Should the Interim Human Resources Manager be overqualified?

Efficiency increase of an automotive plant with interim HR Generalist

The plant, with 400 employees of the international Tier1 Automotive supplier, was one of the best of 30 plants in Europe. It has often been cited as an example of efficiency in production within the group. European management therefore saw no reason to approve major investments for the plant. The company was manufactured with a high level of personnel, while automation was being promoted in other plants.

That’s how it came as it had to come. The numbers got worse. The work was prescribed an austerity course. No more hiring and even less investment. Since the order situation was good and too few employees in production, agency workers were hired and the works council agreed to additional shifts through overtime, which it made pay dearly. That drove costs further and frustrated factory management. So they exchanged the plant manager and promised the new plant manager investment in automation if he made the plant profitable again.

The new plant manager wanted an experienced Human Resources Manager at his side for the change management process. But what qualification should he bring with him. He should be able to do more than just run the day-to-day running of a staff manager. The Interim Human Resources Manager should have successfully managed similar corporate situations. The interim management provider advised the plant manager to take a manager who has industry experience, has demonstrated empathy and negotiating skills with the works council in similar situations. An HR manager who immediately gains the acceptance of all stakeholders, both internally and externally. A manager who has already led larger units, with charisma and very good communication skills in German and English. An interim manager who is overqualified for day-to-day business alone but who immediately knows what to do in this tense situation. The plant manager followed the provider’s advice and selected an interim Human Resources Manager whose LinkedIn profile shows every interlocutor that he is a professional. With him, the plant manager has achieved his goals.

Conclusion: Basically, it is good if the interim manager is overqualified in a very challenging company situation, because he has to take the right measures from the first day of his assignment. There is no 2nd attempt.

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