How does a temporary HR manager help your business?

May 8, 2024

Sometimes, specific projects, long-term staff absences or transitional periods demand a fast expert solution. Firms are increasingly turning to interim HR managers to meet these critical business needs.

We use interim HR simply to refer to any HR professionals hired on a temporary orf short-term basis, but we prefer to think of them as individuals with proven experience and specialist expertise that helps businesses solve challenges and plug gaps in their teams.

Demand for interim employees is growing, and so too is the desire among HR professionals for more flexible contract and freelance work. There is an increasing understanding among organisations that temporary, short-term hires can fill important gaps in institutional knowledge and provide valuable experience when teams are temporarily short-staffed.

But what are the key advantages to hiring interim HR managers, and what do firms and individuals need to understand about them?

Navigating transitional periods

Of course, an interim HR manager is an inherently temporary solution, but often a short-term fix is all that’s required.

In particular, it’s a good option for firms looking to plug a temporary gap in their institutional skillset or knowledge, to mentor a new HR team, to cover long-term absences, or to help manage business transformation.

The interim model therefore makes it possible to cover absences such as maternity leave, long-term illness and sabbaticals, eliminating any threat to business continuity.

It also provides experience for managing transitional periods, such as when a business is going through an important hiring phase or making structural and organisational changes.

And with more and more HR professionals opting for freelance and contract roles, there is now no shortage of experienced and talented individuals who can start at short notice, with no expectation of long-term employment.

Specialist expertise

These freelance HR managers offer significant and varied experience that may be essential for businesses launching major new projects.

While some will be generalist HR professionals, others will bring unique skillsets to the table, across payroll, employee relations, reward and other departments, as well as experience of project management that may be vital for new projects and initiatives.

By hiring an interim HR manager with this specialist expertise, organisations can avoid lengthy on-boarding or upskilling processes, instead introducing an experienced HR professional with the skills to meet the needs of current projects.

Cost effectiveness

For organisations concerned with the bottom line, hiring an interim HR manager represents a more cost-effective solution than a permanent employee. It can generate important cost savings when it comes to annual leave, employee benefits and bonuses depending on company policy.

Instead, an interim HR manager is only employed as long as a firm needs them, ultimately reducing long-term overheads despite often commanding higher salaries than permanent employees.

Because interim HR managers bring unique experience and skills to their role, they offer an invaluable transfer of knowledge to their new colleagues and to the wider management team. This is a long-term impact that lasts far beyond the length of their short-term contract.

Flexibility and adaptability

In a nimble, fast-paced world, the flexibility and adaptability provided by hiring an interim HR manager is key.

Making a short-term hire can give an organisation the breathing space it needs to make long-term strategic decisions without leaving a gap in the HR department. In this way, the firm can plan for its future direction while keeping the HR machine running.

Organisational development

Because interim HR managers bring unique experience and skills to their role, they offer an invaluable transfer of knowledge to their new colleagues and to the wider management team. This is a long-term impact that lasts far beyond the length of their contract.

The legacy of an interim hire plays a key role in organisational development by imparting knowledge and skills that will form a key part of an organisations future institutional best practice.

Tasks of the role and compensation overview

Frazer Jones typically works with interim HR leaders, people-led transformation specialists, business transformation project management office (PMO) leads and an enormous range of specialist roles from organisational design to talent management.

These represent a wide range of skillsets and job descriptions, working on exciting short-term projects and covering roles.

These offer advantages not just to organisations, but also to the interim HR managers themselves. Such a role offers flexibility, independence, skill development, new experiences and the opportunity to work with diverse teams from dozens of sectors and industries.

And although the market is competitive, interim HR specialists with sought-after skills and experience can command healthy day or project-based rates, reflecting the high demand for specialists and leaders across the human resources sector.

If you have any questions about this article and if you need support hiring or finding the right role for you, get in touch with a member of our HR interim consultants. 

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