Following the merger of McMillan and Lang Michener, the firm needed to undertake a search for a National IT Director. Knowing that a search would take time, they were concerned about creating a gap in the IT department. That’s when Carrie Mandel, head of Odgers Berndtson’s Legal Practice, suggested they look at an interim solution.
Keith Cassidy, a consultant hired by McMillan to help with the merger, worked closely with Carrie and Jane Matthews, President of Odgers Interim, which specializes in quickly filling critical executive roles on a temporary basis. “Odgers understood exactly what we needed and came up with a number of excellent candidates within a week,” says Keith. “The candidate did a terrific job. He was able to hit the ground running and get things done. “
Keeping the business on track
McMillan learned that one of the biggest benefits to hiring an interim candidate is instant stability. “We didn’t have to worry about a vacancy while we looked for the right fit on a permanent basis,” says Keith. “Within a couple of weeks, we had someone in that leadership chair – someone that people in the department could turn to for support and guidance. We also had priority projects that moved ahead because we had someone in place to lead them.”
McMillan hired an interim director because they knew that they needed someone who would command credibility right away. “When you come in as an interim leader, it’s a different mindset,” says Keith. “You know you’re going to have to get in the trenches and deliver results immediately. It was a really quick payback.”
Buying time to find the right candidate
Organizations often don’t think about interim management as a solution to a leadership gap, and yet it is a great way to buy some time to find the right permanent candidate for the position. “We all know that hiring a senior leader is a big investment,” says Keith. “Hiring an interim candidate gives you the time to figure out what you really need, so you can go through a proper search process.”
Keith is quick to add that the process was much quicker than he anticipated. “Odgers definitely surprised me,” he says. “I didn’t think there would be as many good candidates so readily available. It just shows they have a great network of contacts. They also challenged us to make sure we knew what we were looking for. It resulted in a great interim hire and it is one of the reasons we chose Odgers to help us find a permanent candidate for the role.”