A Comprehensive Guide to Fractional Hiring

The hype of fractional hiring is increasing daily because of the benefits fractional workers have over full-time employees. 

But what are these benefits, and why do companies prefer hiring fractionally, especially at the senior-executive level?

In this article, you will discover who fractional employees are, why you should hire them, and how to hire executives for your company using our platform.

What Does it Mean When You Hire Someone Fractionally?

Fractional hiring is hiring a person who works with multiple companies for a certain number of hours per week or month instead of working for one company full-time.

Unlike most consultants, they’re usually involved in your company’s day-to-day activities and can be a core part of the team.

The term ‘fractional’ is generally used for executive-level people (CFOs, COOs, CTOs, etc.) who like working with multiple startups rather than focusing on just one full-time company.

This gives both startups and fractional workers a lot of flexibility in terms of commitment and cost. 

Why More People Want to Work Fractionally in 2022 & Beyond

Reason #1. Freedom and Flexibility

Freedom and flexibility in the work are the two main reasons why more and more people want to work fractionally nowadays. 

Working fractionally allows people to work from home when their full-time employer doesn’t allow it. 

This gives them time they can spend with their families and friends, set their schedules however they want, and work at their own pace.

Freedom of work also allows fractional workers to choose who they work with. When they realize that their boss is a bad manager, they can more easily quit and take on a new client to replace that portion of their income. 

Reason #2. The Excitement of Working with Multiple Startups and Scaleups

The excitement and curiosity of working with new-age startups and scaleups has tempted many full-time employees to turn into fractional workers. 

People working corporate jobs can be incredibly talented and experienced. They can provide a lot of great advice in their domain, but at some point in their career, they can’t stand the set routine of 9 to 5, which makes them explore other working options. 

They end up working fractionally because it’s flexible, easy, and comparably more stable than consulting and freelancing.

Another reason why these corporate prodigies want to work fractionally is due to a lot of red tape in the work they do full-time. It’s tough to work in a place where you can’t discuss your projects with your colleagues and friends due to confidentiality clauses.

The hard truth is – when someone starts their corporate career, they think that work stability is good. But they soon realize it is boring and find it tough to get off the hamster wheel.

When they finally quit, they start looking for work alternatives and end up working fractionally.

Reason #3. More Income Stability

Working fractionally provides a noticeable increase in stability than freelancing. Unlike freelancing, where payment is per hour or per project, people hire fractional talent every month and for a relatively long period of time. 

Fractional workers are commonly considered full members of the team, even though they split their time between multiple companies. This establishes them within teams to work for multiple years with a company, instead of on an interim basis. 

Reason #4. Ability to Grow Into a Higher Level Role

The growth ability in a fractional role is immense, especially when working for a high-growth startup. 

Let’s imagine someone who was a Head of Marketing at a company and scaled it from 5 to 500 employees. They can become a fractional CMO, get the freedom and flexibility in their work life, and work with multiple companies simultaneously. 

They get to do what they are best at, and multiple companies can benefit from their expertise. 

This also opens up full-time opportunities if a client needs a full-time CMO down the line and it is the right fit for the fractional CMO to commit full-time.

Who Are The People That Work Fractionally?

Generally, C-level executives like CFOs, CMOs, CTOs, etc. love working fractionally. On the flip side, startups and scaleups show the most interest in hiring fractionally due to work and payment flexibility.

On a broader scale, we can categorize fractionally working professionals into two major classes – Strategic executives and Hands-on type executives.

#1. Strategic Executives

Strategic executives primarily help create effective strategies, hire candidates, and manage teams. Common reasons startups and scaleups hire strategic fractional executives are for optimizing operations for scalability, ongoing budgeting and spend planning, product marketing strategy, and as an alternative to a technical co-founder. 

The ideal candidates for these roles have previously done exactly what’s needed at one or multiple companies in the past, and can do it way faster than a more junior person who is still working their way up the learning curve, with a much lower probability of mistakes.  

#2. Hands-On Type Executives 

Hands-on type executives are more like operator executives who do a lot of heavy lifting. 

For example, an Operating CMO will be involved in crafting content and optimizing ads, not just managing a team. Meaning, they will be the one who will go into the nitty gritty details of the work that is being done, and oftentimes they are the only person in their department. 

If you’re a pre-seed or seed stage startup, we’d suggest you hire a hands-on type executive. This is because, at the early stages, startups primarily need “get it done” types. At the same time, most hands-on type executives are also great at strategic planning. 

Apart from executive roles, there are many other types of roles you can hire for on a fractional basis. 

At Shiny, we have a fractional designer and fractional SDR. One of them wants to stay as a fractional employee by choice for family reasons, and the other will join us full time in the coming months when it makes sense for both us and the team member. 

Similarly, you can also expect engineers, product managers, and many more people to start working fractionally.

Why Startups Should Hire Fractional Workers

There are three reasons why you should hire fractionally:

Reason #1. Founder Needs to Hand Off a Specific Business Function

The most common reason for hiring a fractional executive is that the founder has a business function they just need to hand off. 

They need it to be handled by someone else because they’re too busy either working on the product or growing the customer base.

They simply don’t have time, for instance, to keep an eye on cash flow or automate key operational processes. And so, they look for a fractional CFO or fractional COO to do it for them. 

When hiring a fractional C-level executive, founders know they can rely on their new hire to onboard quickly and work effectively without needing to be actively managed. 

Reason #2. Tight Budget

Another reason to hire a fractional worker is being cash constrained. It’s almost inevitable for startups at some point in their lifecycle to need to achieve something substantial on a tiny budget. 

You may need a CFO to build you a financial model or a designer to rework your UI. 

Hiring a fractional worker is faster, less expensive, and less risky versus hiring full-time. 

Reason #3. Hiring Time Constraints

Most startups don’t have the luxury of taking months to find the right talent, hire, and onboard. For fast-paced growth, they need to hire someone in weeks, not months.

In such cases, companies turn to hiring fractional talent, as it can take 2-3 weeks to hire and onboard someone ideal for the role. 

If they see that the team member they hired fractionally is the perfect match, they can offer them to transition to full-time later on.

The ability to hire quickly and scale a team without taking on risks can be a huge competitive advantage for startups. 

Reason #4. Need a Team Member, Not an Agency

Sometimes, a startup or a scaleup needs a reliable person to take over a project or responsibility, but they don’t want an outside agency to own it. 

Fractional workers are now the most popular alternative to agencies. When hiring someone fractionally, they join the team for the long-term. They are still a 1099 contractor, giving the company flexibility and the worker freedom in their work life, but they are able to integrate fully into the organization and work closely with the founders. 

Fractional workers can hire and manage FT or fractional team members under them. Utilizing fractional workers, startups are essentially able to take the concept of an agency and hire for all of the generalist and specialist roles with as much or as little capacity as they need.

How Long Do Companies Work with Fractional Executives?

Most of the time, companies work with fractional executives for over a year, and up to 5 years depending on their needs and company lifecycle. At the lower end, companies might only need to work with a fractional executive for a few months to complete a project. 

The point at which a fractional executive transitions to full-time at a company varies. At Shiny, we’ve seen this happen in as little as three months. A more typical timeline is 1-3 years depending on the role, growth rate of the company, and more. 

How to Hire a Fractional Executive from Shiny 

Step 1: Defining the Role and Responsibilities

When you’ve decided that you want to hire someone fractionally, the first step is to define the role and the budget. You can begin by scoping out the responsibilities you expect the role to cover. 

If you use Shiny for hiring, we will help you scope out the role’s responsibilities, qualifications to expect, and budget. 

To get started, all you need to do is fill out a form on Shiny. At the end of the form, select a time slot and book a call with us so we can get you onboarded onto our platform.

click on hire an executive

Step 2: Shortlisting

After getting onboarded and posting a job, we will match you to the best talent from our pool of 400+ vetted fractional executives. In 48 hours, you will have a personalized list of 4 or 5 vetted executives with their cover letter and profile sitting in your Shiny dashboard. This will make your recruiting process a lot quicker and easier. 

Step 3: Interviewing and Finalizing the Candidate

When you’ve decided who you want to work with, you can schedule a call and interview them. You can work out the details of the contract and scope directly with them, and then onboard them just like you would any member of the team. 

How Shiny’s Vetting Process Works?

Shiny has its own vetting process where we review every application and profile and then interview candidates to ensure they would be a good fractional executive or operator for startups and scaleups. 

We also look for strong communication skills – that’s a key aspect. 

When someone comes to us to hire a fractional executive, we match the role to only ideal people in our vetted talent pool. They then send in pitches for the role for the hiring manager to review. 

The next step is to review their pitches to see which candidates are the best fit.

From the personalized list of candidates we hand over to companies, each and every one of our candidates (or at least the vast majority of them) should be able to get the job done quite well. 

At that point, the main thing to work out is who will be the best personality fit for the team and company culture.  

But Shiny’s job doesn’t end here.

Let’s say you want to hire a fractional CTO and your long-term goal is to hire them full-time later. You can transition them to full-time if they are interested in it. And Shiny will help you do it.

On the other hand, if the fractional executive you hire isn’t looking to join your company full time and just wants to stay working fractionally, then you can explore other options with Shiny. 

Wrapping Up

Fractional hiring is one of the best ways to hire world-class talent quickly and risk-free.

It’s a win-win for both workers and employers.

For the worker, it gives them the freedom and flexibility in their work lives and allows them to work with multiple scaleups and startups simultaneously.

By hiring fractionally, companies save time and money, and they get to test the waters before bringing someone onboard full-time.

A platform like Shiny can help you bring a fractional executive onboard in weeks. No matter what executive role you’re looking to fill, we are here to help you. Get started on Shiny.