How to Fill Leadership Gaps with Interim Executives
When a company loses a CEO or other top leader from the C-suite, even the most smooth-sailing operation can suddenly get thrown off course. An executive who departs due to a new job, poor performance, injury or illness, maternity leave, military service, or sabbatical creates a glaring leadership deficiency that threatens organizational success.
Hiring a new executive is time consuming—and high stakes. The typical time to hire a C-level employee is more than two months, and many executive searches can take 6-9 months. Waiting with a seat empty for that long, however, could negatively affect the company’s bottom line, morale, and momentum. Nonetheless, rushing the decision and hiring the wrong person could be equally disastrous.
At InterimExecs, we understand the impact of leaders abruptly leaving. It’s one of the many reasons we created a team of top interim executives who quickly hit the ground running to fill leadership gaps. We specialize in matching companies with top quality executives to solve their biggest challenges. Using our Rapid Executive Deployment (RED) program, you can find the right executive in a matter of days—not months.
Interim CFO Case Study:
When a board member of a public software company called us, they were in crisis. Two top executives left the company after fraud was discovered. The public filing was due in 15 days and the CFO seat was empty. We sent in a RED Team CFO within a matter of days to get the company back on track. READ MORE >
Executive Turnover and the Executive Search Process
In an increasingly digital economy that’s constantly evolving and becoming more competitive, frequently changing jobs is the new normal. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person works 12 jobs in a lifetime and spends five years or less at every job.
This high turnover is seen across the job spectrum, including the C-Suite. Korn Ferry reports that the average tenure of a C-level executive is 4.9 years. Average tenures vary based on title and industry. CEOs have the longest average tenure (6.9 years), while the average CMO tenure is just 3.5 years. However, the same study found that CEO tenure is down from an average of 8 years in 2016. It attributes accelerating CEO turnover to “both planned and unplanned departures.” Harvard reports a similar uptick in CEO transitions.
Risks to Leaving an Executive Seat Empty
Patience isn’t always a virtue. Certain situations demand swift resolution. Having an empty leadership seat at your company is one of them.
Leadership has a trickle-down effect. Having a void at the top causes ripples that are felt company-wide. The right leaders need to be in place, and they need to be in place now. The longer an open leadership position remains unfilled, the more costs—direct and indirect—can mount. These costs may include:
- Lost productivity and revenue
- Decreased growth rate and market share
- Reduced efficiency, as other workers are required to perform duties they are not primarily suited to
- Instability within the organization, lack of clarity around who is responsible for what, and resulting internal frustration
- Increased hiring costs as the process drags on
- Corporate assets being underutilized
- Delayed projects
- New initiatives not pursued
- Loss of competitive advantage
- Negative consumer/public perception arising from internal leadership problems
A temporary or acting executive is not there to simply keep the seat warm. They’re also not consultants who provide plans without follow through. Interim executives are doers. They create a roadmap, take action, and move the company decisively forward.
Interim CEO Case Study:
A non-profit association had cycled through multiple CEOs. Company morale was down and funders were losing confidence in the organization’s future direction. An Interim CEO stepped in to create a roadmap, identify what would make for a good permanent CEO, and help hire and onboard the next executive. READ MORE >
Rapid Access to Temporary Executives
Organizations often encounter trouble when a leadership gap suddenly emerges. Interim executives are utilized during these times of uncertainty. They serve for a few months to a year or more depending on the needs of the company. It could be a case of filling an executive role during a scheduled absence, or until a permanent hire is found. In other cases, an interim executive marks a complete change in direction for the company.
InterimExecs’ RED Team is an invite-only group of executives who have successful track records in an interim or project capacity. Unlike the typical executive search process where a firm has to go out to the market to look for candidates, we bring the talent to you. After evaluating your needs, if we believe a great match can be made between you and an executive, we will make one or more recommendations. We have screened and hand-selected RED Team executives.
The Rapid Executive Deployment Program was designed for companies of all sizes across many different industries from manufacturing to consumer goods to business services to healthcare. Our Match Matrix is proven to efficiently and effectively asses a company’s fit with an interim executive. That means no more waiting months to find the right executive. RED Team leaders – Interim CEOs, Temporary CFOs, and more – are ready to be instantly deployed.
InterimExecs’ evaluation and search are free. To discuss your leadership gap and how we can help fill it, schedule a consultation.
Interim CEO Case Study:
The business arm of a Native American Tribe owned 17 portfolio companies. In the mix were both high performers and others that needed some outside help. An Interim CEO stepped in to provide strong leadership, assess which companies could be improved, and then implement an action plan to turn the tribe toward strong profitability. READ MORE >
Interim Executives Deliver Real Results, In Real Time
These days, more and more middle market companies are utilizing interim executives for short-term, fast-results assignments. An interim is unique in the depth and breadth of experience they bring to bear. And because they are measured on only one thing—results—they offer a viewpoint that is unobstructed by politics, bureaucracy, or the way things were done in in the past.
InterimExecs has screened thousands of executives from dozens of countries to serve on the RED Team. At a moment’s notice, turnaround specialists are ready to jump in and throw a lifeline to a struggling organization. They’ve been through these situations before and can make significant changes very quickly.
Not sure if an interim is a fit for you? We offer a free evaluation that determines the exact type of leadership or solution you need to recover financially. Then, we match you with an executive or team to explore conversations and create an action plan moving forward.
To see if an interim executive is a fit, call 1-847-849-2800 or contact us.