation typically engage with your services?

Generally, interims bring a range of skills and experiences, which add to the permanent team capability and enable us to flex to changing client needs. Specifically, I specialise in change. That could be on a large scale transformation programme leading people workstreams. Other recent examples include: setting up a tech hub, changing the way the function works, bringing in a new system or we want to refresh our people brand, engage and communicate better with our people. That’s quite broad, and that’s what I love about interim!

In your opinion, what are the differences between being permanent and being independent?

It’s important to acknowledge and navigate office politics rather than get embroiled in them. One of the key differences is mindset. I take a long-term view of the projects I work on even though I won’t be there long-term. I’m mindful to leave a sustainable solution, positive legacy and capability in the teams I work with.

How do you typically find work/assignments?

My network is critical. Even before I ran a network, (Sharon runs the HR Interim Networking Group on Linked In), I was a keen connector. I see relationships with people like you, who recruit, former colleagues, clients, other interims, consultancies and my contacts across social media as essential. They help me remain current, learn, build my brand and business reputation and are directly or indirectly routes to work.

What one piece of advice would you offer to clients?

Interim consultants are not employees. Remember this is a business to business arrangement – with humans involved.

What one thing do you wish you’d known when you started?

Oh, let’s end on a tough one. It’s going to be okay. Stepping off a regular salary is scary, I still remember the feeling, yet it opens up opportunities if you have a solid foundation (finance, skills set, support network).

Thanks, Sharon for kicking off the first of a series of blogs from interims on interim management.

Sharon Green is an executive interim consultant, qualified coach and project manager. Her unpaid side hustle is running the HR Interim Networking LinkedIn Group a community for people consultants, coaches and interims. You’ll also find her talking people, change, tech and comms on Twitter or posting on Instagram @SharonGChiara

Why Frazer Jones?

Our integrated interim and search offering enables clients to deliver business-critical transformations across the UK and worldwide from permanent HR search to business transformation and interim solutions. 

Our global network of international offices enables us to access top talent across all jurisdictions and play a key role in supporting our clients with their global transformations and recruitment strategies.