The Interim Leader…More Than a Placeholder!

To say that the need for interim leaders has been on the rise over the past few years in senior living, is an understatement. Because of their value and high demand, interim leaders are viewed as more than placeholders…they’re viewed as agents of change!

Interim leaders in senior living are usually seasoned long term care professionals with deep knowledge of and experience in the industry. They bring strategic and operational expertise when the predecessor has resigned, retired, left suddenly, or needs an extended break.

Smaller senior care organizations and communities may bring aboard an interim leader for their expertise in a specific area without having to create a full-time role. Interims bring fresh, new ideas to help organizations move forward and remain competitive.

What are some other reasons to bring aboard senior living interim leaders? According to Chameleon Collective,a consulting and marketing firm on strategic leadership:

  • Strategies focused solely on growth
  • Strategic planning and short- and long-term roadmaps to success
  • Solving existing problems with new solutions and innovative ideas
  • Team and talent assessment
  • Crisis management
  • Organizational management and business process improvement

What should you look for when hiring senior living interim leaders?

  • Leadership experience & proven success: Ask for references regarding previous interim assignments
  • Deep industry knowledge: Interim leaders should have the breadth, depth, and experience in the senior living industry
  • Self-starter: Interim leaders need to have the drive, passion, and strong will to succeed from the start
  • Ability to hit the ground running:  You need interims who are ready to run at full speed without causing any business disruption
  • Critical thinker: Many situations will call for a self-disciplined thinker who can reason, assess, and problem-solve
  • Innovative & creative: Interim leaders find new ways to be original and serve the needs of your senior living organization
  • Business acumen:  Successful interim leaders have a keenness and quickness in understanding and dealing with a business situation in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome

When you need access to senior living interim leaders, where can you find them? 

Most times, when interim leaders are needed, they are needed quickly. For this reason, contacting a reputable executive search firm that focuses on the senior living industry can be your best bet. Industry specific search firms have a wide network of experienced and vetted interim leadership candidates.

There are many ways that interim executive leadership can benefit your senior living organization. To get the highest ROI from an interim hiring strategy, identify areas that can benefit most from the role, estimate length of time an interim executive is needed, assess if an interim will mesh with your team and fit your culture, and finally, select the best interim leader who will successfully perform the job at hand.



Julie Rupenski is the Founder, President & CEO of MedBest, opening the doors in 2001. Since then, Julie has gained national recognition for providing top talent solutions exclusively for the Senior Living Industry. Her specialties include filling C-Suite, Vice President, Regional, and Property level positions.

Julie has an in-depth knowledge of the Senior Living Industry.  She previously worked in operations for both Senior Housing and Senior Living prior to founding MedBest. Today, Julie makes it her personal and professional mission to place qualified people in health care positions where they have the greatest impact.

Julie earned her degree in Gerontology at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida and continues to cultivate her career through senior living conferences, forums, trade shows, and expos.

(Julie’s industry articles and interviews have been published in Provider Magazine, Argentum Quarterly, LeadingAge Magazine, Florida Health Care Association, Florida Assisted Living Association, Florida Senior Living Association, LeadingAge Florida, LeadingAge Indiana, Pennsylvania Health Care Association, Oregon Health Care Association, and Virginia Assisted Living Association.)

Contact Julie Rupenski at / 727-526-1294.


long term care recruitersABOUT MEDBEST

MedBest is a national Executive Search Firm exclusive to the Senior Living Industry established in 2001.  We recruit and acquire exceptional senior care talent, permanent and interim executives, for all types of Senior Living Organizations and Communities across the US including Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Independent Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.

Contact us at 727-526-1294 /

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