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Fractional Talent Acquisition: The Future of Workforce Hiring

Forward-thinking companies are trending fractional 

There’s a new recruiting strategy that should be in every company’s toolbox: fractional talent acquisition. Fractional hires add expertise that spurs innovation and growth—without the costs of adding full-time employees. This new trend is rapidly restructuring the recruiting landscape to meet the needs of today’s workplaces. 

Fractional hiring provides a strategic approach to talent management in our fast-changing environment where both employers and employees want increased flexibility. This strategy will likely become an integral part of your thinking about staffing and your efforts to compete for the talent you need to grow and thrive.

What is fractional talent acquisition?

Fractional hires are usually experts in their fields. They are senior- and executive-level professionals who bring essential expertise or strategic leadership to an organization on a part-time or temporary basis. They offer their knowledge and skills to multiple organizations, without the need for long-term commitments or the costs associated with traditional employment.
As opposed to other part-time work arrangements that tend to be more transactional in nature, fractional roles are characterized by ongoing relationships built on deep understanding of business challenges and objectives as well as experience in specialized roles, like C-level leadership or engineering.

The surge toward fractional hiring is happening at this particular time because of a combination of driving factors:

  • Searching for the right executive or skillset is increasingly difficult and costly, while budgets continue to shrink.
  • Today’s companies must be more agile in an uncertain economy and job market.
  • Highly specialized skills have become essential to innovation and growth.
  • It’s a candidate’s market, making it easier for executives and other top talent to leave for greener pastures.
  • Flexible work arrangements have become the norm, offering the work-life balance and opportunity workers at all levels demand.

A review of the many benefits 

If you’re a startup or fast-growing company, or in an innovation-driven industry, your company has most likely already added fractional hiring to your recruitment strategies. If you haven’t yet seen the urgency and value, a review of the benefits may light the path to this essential tool. Fractional hiring enables your organization to:

  • Bring on essential talent you may not be able to afford or don’t require full-time.
  • Get strategic guidance or specialized expertise for specific projects or meet key performance metrics.
  • Save on recruiting costs for difficult roles to fill.
  • Minimize productivity delays and onboarding/offboarding costs.
  • Benefit from fresh, expert perspectives and objectivity.
  • Get critical help developing the leadership skills of current employees.
  • Scale expertise up or down with fluctuating needs and labor costs.
  • Hire a CEO when a technical founder is ready to change roles.
  • Add new board members with crucial expertise for specific projects or phases of growth.
  • Be nimble in changing circumstances.

How fractional works

Many jobs, even leadership roles, don’t necessarily require a 40- to 60-hour a week effort. AI and other technologies now aid employees in doing their jobs and in some cases tech tools assume near total responsibility for the job, often making full-time employment unnecessary. Companies that don’t require senior-level people full time for every function are hiring fractional leaders to lead their creative, marketing, finance, HR, or other functional teams, or using them to lead special projects. Fractional hires enable companies of any size to build highly-efficient teams with the right skills at the right time—at a lower cost. Smaller companies are able to acquire the senior talent they need to compete and grow.

As an integrated resource to teams, these seasoned professionals are able to quickly add value in terms of strategic guidance, hands-on work, and leadership. The term “fractional” refers to the fact that the work is done fractionally, meaning in fewer hours, at a lower rate. 
Fractional acquisitions are a win-win arrangement. Companies get both needed expertise and budget savings. The fractional hires earn comparable or greater total compensation through multiple client relationships—plus the bonus of a better work-life balance.

An option not a replacement

Companies will always need full-time, long-term employees. They are the essence of your culture, the showcase for your values, and some of the most predictable and loyal of the people who work for you. There will also always be the need for part-time workers to help manage flow and the ups or downs of seasons and cycles. Talented freelancers will always be there to save the day on specific projects. 

Neither bots nor fractional hires alone will replace the variety of employment options we must have to thrive in today’s world of work. We need it all! Fractional talent acquisition is the latest great tool to help you succeed.

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