Written by Anna Bernstein on 06 May 2015
While it has become common practice for interim managers to be deployed within every area of the private sector, it may be a surprise to many that their use within the public sector has increased over recent years. From local councils to National Government, the full spectrum of public services are making use of the knowledge and experience provided by interim management candidates.
Statistics from Ipsos MORI, show that in the final quarter of 2014, there were almost as many candidates working within the public sector as there were within the private sector. These interim managers work across every area of the public sector with 41% working in Local Government, 17% within Central Government and 15% within education. While interim managers come with a high price, the changes they apply can increase efficiency and reduce overall costs.
The increased use of interim managers can be put down to the current climate of austerity, with the public sector under increasing pressure to cut costs while maintaining or even improving vital services. Many of the lessons interim managers have learned within private companies can be applied to the public sector. It is important that Government departments have access to a pool of highly skilled individuals, but in current circumstances it is unlikely that employing these people over the long term would represent good value for money.
Within the private sector, interim managers have a proven track record of implementing cost reduction initiatives, supporting major structural transformations, and implementing change initiatives. Although the public sector may have different aims, the ultimate goal is to maximise a return on investment.
Many projects will require specialist skills, which may not be within the general remit of the team, and in this situation an interim manager will be able to deliver throughout the course of the project and depart upon completion. Therefore, keeping the full time staff at manageable levels and using public money efficiently.
Through economic necessity, the public sector is shrinking and that means staff have to become more versatile in their working practices. While this can be the most effective way to run an organisation, it can result in a lack of skills within specialist positions. This creates the perfect work environment for an interim manager to deliver.
The strength of interim managers lies in their versatility and their ability to adapt to new workplace environments. No matter where they are on assignment, they apply best practices and use their experience in order to deliver results. There are a wide range of services within the UK public sector from NHS Trusts, Local councils, Government agencies and National Government. In recent times, interim managers have been able to add value to each of the above and now with a proven track record within the public sphere, they will be in increasing demand.
Within any organisation, there are issues of internal politics to be addressed. These aspects are amplified within the public sector when real life political issues come into play. Those working within any public body will be involved in the everyday machinations of the organisations and this may mean they are restricted in their practices.
Interim managers exist outside the regular structure of an organisation and will be given a remit to carry out a specific task. This allows them the focus to deliver a project within a specific timescale without having to worry about internal or external forces. It is the temporary nature of an interim management assignment that allows them to remain neutral and deliver results before departing to tackle a new challenge.
To find out more about our interim management services, call us on 020 7374 5610 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org