Why rigorous due diligence is key to Interim Manager success

by | 13 Jun 2024 | Insights

My business partner Olivier Marret has a favourite phrase: when there’s a doubt, there’s no doubt. 

I hear it several times a day. It’s said to clients and Interim Managers, and he probably says it in his sleep. Despite this, I never get tired of the expression, because it sums up our approach to placing Interim Managers. In short, if we aren’t 100% sure about someone’s suitability for a position, we won’t put them forward.  

Placing top tier Interim Managers and supporting them to excel makes a significant difference to a business. We are proud that our Interim Managers save and grow organisations, drive performance and make sure the payroll runs at the end of each month. The impact on people’s lives isn’t lost on us, and we take our responsibility seriously.

We work with the best Interim Managers in the market, exercise high levels of supervision over them on assignment and focus on the outcome the client is paying for. Therefore, we need to be as certain as we can be that the resource we are deploying will meet or exceed expectations. 

It is what you should expect, but it isn’t the norm in the recruitment sector.

Making references count 

One key element of our rigorous process is reference taking. I have worked in executive talent acquisition for more than 30 years and references have always been a feature, but their importance is often underestimated. Reference taking is perceived as boring, time consuming and a necessary evil at best.  

They are viewed as a tick box exercise to confirm somebody doesn’t have any alarming skeletons in their closet and is good enough to do the job.  

This isn’t how it should be and reflects the goal-centric nature of most talent acquisition. The emphasis is on making a hire and, hence, references are just a hurdle to be negotiated. 

What makes us different at Valtus is our focus on the outcome of the assignment. This has a big impact on the way we manage it and the relationship we have with the Interim Manager. The manager works with both the client and a Valtus Partner. That’s why we take the referencing process as seriously as we would do if we were recruiting someone for our team. 

We scrutinise references and testimonials and if we are in any way unsure of an Interim Manager’s credentials, we will recommend the client does not take them forward.  

A process welcomed by the best 

We find that the more experienced Interim Managers embrace our rigour. They support our referencing process because they recognise it not only makes it more likely they will land the assignment, but it also maintains the standards and reputation of our industry. Typically, they will have multiple case studies and be happy to share the contact details of their satisfied customers.  

This can make life difficult for newer Interim Managers who don’t have a lengthy track record. Before an Interim Manager is taken seriously, they often need to secure their first two or three roles themselves. Obviously, this can be frustrating, since they are caught in a catch 22 of needing experience to gain experience.  

However, those taking their first steps in Interim Management can help themselves by being completely transparent about their experience and motives, and willing to share the contact details of previous employers, which isn’t always the case. 

When it comes to landing those first few roles, it is important to optimise everything available to you. While perspiration, a flair for networking and a well-presented CV can help, evidence of a successful permanent career is the key differentiator. 

That’s why we take validating the experience of all our Interim Managers so seriously. It gives us insights into the attributes and expertise that show whether they can step into your business and make a difference. And if there is a doubt, there’s no doubt. 

To discuss how we can support your business to thrive by placing an exceptional Interim Manager, get in touch here.