Renoir recently spoke with Linnea Elrington, VP, Head of HR at Silence Therapeutics plc, to shed light on the often-overlooked world of interim and fractional consulting. In our conversation, Linnea shares her insights on the key factors that businesses should consider when deciding between interim or full-time hires, industries that benefit most from this approach, and valuable advice for businesses venturing into the realm of interim and fractional consulting.
The decision to engage an interim or fractional consultant versus hiring a full-time employee hinges on two primary factors: budget and scope of work. Interim or fractional consultants shine brightest in startup situations within companies, where subject matter expertise is required on a project or short-to-medium-term basis. As the company progresses and realizes the need for dedicated, long-term resources to meet its business objectives, the case for a full-time role becomes evident. It’s about aligning the right solution with the right stage of growth.
Biotech and private equity-backed companies emerge as prime candidates for reaping the benefits of interim and fractional consulting. These industries operate in an environment where managing cash is paramount due to competing financial demands. They are in a constant state of building and adapting, necessitating a strategic roadmap that accommodates both success and setbacks. The flexibility of these environments allows them to tap into short-term expertise, making interim and fractional consulting a valuable resource.
For businesses venturing into interim or fractional consulting for the first time, start by crafting a clear scope of services that not only outlines role expectations but also considers the perspectives of key stakeholders. When forming the interview panel, ensure that individuals who will directly engage with the interim consultant are part of the process. This fosters a positive onboarding experience for the selected candidate.
To maximise the benefits of the engagement, establish regular check-ins to review progress and tackle any issues, obstacles, or constraints faced by the interim consultant. Effective communication and feedback are the cornerstones of building a strong relationship, which, in turn, supports the successful delivery of services.
The choice between interim or fractional consulting and full-time hiring is not one-size-fits-all; it depends on your organisation’s specific needs and growth stage. Industries like biotech and private equity have reaped the rewards of this approach, but with proper preparation and communication, any business can harness the flashes of brilliance that interim and fractional consultants bring to the table.