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When is Fractional Enough?

March 21, 2024

Photo by Windows / Unsplash

The rise of fractional work in the past few years has reshaped the way we see hiring, especially when it comes to executive talent. There is a wide spectrum of work types available, allowing CEOs to get creative when it comes to how they add executive-level expertise to their team. 

Fractional hiring provides both cost savings and flexibility, giving CEOs access to the strategic and tactical insights of valuable leaders without making a massive investment. But how do you know if a fractional leader is a viable option for your business? 

Let’s look at five functional areas within an organization, and break down the scenarios in which a fractional executive can be a good option to pursue. 

Chief Financial Officer

A fractional Chief Financial Officer might be a good fit for you if any of the following is true:

  • You have a simple business model 
  • Your complex accounting issues are limited
  • You currently have a limited number of customers or transactions 
  • There is an insignificant difference between your income statement and your cash flow statement

If you know you need someone to oversee activity like basic financial analysis or modeling, a slow-paced implementation of higher-order systems, or the occasional fundraising event, a fractional CFO can provide the expertise and oversight necessary to keep you on track. They can also be valuable in overseeing a gradually growing team as the company scales. 

Chief People Officer

A fractional Chief People Officer might be a good fit for your team if:

  • You have an HR manager or director onboard who needs supervision to level up
  • You have a junior HR function that needs strategic leadership to direct their efforts
  • You are building out an HR team internally for the first time and need support setting up the function from scratch

A fractional CPO can also be a valuable addition to your leadership team if you need an experienced leader to play the role of consigliere or team coach for you and the executive team.

Chief Marketing Officer

A fractional Chief Marketing Officer might be a good fit for you if:

  • You have a generalist with strategic inclinations but not enough experience operating as a strategic executive
  • You have a series of more junior leaders for marketing sub-functions who don’t have enough experience to coordinate across groups but don’t require a full-time leader 

A fractional CMO can also be a great option for a company that needs extra marketing firepower around specific milestones, like a product launch or specific event. As a business pivots over time or looks to expand into new markets or audiences, a fractional CMO can provide valuable strategic guidance for a team around specific channels, industries, or segments that align with growth plans. 

Chief Revenue Officer

A fractional Chief Revenue Officer might be a good fit for you if any of the following is true:

  • You have a complex sales operation
  • You primarily sell to a senior buyer
  • You have a junior sales team that needs deal support

If you’re entering a new adjacent segment and need support translating the sales process from one segment to another while keeping the first running, a fractional CRO could provide the strategic leadership necessary to keep everything on track. It can also be a valuable option if you aren’t at enough scale to know the type of sales leader you need in the long term.

Chief Product Officer

A fractional Chief Product Officer might be a good fit for you if:

  • You need to create a new high-level roadmap
  • You have solid mid-level product management leadership that needs guidance
  • You need to dig into product-market fit issues

A fractional CPO can be an important addition to your leadership team as the complexity of your product increases over time, or if you’re looking to expand into new segments or regions. The strategic expertise of a fractional product leader can be valuable for an expanding team, or within a leadership team that lacks deep product development knowledge. 

Finding the right leader

Bolster combines the power of experienced recruiters with our intelligent sourcing platform to match you with the executive talent your team needs. 

We tailor our services based on the support you need. Whether you’re looking for a fractional executive, a mentor with the practical experience to help you grow, or you need a full-time leader after all, we can help you find the right person for your team. 

Book a call with someone from our executive recruiting team to discuss your needs, your team, and your potential next steps.