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  • Oliver Jessup

Key Attributes of Successful Interim Contractors

At Newstone Talent Solutions, we have been active on the UK interim management

market since our inception bringing with us years of previous experience across this


Here are some noticeable observations and themes that we have identified when it

comes to making an interim assignment a successful one.

1. Formulating a role description focused on the key deliverables

It is our responsibility to understand the exact needs of the hiring manager and to

subsequently devise a transparent yet comprehensive statement of work for the interim

contractor. More often than not because interim contractors are overqualified for the

assignment, key objectives can be delivered quickly.

2. Building confidence via quick gains

The overall success of an assignment can sometimes depend on how quickly the

interim contractor can win the trust and confidence of fellow employees and key

stakeholders. With abundant expertise from similar scenarios, interim contractors are

very adept at hitting the ground running and achieving the quick wins necessary in order

to build a robust platform geared towards the success of the overall assignment. During

this initial period, the interim contractor will be able to establish the capabilities of those

within the team and their eagerness to make change happen.

3. Communicating with stakeholders

Establishing and maintaining a clear line of communication with key stakeholders during

an assignment is vital. One way of achieving this is to implement a steering committee

in order to regularly reevaluate objectives and make strategic alterations where


4. Establishing the informal hierarchy of a business

Every organisation contains individuals capable of influencing decision makers

irrespective of their formal level within the business. A successful interim contractor is

capable of identifying such people quickly and ensuring that they become valued

members of the team thereby creating an advantageous, informal structure.

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5. Laser focus on the deliverables

Once the organisation’s trust has been won over by the interim contractor fellow

business members are likely to ask questions of the specialist that stray away from the

key deliverables of the assignment. There is a risk that lines can be blurred and time

lost as a result but a successful contractor is capable of striking the right balance

between offering advice whilst maintaining a laser like focus on the true deliverables.

6. Impact and continuity

Interim assignments are by their very nature temporary. That said, the successful

interim contractor ensures that the change programmes that are initiated continue after

their departure. It is critical to involve key stakeholders along the journey and to provide

mentoring and coaching to potential successors within the business who can pick up the

baton once the contractor leaves.

7. Ending the contract at the right time

Contractual extensions are only beneficial if circumstances change or should additional

projects become available. If the prevailing reason behind an extension is the desire of

the interim contractor to extend in the absence of tangible deliverables then this can

have a negative impact and potentially sour future relationships between the contractor

and the hiring manager.

How to Improve Your Hiring Process in 7 Steps Interim contracting is not an exact science due to the many human elements that exist

within an organisation. However, experience tells us that these 7 themes can have an

important impact on the success of an interim assignment.

Should you need advice or assistance in hiring an interim contractor, please send us a

message or email

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