Interim v Temporary Contract – what’s the difference?

Interim v Temporary Contract – what’s the difference?

Many employers are under the impression that ‘interim’ is another word to describe a temporary contractor. Technically, they are entirely correct, but here at we like to think there is a distinction.


With a professional interim you get the benefit of years of experience, perhaps in roles that are more senior than you might need for a project. Typically, you come across executives who have previously been Chief Executives, Operations Directors, Finance Directors, HR Directors as well as Board Members from both the public and private sectors. The benefit of that is that they will hit the road running. They will be looking to make an impact straight away. For a professional interim, they want to leave their mark often within the first 90 days of a contract. They look at progress not month by month but week by week.

Bring Best Practice

With experience comes ‘best practice’. Interims have worked in multiple sectors in many different roles. Right from the outset, an employer appointing an interim will see value added straight away. So whether that is a more focused management team, a more motivated workforce or simply accounts and management information being delivered in days rather than weeks after a period end; decisions moving forward can be made swiftly and without delay.


By their very nature, interims are focused on delivery. Whoever appoints them has a specific result in mind. It’s the interim’s job to ensure the objective is clear and measureable so that once the task has been achieved, he or she can move on to another role and the organisation can go its separate way – in better shape than it was before.

Politics and Change

An interim can leave behind the constraints of company politics – but they can’t ignore them. They need to appreciate how and by whom decisions are made in an organisation so that progress can be made quickly. The benefit of an interim is that they carry the gravitas needed to turn theory into practice and get the decisions made efficiently along the way. Often, senior and professional interims are experts in influencing and stakeholder engagement.

Finally, an interim will leave their mark…

The improvements and changes made by an interim must be sustainable for them to really add value. One of the skills of an interim is that the benefits of their engagement are felt long into the future for the business that took them on.

To find out more how an interim can improve your business, through turnaround, transformation and change management, contact us at on 07736 105055.

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