But only a minority want to work as interims themselves, survey finds

Most HR practitioners think that experience as an interim is an advantage to a candidate in advancing in their career, a People Management mini-survey has found.

Asked whether somebody who had worked as an HR interim would have an advantage or a disadvantage if they were looking to recruit for a permanent HR position, four in ten (40 per cent) said they would see such experience as an advantage, while a third (32 per cent) said it would make no difference. Only 28 per cent said they would see it as a disadvantage, with some saying they would question why the individual was now seeking a permanent role.

However, only a minority of respondents (15 per cent) were keen on working as an interim themselves for their career move, with 24 per cent saying they would consider it if the circumstances were right. Most (61 per cent) said they would not consider it or would only think about it if they were unable to secure a permanent job.

Asked about the benefits of hiring HR interims, the most popular response was to fulfil a short-term need (34 per cent) such as covering for staff absence. A large number (30 per cent) said interims were brought on board to achieve a specific project, while steering an organisation through change (18 per cent) and bringing in skills that are missing in-house (18 per cent) were also cited.

The majority of respondents had some experience of HR interims, with 21 per cent working as one themselves, 33 per cent working alongside one, and 19 per cent knowing somebody other than a colleague who works as an interim.

“Our survey shows that there is a high awareness of the value of HR interims, with many respondents saying they would place a candidate with HR interim experience at an advantage in a recruitment process for a permanent position,” said PM’s news editor James Brockett. “Yet despite this, relatively few HR people are considering working as an interim themselves. This highlights that embarking on a placement or even a career as an interim is seen as a brave decision – especially in the current economic climate – but is one that could pay career dividends for many people.”