Three Often Undervalued Reasons Why Hiring External Interim Leadership Makes Financial Sense

Jan 30, 2018 | Business Tips, Knowledge Center

The unplanned and unexpected loss of an executive or departmental leader can throw your organization into disarray, but it doesn’t have to.  Having a plan for quickly filling important leadership positions with a proven interim leader can provide a stabilizing effect on the organization.  In addition, placing an interim leader can allow you time to search for a permanent candidate either from within your organization or from external applicants.  The following are three often undervalued reasons why engaging external interim leadership makes financial sense.

1. Reduce or eliminate additional leadership turnover

Interim leaders often have extensive experience dealing with the challenges and dynamics that come into play as a direct result of multiple internal candidates vying for the newly available position.  The friction that often develops as a result of multiple internal candidates applying for the open leadership position, can lead to additional unwanted and costly turnover.  Long serving associates who feel ‘passed over’ or that they ‘deserve’ the promotion may end up resigning if not selected.   Interim leaders can function as an unbiased third party during these internal candidate evaluations and provide valuable feedback to both those charged with the selection and to the participants who may not be selected.  The stability that these leaders provide allows you to pick the right candidate based on qualifications rather than a misplaced sense of loyalty to long serving employees.

1. Make the right choice the first time

Over time the roles and responsibilities of hospital executives have changed.  Organizations may not have updated job descriptions or performed market based salary evaluations in many years.  In addition, without an external interim leader, hospitals often delegate the management of the department to another executive.  This can lead to burn out by the covering leader and may result in their decision to resign thus compounding vacancy issues.  Having a seasoned leader at the helm while the organization refines those requirements and position descriptions can help avoid the costly mistake of hiring the wrong candidate for the organization’s needs.  The stability that the interim provides can also help maintain a sense of value to the other leaders within the organization.

3. Continuation of often costly strategic initiatives

Hospitals often plan and implement large projects such as deploying a new or updated EHR, adding or changing service lines, or implementing austerity measures, over extended periods of time.  These projects tend to be costly and require significant human and financial capital to complete.  Losing a executive leader during implementation of one or more of these projects could set back time lines and potentially cost the organization significant amounts of money.   Interim executive leaders have been involved in many of these types of projects and can hit the ground running allowing the facility to continue its project implementation without significant delay thus saving the organization time and money.

American Consultants has nearly 30 years of experience in placing both interim and permanent executive leaders in hospitals of all sizes across the United States.  Contact us at or 866.319.6795.