‘Pro Rata’ – The current curse of the Interim Manager
The marked increase in interim management assignments offered on a ‘pro rata’ basis cannot of gone unnoticed to any interim manager currently looking for an assignment.
With a glut of suddenly redundant staffers offering themselves up for interim work, many employers are taking the cheaper option of engaging a recently displaced employee on a ‘pro rata’ basis, whereas in more austere economic times they would have chosen an established interim manager.
Are companies sacrificing quality over cost by taking the cheaper option? Are organisations underestimating the value that a credible and experienced interim manager brings to the party?
In my opinion, engaging an established interim manager is a totally different proposition than putting your trust in someone who is only there due to enforced redundancy.
An experienced interim manager brings gravitas and an understanding of how to get things done learnt through interim experience of different corporate cultures and working environments. To an established interim manager their reputation is everything and they bring a commitment to successfully deliver as they know failure will affect their credibility and make it difficult to land their next assignment.
Engaging a recently deposed employee on a ‘pro rata’ basis may be cheap, but will they have the same level of commitment? Will they be off at the first whiff of a permanent job? Will they be bothered about delivering if they don’t see interim as a career move? Are they only taking on the interim assignment to pay the mortgage, or until something better comes along?
Offering a ‘pro rata’ salary is a genuine risk as companies are not going to attract the best candidate for the assignment, as an established interim manager will typically charge a daily rate equivalent to a third more than the pro rata rate. So going ‘pro rata’ may provide some ‘jam today’ for a beleaguered business, but in the longer run (if a project is not delivered) it is likely to heap more pressure and financial strain on the business.