Interim executives and managers can be lifesaving for organisations. Executives are a crucial component of any organisation, and so filling an open role quickly is a priority.
As such, employing an executive on a short-term basis while a more thorough search is carried out can be useful for businesses in a pinch. However, the usefulness drops if the search for an interim executive drags on, or becomes expensive.
The Australasian Interim Executive Association (AIEA) seeks to solve this, by streamlining the process and reducing costs.
“Times are tough for businesses and companies needing experienced people but can’t afford to have them on their payroll,” Mal Walker, founder and Chairman of AIEA, said. “There’s a rapidly growing sub-sector of senior professionals who are available to work on a short or long-term basis”.
Self-described as a ‘match-making service with a twist’, AIEA-Jobs is a free jobs board where an employer or recruiter can place their vacancy, knowing that the AIEA membership is a pre-vetted group of experienced, certified executives, all willing to take on a short-term, part-time or contract role.
Paul Kennedy, the owner of PGV Consulting and an interim executive himself, has endorsed the association and its products. “It’s a different way of doing things and provides interim managers with a new avenue to do business and seek new opportunities,” he said. “We are often on our own as we move from one job to another, so it’s important to be a part of wider group where we can network and be represented by a professional organisation.”
AIEA-Jobs competes with broader services such as LinkedIn. Both are free to use; with AIEA-Jobs you post your requirement and invite expressions of interest. With LinkedIn, the search is more random and relies on the finding ‘key words and phrases’ in displayed profiles.
While LinkedIn does not charge for the viewing or obtaining of contact details from potential candidates, it does charge for more advanced search options, including years of experience, function and seniority. As such, AIEA may prove beneficial to those searching within a single, niche space.
Regardless of the jobs board, many interim executives and managers become a part of AIEA as it provides personal development courses and networking events to benefit the ‘Freelance Executive’ community. It's a place for like to mingle with like.
Venture Capitalists and Business Angels have a continuing need for highly experienced and flexible senior executives who can step into one of their portfolio companies and provide the hands-on management needed, for as long as it is needed.
A particular breed of executive fills this role, the Interim Executive. They go by many names – Locum Executive, Freelance Executive, Consulting Manager, Change Manager, Gap Manager, Interim Manager, Interim CEO, Contract Executive, Temp-Exec, even Honcho-for-Hire.
Whatever the label, they have particular aspects in common:
GreyHair Alchemy has access to the legion of AIEA members covering all executive and managerial roles. They are not retirees looking for pocket money but dedicated, energetic executives. The age range of the members we have placed is:
Under 40 11%
40 to 50 21%
50 to 60 46%
Over 60 22%
GreyHair is similar to a recruitment agency in many ways, but the differences can be startling:
GreyHair’s core business is placing appropriately qualified experts in Interim, FIFO or Contract positions. However, about 40% of the placements are (or end up as) permanent positions. GreyHair does not charge an extra fee for these placements. More information at:
The Australasian Interim Executive Association is a member of AuSAE and provides free Executive Search facilities to Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit organisations.
AIEA has the dynamic AIEA-Jobs board that connects members with organisations that need their skills. It is a free service for employers and, of course, for the hundreds of senior executives who are certified AIEA members.
AIEA-Jobs has some simple guidelines for employers:
· The focus is on paid work and there is a separate board for pro-bono or volunteer roles
· They must be Managerial, CxO or NED positions
· The identity of the employer must be disclosed
· Interim, part-time and short-term contracts are welcomed
· Over half of the members say they will accept a suitable permanent role
· AIEA does not charge a fee for the introduction service and does not intrude into the candidate selection process
What is really powerful about this approach is that nothing is put between the job advertiser and the potential candidate. Results can be very quickly achieved. This is very important when an employer needs to swiftly find an executive (say a CFO) to fill a gap caused by a resignation.
Other business institutes are reportedly moving in this direction. CPA Australia has a similar facility but it is limited to pro-bono accounting assignments only. MEGT does a similar thing to connect apprentices to jobs.
Go to https://www.aiea.org.au/aiea-jobs-board for more details.
In days gone by, one of the ways to quickly build a million-dollar company was to set up a recruitment agency, especially one that specialised in Executive Search. We can all name some of these self-made tycoons.
But times are changing. The Internet Age brought is Seek, then LinkedIn, then Jobs Boards. Now a new phenomenon is emerging – business institutes and associations have realised that they need to assist their members to find meaningful assignments, paid or pro-bono.
An example of this service provider is the Australasian Interim Executive Association where the dynamic AIEA-Jobs facility connects their members with organisations that need their skills. Whilst it is a free service to both members and employers, AIEA has some simple guidelines to give it value:
• All advertised roles must be paid – no pro-bono or volunteer work
• They must be Managerial, CxO or NED positions
• Recruiters are welcome to contribute their roles but the employer must be disclosed
• Interim, part-time and short-term contacts are welcomed
• Permanent roles are included as 58% of the membership say they will accept an attractive permanent role
• AIEA does not charge a fee for the introduction service and does not intrude into the candidate selection process
What is really powerful about this approach is that nothing is put between the job advertiser and the potential candidate. Results can be very quickly achieved.
This is very important when an employer needs to swiftly find an interim executive (say a CFO) to fill a gap caused by a resignation.
Other business institutes are reportedly moving in this direction. CPA Australia has a similar facility but is limited to pro-bono assignments only. MEGT does a similar thing to connect apprentices to jobs.
Go to https://www.aiea.org.au/aiea-jobs-board for more details.
What a question! As the Chairman of AIEA, I know hundreds of Interim Executives but the question threw me. How would you answer if you were asked “Who was a typical student in your graduating class?” or “What is your typical family member like?”
It made me start thinking about the individual members of the group in question and realise how diverse a group it is.
When I do a presentation, I often start off by asking this rhetorical question “What’s the difference between a 25-year-old candidate with a business degree and a 50-year-old candidate with a business degree?” Of course, the answer is 25 years of practical business experience.
AIEA members are categorised into four levels according to predetermined criteria.
The last two levels are regarded as the premium members and are proudly listed on the Membership Honour Board.
Maybe the question should have been “Why does a person join AIEA?” Different aspects of AIEA will appeal to different people.
If one of these motivations resonates with you, there are two membership options open to you –
Retrenchments are becoming increasingly common these days. The big ones make the six o’clock news –where large businesses, and even whole industries, shut the doors. But most retrenchments are small, quiet affairs.
For the retrenchee, it can be devastating and very personal.
The silver-haired retrenchees are the most seriously affected because they are the ones who learn that finding a new job is not going to happen as quickly as they had hoped. It is easy for them to become despondent after doing the rounds of the recruitment agencies to no avail.
If/when you are in this position, here’s what you need to do:
Understand that it could be months before you find paid employment again. Structure your finances with survival in mind.
Work eight hours every day on paid work or on finding a job. Don’t confuse activity with achievement. Growing roses, cabbages or a beard is not counted as productive work. Set milestones to help you; like 5 applications a week, 20 calls, and 3 meetings.
Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are up-to-date and modern looking. If necessary, get some professional help to do this.
Use the power of your network. Tell everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – that you are on the market. Understand that it’s not what you know, it’s not even who you know, it’s who knows you.
The network bypasses the CV filter machine. It gets you direct to the hiring manager, to be one of the four people considered, rather than one of 1000 who aren’t.
After that it’s up to you, you still have to earn the job. Executive job hunting is mostly finding that friend of a friend. You need to circulate a lot. Be seen.
Analyse the benefits of your professional memberships. Can your membership of this particular Institute leverage you into employment? If not, it may be an expense you can cut.
Are there other bodies that you can join that would assist you in your quest? Perhaps there is a jobs search group for you
Look at interim and part-time work. You might like it.
Don’t be fussy.
The Australasian Interim Executive Association Jobs Board is very powerful for a simple reason. The employers (and recruiters) who advertise their jobs are actually seeking the skills and experience that maturity brings. As the Chairman of AIEA I see many experienced men and women come to AIEA with the intent of leveraging our support structure to get out of the hole they find themselves in.
They also find that a major benefit is simply interacting with fellow members; people who understand. That’s why our monthly networking events (usually free to members) are so popular.
You might be interested in joining a new LinkedIn Group, Jobs Club Australia:
As the name implies, it is a self-help support group where experienced people help each other find their next role. It is relevant to Interim Managers as well as those looking for a permanent job.
With the introduction and growth of the AIEA-Jobsboard, there has been a surge of interest from executives whose primary motivation is to find paid assignments, interim or permanent.
To cater for these people, AIEA has introduced the Affiliate (AAIEA) Membership and made if a three-month plan at a lower price point that the Full Member (MAIEA) plan.
The new AAIEA membership is renewable. Click on the link for further details.
It is particularly attractive to those who see their ‘interim’ status as being temporary whilst they search for their next permanent position. The AAIEA will receive all vacancy postings from AIEA-Jobs and from the Corporate Affiliate members.
An Associate Membership is for three months’ duration and is available to individuals who desire to be part of the Association for networking and personal development purposes and also want AIEA assistance with their job search.
Associates will receive the AAIEA Post-Nominal and the discounted member rates for all events, training courses and material. Associates may upgrade to full membership at any time by application and payment of the fee to receive the additional MAIEA benefits.
AIEA members are special people.
They are at the peak of their profession, having honed their skills working for corporations big and small. Now most have taken the step to incorporate and become their own commercial identity.
They are professional Interim Managers.
At this stage, recognition is important. All AIEA members have a post-nominal:
They all have a business card extolling their independence and outlining their services. Depending on their line of work, some have a corporate office. They all have a web presence and many have a referral page containing accolades received from their customers and colleagues.
These third party referrals are very important to an Interim Manager. It tells prospective clients that the Interim Management is known and trusted. You can never have too many. But how can you encourage people to provide the cherished recommendation without being crass or pushy. The secret lies in an old saying that starts with ‘do unto others’.
So, working on the concept that ‘givers are receivers’, consider who deserves a meaningful referral from you and pay it forward. A good place to start is with your fellow AIEA members.
If you aren’t already LinkedIn with them, do so (a form of recognition in itself). They write a thoughtful recommendation they can post on their LinkedIn profile. This is like gold.
Don’t confuse it with a LinkedIn Endorsement where you simply tick off their top skills; a recommendation is much more meaningful.
Order of Australia
Have you ever looked at the list of hundreds of awards published on Australia Day or Queens Birthday and wondered how they are selected? Many come from the military, the government or by self-nomination.
But others come about by nomination by members of the public – you and me. Like most voluntary things, most of the public don’t take part so it’s a narrow field.
Let’s see if we can get one or two ‘gongs’ awarded within AIEA. It’s a two year time lag on the process.
What goes around comes around.
By Gil Elliott FAIEA
The Interim Executive needs to look at each new or potential client engagement as the start of a New Venture. With that mind set they need to address the 5 key points below to align their service with the customer’s needs and requirements, and make sure that it is a viable engagement for the Interim Executive.
'Grey Ceiling' on 7:30
Australian Broadcasting Corporation Broadcast: 23/04/2015
Reporter: Hayden Cooper
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Australians of the future will live longer and be expected to work harder, until the age of 70 and beyond.
But what if they can't get jobs?
Age discrimination's always been a problem in the workforce, but now for the first time the trend's been mapped and more than a quarter of over-50s feel they've been discriminated against because of their age.
The challenge is to convince employers to choose experience over youth.
Hayden Cooper reports.
HAYDEN COOPER, REPORTER: At 68, Andrew Shilton is going strong. Still in the workforce, he's forging a second career as a Melbourne handyman, driven, like most, by necessity.
ANDREW SHILTON, GREY ARMY: I've got a mortgage and my mortgage probably won't expire for another 15 years, so that'll put me into my early 80s, so I have to keep working. It's as simple as that.
HAYDEN COOPER: He is one of the lucky few at his age to find a job that works for him and keep it.
ANDREW SHILTON: I knock on the door, ring the bell, I'm always bright and breezy, I'm on time and I want that work. So, they have to like me. I've had nobody turn me away, so I'm doing it right, I hope.
HAYDEN COOPER: Increasingly, many others are not so fortunate. As old age approaches, holding a job becomes harder. When discrimination is added to the mix, it's impossible, as more experienced workers are passed over for promotion, laid off or struggle to find a job at all.
SUSAN RYAN, AGE DISCRIMINATION COMMISSIONER: The report we've just launched shows that it's very serious, that over a quarter of people over 50 experience age discrimination in very damaging ways.
HAYDEN COOPER: The Human Rights Commission report provides a compelling picture of this growing problem. It found that a third of those who'd experienced discrimination gave up on the job hunt. Almost half thought about retirement or using superannuation. And often discrimination strikes those who are most vulnerable.
SUSAN RYAN: The people most likely to experience age discrimination in the workforce are low income people and single parents and they're the people who can least afford to lose a job.
HAYDEN COOPER: Susan Ryan is the nation's Age Discrimination Commissioner. A former Education minister in the Hawke Government, she's now on a mission to convince Australian companies to change their attitudes to older workers.
SUSAN RYAN: Well, companies, like all of us, appreciate the fact that young people just recently finished their university training, whatever it is, have the latest ideas, they're terrifically energetic because they want to get their careers moving in the right direction, and they're good things. But at the same time, those things don't replace experience, knowledge of the company and of course older employees are very enthusiastic too.
BRUCE WILLIAMSON, JOB SEEKER: Consistent work: extremely difficult. In the last probably two years I would've put out easy 200, 300 resumes every year.
HAYDEN COOPER: Bruce Williamson is a highly skilled business consultant in Brisbane, but at the moment he's in a hard place.
BRUCE WILLIAMSON: I'm on the dole.
HAYDEN COOPER: And how difficult is that?
BRUCE WILLIAMSON: Extremely difficult, extremely difficult. Yep. Unemployment benefits.
HAYDEN COOPER: He suspects that his age is the reason that so many companies are knocking back his applications.
BRUCE WILLIAMSON: You're either overskilled, overqualified, which you can either put down to being age, but when you're after a C-level position, how can you be overqualified?
HAYDEN COOPER: He's now sought the help of a recruitment company that specialises in older workers. Here, age discrimination is on frequent display from employers, who themselves are often young.
MALCOLM WALKER, GREYHAIR ALCHEMY: They see this grey-haired person sitting in front of them and they think, "I can't relate to this person. Why is he looking for a job? Why is she looking for a job? And I'm going to promote into that role somebody that I can relate to."
HAYDEN COOPER: And then there are the job seekers who never even reach the interview stage.
BRUCE WILLIAMSON: A few years ago I was actually told by an admin' assistant inside one of the organisations, her instruction was to throw or disregard any application that was over 35 years old.
SUSAN RYAN: The recruiters make their money by successfully placing people. Now if the recruiter thinks that an employer doesn't want anyone over 50, they will not put forward the CV's of anyone over 50, no matter how perfect that person would be for the job. You raise this with the recruiters and they say, "Well we have to have a business. It's the employer's fault." You raise it with the employers and they say, "We've never given these instructions." But somewhere between the two, older, experienced, valuable workers are being squeezed out.
HAYDEN COOPER: Susan Ryan is urging the Government to give this issue much more attention and more funding to retrain employees, especially if it wants Australians to contribute for longer.
BRUCE WILLIAMSON: We're not even getting work at 55, forget about going up to 70 and I'm fit and able to do anything.
HAYDEN COOPER: It's an age-old dilemma: the wisdom of experience versus the enthusiasm of youth.
ANDREW SHILTON: Some of the kids do have the latest techniques, they can do things a lot quicker, 'cause the old aches and pains do creep in, getting on and off the steps, etc. Memory goes. You lose your bloody tape measure wherever you go. But that's about it. Hare and the tortoise. Young guys get in there, they can probably do their work in the morning. It takes me all day to do mine. But they charge an awful lot to do a morning's work; I charge the same amount for all day. But I get it done.
LEIGH SALES: Hayden Cooper reporting.
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