One of the most challenging tasks I experienced as a manager revolved around addressing my staffing needs.
- When is it the right time to hire?
- How many professionals will we need?
- Do we really have enough work to hire now, or what happens if we wait?
- Is this a seasonal need or will it grow to a permanent role?
These questions plague myself and managers every day as companies grow, shift focuses, and deal with turnover. Here are some key insights I relied on to help me determine when to hire an interim finance professional and why. I hope they’re just as helpful for you.
- You’re growing! Whether you’re a startup company or growing to your next major milestone, making sure your finance and accounting departments are equipped to handle the growth are critical to the organization’s success. Do you need to update your policies and procedures? Are you looking for new ways to raise capital? Do you anticipate the volume of transactions to grow exponentially?
- Mission-critical projects. Ensuring projects are completed and deadlines are met are key success factors. As the resident employee, taking on more projects can mean focusing your attention away from other important duties and lead to longer hours for yourself and your team. If you’re not the expert to handle the project, hiring someone who is can ensure deadlines are met and you’re keeping that work/life balance all while looking like the hero because you brought in the expert.
- Transitional periods. The dreaded employee turnover is an unfortunate reality and can be rather costly. The time needed to hire, onboard and train new employees just to find out they’re not a good fit after all can cost the organization more than you realized. Hiring an interim professional can mitigate lost time and lead to long-term savings so you can take your time and hire the right replacement the first time not the fourth or fifth time around.
So just what are some of these benefits you could be experiencing? I’m glad you asked. Here’s six benefits that will help do the trick.
- Less cost. Maybe at first the sticker shock of what the hourly rate of the interim finance professional costs might make you want to run for the hills, don’t let it! You’re in control of the cost. That means you’re only paying for the hours they actually worked, your payroll taxes and benefits costs will remain unchanged, and there’s no long-term commitment. Win-win, right?
- Increased workload handling. What does this mean for you and your team? It means you’ll get an extra set of hands and eyes to help you manage the increasing volume of transactions while also simultaneously helping you to assess/manage the way transactions are processed. Take advantage of the opportunity to step back and improve your processes. A great interim financial professional can help you with opportunities you didn’t see before and could more than pay for themselves if you can reduce your overhead count by even half of one professional.
- Objective views, less bias. No red tape here. Just straight, honest and insightful views. You need to meet your milestones/goals but are they reasonable or attainable? An outsider’s view can answer that for you and get you on the path to long-term success.
- Big picture strategy and innovation. One of the best ways to stay competitive is to be innovative. That can be incredibly difficult for someone to do when you’re elbow-deep dealing with the minutia on the regular. Hiring an interim professional that is an expert if your industry can provide competitive insight and know-how you didn’t know you needed and get you back on track to think big picture again.
- Short term goal delivery. An interim accounting and finance professional is hired to deliver results. Rely on them to focus on what you need first and foremost and deliver results without taking too much of your time. The best part? They’re professionals, so the time you spend training them can be next to nothing.
- No down time. The dreaded time between having an employee leave and replacing them can be long and costly, not to mention stressful to your existing team. When you hire an interim professional, you’re bridging the gap for those needs. Plus, you’re giving yourself more time to hire the right person to fill the role long-term. As a manager, there’s nothing more frustrating than hiring the wrong fit, so take this time to ensure you’re going to come out of this transition in a winning position.