Companies want to hire C-level executives to help them grow. However, with rapidly changing needs and an unpredictable environment, many companies may not be able to budget for a full-time C-level executive.
Fast-paced organizations or companies in transition can hire an experienced leader part-time to move a company forward. Hiring fractional executives helps corporations mitigate costs and evaluate new potential leaders.
A fractional executive works in a fractional capacity, helping small and large companies to offload the burden of having a c-level executive in-house full-time.
The C-level acts as the chief executives in a company, driving their organizations to grow and leading operational changes to remain competitive. They make up an organization’s leadership suite in several different roles representing expertise. Most of us know the typical C-level executive positions available such as:
Today, a wide range of C-level titles spin off these traditional acronyms. With so many variations for the chief executive label available, CXO is now a known term with the “X” representing the collective term for C-level or C-suite executive. Sometimes roles overlap, and it’s not uncommon for executives to wear multiple hats.
For example, an IT executive could take on the part of a CIO or CTO, or both. CIOs typically oversee IT departments and make strategic decisions about an organization’s hardware and software associated with networking systems, work staff, and customer service needs. CTOs typically focus more on the innovation aspects of the business. They oversee a business’s existing and new technology needs to develop strategic products and services. Their goal is to help grow business while keeping an eye on maintaining and optimizing technology infrastructure.
But what happens when a company doesn’t quite have the budget or resources for either role? One solution is to hire fractional C-level executives, such as a fractional CTO. It’s not out of reach for a highly experienced C-level IT executive to take on a part-time role as a fractional executive to help an organization grow and optimize costs.
Executives have a lot to gain from fractional roles. While fractional executives provide companies with the opportunity to save money and optimize resources, fractional work is an opportunity to make significant impacts within organizations, maintain a variety of exciting experiences, create flexibility in their work-life, and make more money. The fractional leadership model can benefit C-level executives and companies alike. Some of the benefits include:
A fractional executive have similar but scaled-down sets of responsibilities compared to their full-time counterparts. Fractional executives generally have at least a bachelor’s degree, and many, if not most, have master’s degrees.
If you’re interested in becoming a fractional executive, you must show leadership experience in managing groups of people to implement change. It’s also necessary to offer the ability to scale resources, harness innovation, and effectively manage relationships with key stakeholders. In addition to a successful track record, the following skills can help you stand out from the crowd:
If you feel like you have the right skills, experience, and credentials to become a fractional executive, then it’s a worthy option to explore, but fractional executive work isn’t for everyone.
If you’re considering a fractional executive role and want to leverage your extensive experience to create greater flexibility and autonomy in your career, asking yourself the following questions can help determine whether fractional executive work is the right path.
While these are important questions to consider when assessing the viability of pursuing fractional executive work, don’t allow yourself to be dissuaded if you find that you don’t possess all the skills or traits to do the work. The need and options for fractional executives are growing, and taking on small pilot projects is another way you can explore whether or not fractional work is the path for you.
However, suppose you’re an experienced C-level executive with a proven successful track record and like variety in your career. If you want to make an impact, earn more money, and have the freedom to structure your schedule, then becoming a fractional executive is likely an excellent choice.