When a vacancy happens in a key leadership or management position, most agencies can cope for a month or two. However, without an interim professional, issues quickly arise and major initiatives go sideways. According to recruiters, it usually takes 5 to 6 months on average to find and fill a leadership position. And if the agency’s location is in a suburban or rural area, it takes even longer.
Most often either the void is filled temporarily with current staff or the duties are divided and spread around. This approach usually results in unintended consequences such as:
- Employee burn-out decreasing productivity
- Team member unrest resulting in employee turnover
- Declining staff moral causing client dissatisfaction
- Delay of business growth
Usually when things begin to go south, agencies begin to consider an interim executive to fill the gap between the loss of the leader and hiring a permanent replacement. Most agencies don’t realize that a leadership vacancy is the prime opportunity to complete a full organizational assessment. A vital role for any interim executive is to observe staff and suggest and implement necessary process adjustments. Also, it’s the perfect time to implement improvement plans when issues are found. Through experience, we typically discover most problems result from both process and staff issue.