While sports coaching has long dominated our cultural discourse, other forms of coaching, especially in the business context, have received...
Most executive search is looking for a permanent addition or replacement for the senior leadership team. However, there are circumstances none of us want to occur that force us into an urgent approach to filling an executive seat, even if it isn't with a permanent hire. What are these circumstances you might ask? Could be an unexpected departure of an executive teammate, an extended leave either family leave or personal health issues, or an unexpected change the board of directors is forced to make (i.e. executive malfeasance).
When looking at an interim solution there are 3 search options:
How fast can an interim executive be recruited, interviewed, and start their first day?
Speed/urgency is the primary reason the interim executive path is taken by companies in need. Usually, it's a critical AND urgent need. Companies have less than 2 or 3 weeks to find a satisfactory replacement. Regular executive search often takes 12-16 weeks. Recruiting an interim executive often takes a little as 2 to 3 weeks, and can be shorter depending upon specific circumstances.
What is the average total size of the candidate pool presented from which a client can choose?
Usually, there are fewer candidates presented, often between 2 and 5, depending upon client urgency
How much does an interim executive cost?
Interim executives are—like many interim services—usually more expensive than hiring a permanent solution or employee. Interim executives can often cost two to three times as much as a permanent executive in the same role. This is driven by a combination of 3 factors—unique “interim executive skill set” (see below), immediate availability, and flexibility on non-permanent length of engagement, and lack of eligibility for company healthcare and other perks & benefits
How do interim executives get paid, as a W2 or 1099?
Depending on the circumstances, it could be either. If a full time role that lasts longer than 6 months, often W2 is recommended. However, each engagement is bespoke and needs to consider state and federal income tax and employee status legislation in each specific jurisdiction. Often interim executives have their own corporate entity through which they will bill for their services.
Executive skill sets—Are they different between interim and permanent?
This depending upon the circumstances leading up to and behind the need for an interim executive. Often, the answer is yes. With a sudden change often comes departmental uncertainty, distraction, turnover, or cultural erosion. An experienced interim executive who has had prior experience parachuting into a new role will likely have developed skills in cultural stabilization, change management, and rapid team assessment and upskilling. In certain circumstances, bringing in an interim executive to restructure a business, division, or department and then a subsequent permanent executive who can drive growth post-tear-down/rebuild is the best strategy. Why? Because making difficult decisions involving, team, budget, technology, and processes are often less encumbered when serving in an interim role than one that is permanent.
Is the interim executive pool from which BSG will recruit restricted be geographically local-only candidates, or can a larger pool be tapped?
While finding local executive talent is often the best option in many cases, the urgency of the need often drives a search strategy that including both candidates who are willing to relocate, or executive candidates who are willing to commute on an interim basis. The commuting interim executive often will get an apartment or extended-stay hotel during the week, and return to their home location periodically. Interim executives are often willing to commute 2 to as much as 5 hours each way depending upon the role, circumstances, opportunity, and timing considerations. This means an East Coast interim executive candidate might be willing to take an interim role on the West Coast, Southwest, or similar longer-distance commute.
We get asked a lot of questions. That is natural—after all, when you're considering who to place your trust in for a high-level upcoming executive search you're going to need to cover all the details up front. But in our 20-year experience we have detected a clear pattern of the most frequently asked questions and concerns from prospective clients.
We've gone ahead and compiled them here, as answered by Managing Director Clark Waterfall. He's (quite literally) heard it all and answered it all before. We invite you to join him and get to know BSG.