Nataly: An Interim HR Head Supports The Growth Of Startups And International Companies

Why do companies decide to hire an Interim Head of Talent Acquisition - and not go straight for a permanent position? We talked about this topic with our colleague and expert Nataly Shuster, Senior Manager at DONE!Berlin. It is clear that the reasons do not lie solely in the shortage of skilled workers and the need to quickly fill a gap in the management team.

April 19, 2023

Nataly, you have years of experience as Interim Head in People & Culture departments: Why do companies opt for an interim staffing solution?

There's not just one reason, but a plethora of benefits. The most important reasons are cost and result effectiveness. It is obvious that it will take months to fill in the position of Head of Talent Acquisition through the labor market. Interim managers are available on an adhoc basis and can take over tasks immediately due to their years of experience.
Moreover, interim professionals can be hired on a project or hourly basis, for short-term or long-term assignments. This makes companies extremely flexible. They scale their recruitment efforts up or down based on business needs and by this saving costs with an external consultancy partner.

What is about a full-time interim manager?

Yes, this is also a solution for companies which has its advantages because full-time interim professionals bring more rapid results and do much more work in a certain time frame as permanent employees. Sounds like trying to square the circle, but it's not. We at DONE! always work in squads. Meaning, I am never alone on such a job. When there are too many tasks to be completed at once and there is a lot of pressure, I have a team that supports me during these peak times. That is why we are faster and we get more work done as interns.
Another advantage is when things have to move quickly - for example at hyper growth companies - we don't wear out any employees because we spread the work over many shoulders.
In addition, we are highly experienced, bring new knowledge, fresh insights, and best practices into the company for attracting and retaining top talent. And we help identify areas where improvement is needed.  

Nevertheless, many companies work with permanent managers. For which companies does an Interim Head of Talent Acquisition make the most sense?

In my experience, an Interim Head is a great support for start-ups and small businesses to scale their recruitment function quickly and effectively, to develop successful hiring strategies, and to build up well-functioned processes and guidelines from scratch or we also redesign them for more efficiency and for better evaluation and controlling. In each case, we work closely hand-in-hand with founders and CEOs.
Young companies often do not know which growth phases they are going through and which skilled workers they need at a certain point in time. Since we have already looked after over 700 fast-growing enterprises, coming from many industries such as N26 (finance), The Quality Group (commerce) or TIER Mobility (mobility), we know exactly which employees are needed not only now but also in a year's or two year’s time.

Are there other target groups than startups or small businesses?

Yes, of course. For example, if companies are experiencing sudden growth or expansion, often the internal People & Culture team cannot cope with the workload and requirements. In such an extreme situation, an Interim Head of Talent Acquisition can help ensure that the recruitment function is able to keep up with demand and find the right talent to support growth. In addition, an experienced professional sets the right priorities to get truly important things off the ground in the time needed.
Furthermore, international companies that want to expand to Germany are the ones who desperately need help from an Interim Head of Talent Acquisition because they don’t know anything about German labor law, German employees benefits and needs or the German market itself. We have helped these companies such as Fiverr, Casper or Airbnb to localise their recruitment processes so that it fits the German employee market.

If companies are interested in your external solution to help with their Talent Acquisition, how do you go about the process? What is important to you?

For me, it is most important to be part of the team. For example: I never build a recruiting strategy or implement only my new ideas to optimise processes and structures alone, but do everything always together with my client. I discuss issues with internal employees at eye level and listen to them. I come onboard to help and to enable the organisation and each individual to improve the company's talent acquisition. It is all about building a well working team to ensure a smooth transition as one day I am gone.

If you need more information or if you are interested in DONE’s service of Interim Head of Talent Acquisition, please contact Nataly (

Related stories