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How long should I recruit an Interim FD for?

Recruiting an Interim Finance Director (FD) can be a strategic move for businesses undergoing transitions, facing specific challenges, or requiring specialized financial leadership for a defined period. The optimal duration for engaging an Interim FD depends on several factors, including the nature of the tasks they are hired to accomplish, the company’s specific goals, and the broader financial and operational context. Here are some considerations to help determine the appropriate length of engagement:

Nature of the Project or Transition

Short-term Projects: For specific, short-term projects such as implementing a new financial system, preparing for an audit, or navigating a financial restructuring, the engagement might last from a few weeks to several months.
Longer-term Strategic Goals: If the Interim FD is brought in to steer the company through longer-term strategic objectives, such as leading a turnaround, overseeing a merger or acquisition, or preparing the company for a public offering, the engagement could last anywhere from 6 to 18 months.

Business Size and Complexity

Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): In smaller companies, changes can be implemented more swiftly, potentially requiring a shorter engagement period.
Large Corporations: In contrast, larger organizations with more complex structures may need an Interim FD for a longer duration to navigate the intricacies of the business and achieve the desired outcomes.

Transition to a Permanent Solution

Recruitment Time: Part of the Interim FD’s role may involve assisting in the search for a permanent FD. This process can take several months, during which the interim professional ensures continuity and stability within the finance function.
Overlap Period: It’s often beneficial to have an overlap between the Interim FD and the incoming permanent FD to ensure a smooth transition. This overlap might be a few weeks to a month, depending on the complexity of the business and the role.

Availability and Budget Constraints

Budget: The cost of hiring an Interim FD is significant but should be weighed against the value they bring in terms of expertise and impact. The company’s budget may also dictate the length of engagement.
Availability of the Interim FD: Highly skilled Interim FDs may have other commitments, so their availability could also influence the duration of their engagement with your company.

Best Practices

Clear Objectives: Define clear, measurable objectives for the Interim FD at the outset. This clarity helps in assessing how long their services will be required.
Regular Reviews: Implement regular milestone reviews to assess progress towards the objectives. This approach allows for adjustments to the engagement duration as needed.


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long an Interim FD should be recruited for, as it highly depends on the specific needs and circumstances of the business. Engagements can vary widely, from a few months to over a year. The key is to clearly define the goals of the engagement, regularly review progress, and adjust the timeline as necessary to ensure that the company’s needs are met efficiently and effectively.

FD Capital are a leading recruiter of Interim FD’s in London.