What is a Fractional Executive?
As the name suggests, having a fractional role in a business means that an employee only works for a specific company for a fraction of their time. This could be a specific time frame, like an interim or temporary roll, or it could take up a portion of each work day. So what would their day look like? Since a fractional executive isn’t working full-time for any one organization, they will likely be meeting with a few clients a day, or perhaps a different client on different days of the week. The goal is to use time efficiently – both the executive’s and the company’s – so depending on the needs of the organization and the agreed-upon time frame, arrangements will be made to make the best use of everyone’s resources. Working remotely allows for added efficiency in this regard, rather than having to move around to work in person.
Fractional professionals exist at various levels of an organization’s hierarchy. Fractional executives are highly trained with many years of experience, sharing their knowledge and expertise to drive decision-making and results for an organization. They are typically very efficient, with excellent time management skills to manage multiple projects and come with fresh and creative ideas. This arrangement can be ideal for people who thrive in roles where there are always new and exciting challenges to take on.
How Do Professionals Benefit?
Professionals who choose to work in fractional roles typically have a lot of expertise in their domain, have proven track records and are looking to make a larger impact and diversify their experience. By working in a fractional capacity, they can widen their net of opportunities to be involved in high-level projects and startups, network with other professionals within the industry, and create even more opportunities for themselves.
For many fractional leaders - getting to see how other companies are running and gaining even more experience or fulfilling more philanthropic motives by helping younger businesses to reach their potential can both be worthwhile goals.
Depending on their experience and professional goals, there are a number of ways for fractional executives to be matched with companies whose interests align with their own. Bolster and Catalant are two excellent resources for professionals to identify fractional executive opportunities.
How Do Companies Benefit?
There are a number of benefits for companies that choose to hire fractional executives. Primarily, hiring someone in a part-time or interim capacity eliminates the commitment that usually goes along with searching for and hiring people for executive positions or very niche roles within a business. You might not need someone to manage your company’s social media full time, but you know that it’s still important to maintain that form of communication and engagement with your clientele. In cases like this, simply acknowledging that you lack the time or expertise to take on such tasks might be the ideal reason to consider a fractional hire. Or, you may feel like you would benefit from some feedback and expertise from an experienced executive who can help direct the long-term vision for your business, but without taking on a full-time partner in running things.
Hiring a fractional executive can be the perfect solution in a fast-growing business where operations and direction might still be in flux. It also has the added benefit of being more cost-effective, particularly for startups while delivering professional and experienced support. Fractional executive services enables access to an individual dedicated to solving specific problems at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time employee. Depending on what stage the startup is in, a full-time employee may not even be necessary yet.
Is a Fractional Executive the Same as a Consultant?
For businesses looking into hiring a fractional executive, a question that frequently arises is, “How is this different from a consultant?”. Whereas a consultant will provide advice and guidance, they are still a separate entity from your company. A fractional executive works alongside your team, has a hand in company operations, and is responsible for their outcomes. They are quite literally an extension of your existing leadership team. For more established businesses, fractional executives can offer new insight and bring their experience in different fields to take your company to the next level and still have a stake in its success.
If you haven’t considered hiring a fractional executive for your business – or are entirely new to the concept – we hope that this blog has given you a general understanding of the idea to help determine whether this is the right move for you.
When you’re ready to look into your options for scaling your business and growing your revenue, Amplify is here to connect with you and make it happen. Our sales and marketing expertise is at your fingertips, and you can count on best-in-class processes, tools and analytics to optimize your sales process and see real, measurable results.