Earlier this month, Rutherford Cross hosted its first Senior Finance Interim Roundtable event, bringing together a group of experienced Senior Finance Interims from a broad range of sectors and backgrounds including Manufacturing, Financial Services, Public Sector, Charitable Sector, FMCG and Retail.
At Rutherford Cross, we see a significant number of companies looking to utilise interim finance professionals for specific projects, to cover busy periods, or to cover the post while recruiting permanently. Sectors regularly using interims currently include: FMCG/Manufacturing, Financial Services, Energy/Utilities, Engineering, Construction/ Property, Tech Businesses, Transport/Logistics, Central Government, Higher Education and Charities.
Taking on interim work can be a great opportunity to build experience across sectors and industries, and offers more flexibility than a long-term role.
Much of the discussion at our event centred on how to best to position yourself as an interim prospect. Tips for CVs and LinkedIn profiles, and interview techniques were shared, and there was further discussion about what to expect as an interim employee, and how to deliver the best outcome possible for the company engaging your services.
We’ve shared a summary from the event below, which we hope will be useful to those already working in the Interim Finance space, or those considering it as a career option.
CV Tips for Senior Finance Interims
- A short profile on the CV is crucial in summarising key skills, sectors experience and, relevant achievements
- The CV should detail not only achievements but also duties and responsibilities to ensure you display your ‘hands on’ abilities – don’t be afraid to let your CV exceed the commonly recommended 2 pages
- Including recent interim assignments as case studies are in some instances more important on the CV than early career history
- LinkedIn should be an abbreviation of your CV and is an important part of staying in contact with your network
Interim Interview Tips
- Interviews for interim assignments can sometimes be on a more informal one to one basis, but it is still important to have carried out full preparation on the business, the company accounts, and the hiring manager’s background
- At interview focus on the task in hand and make sure you highlight your relevant experience appropriate to the level of the role – this may mean not talking about some of your achievements you are most proud of, if they are not relevant
- The questions you ask at interview are a great way of displaying the depth of understanding you have about the assignment – asking the right questions can be the difference between securing the role or being looked over
- Working in partnership with your recruiter particularly communicating your strengths and weaknesses with honest self-appraisal pre-interview is essential. This may involve sometimes admitting you don’t have the right skills for certain opportunities – it’s important to make sure you don’t take on an assignment that doesn’t match your skill set
Delivering a Great Interim Experience
- Establish clear objectives / deliverables at the start of the assignment
- Use your first week or two to fact find and learn more about the business, the role you are to fulfil, and who the key influencers are within the business
- Manage expectations of what can be delivered, making sure that the deliverables are realistic and within your sphere of influence
- Interim rates should not be set by keeping in line with a permanent comparator (unless a temp to perm) – companies should recognise they are bringing in an additional specialist skillset to their organisation often resulting in them getting someone with far more varied and in-depth experience than some permanent counterparts
- Keep a ‘Raid Log’ and send regularly to your hiring manager in order to help manage expectations
- Set milestones throughout the assignment to help measure performance and progress
- Knowledge transfer is a vital part of being a successful interim and should happen throughout the assignment via regular communication to the wider business team
- Bring energy and enthusiasm to the role – there is little room for bad days on a short term post!
- Be aware that flexibility and excellent people skills may be required to manage the variety of stakeholders and assignments undertaken
- Get in touch to find out more about the Interim roles Rutherford Cross has by contacting [email protected] or [email protected]