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Five considerations when debating an Interim or full-time Executive hire

Five considerations when debating an Interim or full-time Executive hire

When debating the differences between an interim or a full-time executive hire, it is important to consider a variety of factors. An interim executive hire is a professional with extensive experience in a certain industry who is called in temporarily to the executive role to take leadership in a specific task. A full-time executive hire is a professional who is hired into a permanent executive role. There are a variety of perspectives to take into consideration when choosing between an interim or full-time executive hire; let’s take a look at the top five considerations. 

Consideration One: Short-Term vs. Long-Term Goals

When debating an interim or full-time executive hire, business owners should consider the long-term objectives of the company. For launch projects or for shorter initiatives, an interim executive can provide the necessary resources and expertise to ensure successful completion without becoming a long-term part of the company. On the other hand, full-time executive hires can provide executive functions and leadership for longer initiatives, such as a company restructuring or long-term evolution of the company goals. The advantages of an interim executive hire include the ability to hit the ground running and a timelier hire. Interim executives can often be found with short notice and their experience can make up for any gaps in the team during a project. A full-time executive hire may require more in-depth interviewing and vetting, and that comes with a greater cost and a longer duration of the hiring process. Conversely, full-time executive hires come with their own advantages. With a full-time executive hire, the business owner is not bound to any set time limits and can benefit from the long-term commitment of that individual. However, the cost of executive hires in both the short-term and long-term may be prohibitive financially for some business owners, but if you look long term, the benefits outweigh the cost.

Consideration Two: Financial Implications

When considering the financial implications of hiring an interim executive or full-time executive, business owners should factor in more than just compensation costs. Assessing interim executive hire costs must include not only the salary of the interim executive but also the additional costs associated with this type of hire. In addition to salary, an interim executive hire may require; accommodations costs, outside consulting services, additional staff or technology, travel expenses, and any other recruiting fees. On the other hand, a full-time executive hire may have slightly lower upfront costs due to the longer commitment of the hire. 

Consideration Three: Impacted Stakeholders

When considering an interim or full-time executive hire, it is important to consider the implications for both internal and external stakeholders. An interim executive hire will often bring a fresh perspective to the organisation. This may appeal to the internal stakeholders who have had to manage without an executive for a while and are quickly relieved to have someone new in the role. How the external stakeholders respond to interim executive hires also depends on the experience of the interim executive. Often, stakeholders are more tolerant of interim executives because they are viewed as a very temporary solution. With full-time executive hires, there is more of a sense of permanence. Therefore, the external stakeholder has much higher expectations of the executive hire and is more patient about the long-term execution of initiatives.    

Consideration Four: Availability of Appropriate Resources

It is also important to consider the availability of appropriate resources when debating an interim or full-time executive hire. The availability of experienced interim executives and full-time executives can vary depending on the industry, the geographic region, and the qualifications of the individual. Business owners must also consider the availability of resources to facilitate executive transition. An interim executive will require an intense period of training in order to be successful in the role. A full-time executive hire may require additional resources such as compensation packages for relocation expenses and additional staff to get up to speed in the new role.    

Consideration Five: Timeliness

The time it takes to find and hire the right person is an important factor when determining an interim vs. full-time executive hire. Between deciding to hire an interim executive and onboarding the individual, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. This timeline may be too long for business owners if they need an executive to be successful in the role quickly. The same is true for full-time executive hires. This type of hire is often longer and more complex than the interim executive process. The hiring process will include background checks, interviews, and references as part of the due diligence process. This important yet time-consuming process can take anywhere from one month to several months before the ideal executive is identified and hired into the role.


Whether debating an interim or full-time executive hire, business owners should consider the five main factors described in this article. These considerations include short-term and long-term goals, financial implications, impacted stakeholders, the availability of the right resources, and timeliness of hire. Understanding the differences between an interim and full-time executive and the various costs associated with each option can help business owners make an informed decision that aligns with their strategic objectives. Overall, when deciding between an interim executive or a full-time executive hire, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on the specific objectives of the business and the resources available. It is important to look at the short-term and long-term goals of the company and match the resources available with these goals to ensure success.

If you are considering an Executive Hire, talk to one of Halecroft's Executive Talent Acquisition Partners, who will be very happy to offer advice, guidance, case studies, and the right hire!