In the past, businesses mainly relied on permanent managers. They were responsible for providing leadership to employees they oversaw and setting goals aligned with organizational objectives. However, over the past few years, we have experienced an increasing number of temporary forms of hiring, either an interim manager or an acting manager. What is the difference between the positions? And what skills should you have to work as an interim manager?
What is an interim manager, acting manager and a manager?
The difference between acting managers, interim managers and managers primarily exists in the designation of the position rather than the roles. Their job titles encompass the same duties and responsibilities. However, some key variations make them stand apart from one another. How can we distinguish the positions based on their time of employment, role within an organization and job requirements?
Interim managers are temporary positions meant to fulfil a tentative role that is unneeded beyond the duration of that position. They are assigned a specific goal or project to execute within a given time frame. Moreover, they choose to be part of the temporary and flexible workforce because they are not afraid of any challenges.
Additionally, they are ready to go into a company to offer an interim service with their vast experience where an outside perspective is needed. The skilled professionals guarantee the highest quality of interim project management, implementing new strategies and improving ongoing processes, ensuring cost-effective and timely project delivery.
In contrast to interim managers, acting ones are employees who are asked to assume the manager role temporarily, usually due to the absence of the permanent manager. They are working as substitutes, meaning they are expected to fulfil some of the same responsibilities as actual managers, though they may not be given complete control or superiority.
Their duties include, among others, meeting their superiors’ objectives on schedule, overseeing the team, and managing contracts and budgets. When the primary leader returns, the acting manager must go back to their position and have no chance of being promoted to a permanent role.
Managers are permanent employees within an organization. Their responsibilities include developing personal growth opportunities and ensuring a safe and secure work environment. They must possess various skills to direct business operations and lead staff in meeting company objectives.
Since they have been working full-time in only one organization, they may lack interim managers’ creativity and organizational resources. That is why employers hire temporary executives with experience from several organizations who can significantly steer a transformation in the right direction, minimizing possible risks.
Essential skills for working as an interim manager
There are a few essential competencies that you need while offering interim services. Management of specific organizations usually looks for soft and hard skills that will help you see each project to successful completion. First and foremost, you must be a good leader, motivating the team and familiarising the staff with your plans to achieve objectives.
Furthermore, inter-communication and being a good listener also are of great importance. Your team must feel that you support them and, in case of any hardships, are there to stand behind them. Together, you can find ways to eliminate risks. And lastly, if you want to finish all the projects profitably, you must possess good organizational skills. These will help you complete each task, emphasizing your positive impact within the organization.