A Guide to Interim Human Resources Management

Eric Mochnacz
January 18, 2022

In plain language, human resources management is the function of the business that has anything to do with its people. Interim HR management is when a business owner, in lieu of hiring a permanent HR resource, works with an external consultant or consulting firm to manage the employee lifecycle, oversee HR processes, and drive people-focused change in their organization.  Red Clover leverages the diverse experience of our consultant team to help drive businesses forward with progressive people solutions and complete HR process overhaul.  Working with an interim HR resource can provide immediate and long-term benefits to your growing business.

What is Interim Human Resources Management?

Interim Human Resources management is when a business chooses to leverage the experience of an external HR partner rather than opting to go to market to make an internal hire.  An interim engagement allows the business and its employees to have access to a skilled HR professional in the near term to ensure business continuity while also leaving the door open for potential longer term support.  For smaller businesses and start ups, they may not need full-time HR support, so an interim engagement contracted for half a day, a day or two days a week may be the most effective and cost-efficient option.  For businesses that are impacted by a loss of HR staff, interim human resources management is a viable option, as a skilled consultant can usually transition easily into the HR role in your business and hit the ground running with little disruption to your business.  Additionally, having an external resource manage your organization’s HR function is conducive to innovation in developing people-facing processes and providing new solutions to ongoing, common workforce problems.  The business has a fresh set of eyes to bring new perspectives to change initiatives, the growth of your business, and the development of the HR function.

What Does an Interim HR Manager Do? 

A skilled interim HR Manager has the expertise and the ability to be flexible and adapt to your people needs as your business changes.  Generally speaking, a quality HR consulting firm is able to commit their resources to address every aspect of the employee lifecycle.  Typically, this means the HR resource has direct, practical experience in anything people-related, ranging from recruiting, to onboarding, to succession planning, and terminations and offboarding – and everything in between that has a direct impact on your workforce.  Working with a firm like Red Clover, we assign team members based on the scope of the engagement, as some of our team are experts at developing compensation structures for your growing workforce while others are adept at developing a recruiting process that helps you attract and retain top talent.  We leverage the diverse backgrounds of our team to offer a full range of HR support that you may not get from one professional currently on the job market.

How an Interim HR Manager Can Help Your Business

An interim HR Manager can help your business no matter what stage of growth it is currently in.  Working with start ups, we are often tasked with building a company’s HR department from scratch.  Not only do we build out the key, sustainable HR policies, processes and procedures, but we serve as a boots on the ground resource to manage employee relations for a new and growing workforce.  We manage the communication to the workforce so everyone is on the same page as your business builds its foundation. 

Established businesses also benefit from partnering with external HR.  When a business is growing, it becomes time for them to invest in their people and engaging with a skilled HR partner who can develop people processes that support ongoing growth.  We may be the first HR resource a company has worked with or we often step in to ensure business continuity when the employment relationship ends between the company and their internal HR professional.  Regardless of the circumstances in which we start working with a company, our goal is to deliver innovative people solutions to drive the business forward.  We devote our time to improving existing policies and implementing new policies to facilitate business growth, specifically as it relates to supporting the workforce.  

An interim HR manager or consulting team can typically do the job you expect of an internal HR resource in less time and for less money.  There are immediate savings in that the business isn’t paying payroll tax or benefits costs for an external, interim HR resource.  Also, you may have access to the knowledge, skills and experience of more than one person in an interim HR engagement, so you’re benefiting from a breadth of knowledge that you may not have had access to working with solely an internal hire.  Red Clover consultants also have people management experience, and we’ve been asked to guide, mentor and train junior-level or less experienced HR professionals within organizations while leveraging our expertise to help elevate the company’s emphasis on HR process and change management.

Hiring an Interim Human Resources Manager

When choosing to partner with an external consultant or consulting firm to build your HR department or to implement change to drive growth in the business’s people function, you want to consider your immediate business needs.  If you need a strategic partner, you want to partner with people who bring a strategic approach to Human Resources, like Red Clover.  We sit in on your leadership team meetings and contribute to the discussions that help your business achieve its most ambitious growth goals.  We put ourselves among your workforce to communicate change, answer questions, and support them as they recognize the impact of strategic HR change on their employee experience.  We are an active participant in the employee lifecycle, rather than a nameless HR drone who sits in an office and pushes papers from one file to another and demands forms be filled out for every employee situation that occurs.  Ultimately, when choosing to partner with an external HR firm, we recommend completing due diligence and committing to the company that best compliments your business and can drive the necessary people change it needs to be successful.  

Naturally, an interim HR manager implies that the business will eventually want a permanent resource.  Red Clover is prepared to run a company’s HR department for the long term.  However, we recognize business owners sometimes want a full-time, internal HR resource.  As part of our interim service offering, we help businesses source their new Head of HR, manage the knowledge transfer, and actively participate in the new HR hire’s onboarding throughout their first 90 days.  

Red Clover has the experience to run your HR function, integrate into your company culture, and drive the business forward through our participation in your leadership meetings.  If you’re a business owner considering outsourcing your HR on an interim basis (or permanently), reach out and let’s begin the discussion.

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Construction and Contracting

A commercial roofing contractor was in hyper growth mode. They had goals to increase their field workforce to expand their service area to additional states and geographical locations. If they were to grow their field workforce, they would also need to increase their administrative, operational and sales headcount to support the additional workload created by increased field work. Additionally, they were challenged in workforce retention and development, experiencing high turnover, and did not have a dedicated Human Resources professional to manage employee relations and compliance issues that come with trying to scale a business.

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