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Everything You Need to Know About Interim Executives

Table of Contents

What are Interim Executives?

An interim executive is an experienced, C-Suite level leader that is recruited into a healthcare organization to fill a leadership vacancy during the search for a permanent replacement. Responsibilities and focus vary on the position and the needs of the organization. Common job responsibilities of an interim executive include:

  • Strategic business planning
  • Overseeing business operations
  • Personnel management
  • Administration of each division within the business
  • Preparing financial budgets
  • Working alongside board members
  • Developing rapport and relationships with colleagues, subordinates, and external contacts
  • Creating company policy
  • Driving the mission and focus of the organization
  • Minimizing or eliminating negative financial impacts of a vacant C-suite level role
  • Maintaining and improving employee retention

Healthcare organizations, while serving others, are businesses as well, which requires unique individuals at the C-Suite level who know how to drive a business, but who are also passionate advocates for others. Interim executives are sometimes challenged with streamlining a tumultuous departure from a vacant leadership role or creating harmony with personnel as they attempt to “fill big shoes." While the task of an interim executive does harbor major responsibilities, it also provides opportunities for executive leaders to showcase their skills and experience and exercise their vast knowledge of business, healthcare practices, and relationship building. As an interim executive or interim C-Suite leader, that knowledge will only continue to grow as new situations are encountered with each work assignment.

Job Titles Related to Interim Executives

Healthcare organizations such as hospitals, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), senior living communities, nursing centers, and large health systems may need to hire an interim C-suite leader in any given executive level job. The level of responsibility, workload, specialty, and business expertise needed within the role, will determine the title given to each individual. Some of the job titles pertaining to interim executive include:

  • Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Interim Chief Information Officer (CIO)
  • Interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Interim Chief Operating Officer (COO)
  • Interim Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)
  • Interim Chief Quality Officer (CQO)
  • Interim Senior Administrator
  • Interim Clinical Operations Consultant
  • Interim Vice President of Clinical Services
  • Interim VP of Human Resources
  • Interim Senior Operations Executive
  • Interim Executive Director

Interim Executives Job Requirements

Interim Executives Pillar Page Banner (1)Executives entering an interim role need to have a broad understanding of not only their role, but also business best practices and strategies. If the interim executive leader is in a clinical role or long-term care industry, it is vital they have an in-depth understanding of regulatory practices set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and an overall comprehensive business approach that stays true to industry standards of care. A great interim executive will be able to meld their business and healthcare expertise to create business strategies, keep day to day functions on track, improve revenue, and develop staff. “The Path To The C-Suite Office” article shares insight into working towards a C-Suite level position.

An exceptional interim executive candidate will have a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree, at least five years of experience in a senior leadership role in a healthcare setting, expertise of healthcare systems and operations, a proven track record of success in improving revenue, leadership, and business planning.

Additional Certifications for Interim Executives

With the increase in need for interim executives, many professionals are finding ways in which they can uniquely contribute to their profession and the lives of those they serve. Many executives take on further education in areas such as finance and business management to expand their ability to make the best decisions for their organization. Webinars, conferences, and educational opportunities offered by state healthcare associations and the American Hospital Association are also of great use to interim executives in order to current with changes and trends within the healthcare industry.

Interim Executives Salary Range

The salary range for an interim executive can vary widely depending on the position, experience, specialty, geography, and the size and revenue of the organization the executive is tasked with overseeing. Salary.com states that these executives can expect an annual salary range between $156,000 and $358,000.

Interim Executives Salary

Job Outlook for Interim Executives

Interim Executives Job Outlook

The job outlook for interim executives is very good! As a whole, our population is aging, which creates two factors influencing the job outlook for healthcare and senior living interim executives. The first factor is an increasing need for long-term care centers as our population is living longer, and staying active later on in life. This results in more people needing hospital care and entering into senior living facilities than ever before, which means more executives will be needed in long-term care. The second factor is that as our population ages, many of the existing long-term care executives are part of that aging pool. As the current senior living leadership enters into retirement age, these positions will be left open and many centers turn to interim C-Suite leaders to keep their business on track while they conduct a formal search for their next permanent leader. When joined together, these two factors create an abundance of need for executives in the immediate future.

Job Hunter Resources

There is a wide variety of resources available to senior living interim executives as they search for their next opportunity. Argentum is a national association that continuously supports long-term care executives with research, data, webinars, career advancement information, and educational opportunities. Further, Argentum produces their Senior Living Executive Magazine which is a great resource for interim executives to stay up to date with knowledge about their market.

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) provides links to state affiliates that offer certification and educational programs, resources for long term care operating officers, a career center and more. AHCA offers both resources for organizations and long term care professionals.

LeaderStat is a nationally recognized long-term care and senior living recruiting firm, working to help organizations fill interim executive positions. Our knowledgeable senior living recruiters will work to pair your expertise with a great healthcare company. With insight into our clients and knowledge of current market trends, our recruiters are able to make a great match quickly, and stand by your side as an advocate during the interviewing process. LeaderStat provides ongoing interview tips and resume tips, and offers many resources for professionals on how they can land their next great opportunity.


As an interim healthcare leader, you are needed to help ensure stability in organizations across the country. Join our network of specialists and let us help you find your next opportunity.


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