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  • Writer's pictureKirsten Paul

The rise of the fractional CxO

Fractional CxO blog header

The ability to flex to the market (and an organisation’s needs) is something that every business leader must hold within their professional toolbox.

The ebb and flow of business can mean no single year is the same from one to another. Take the last five years as a prime example (*shudder*).

Throughout these (either very long or very fast) years, we have seen new approaches and technologies become more prominent, built to suit the new ways we work and cope with the conditions thrown at us.

One of these has been the rise of the fractional CxO – or a senior individual brought into an organisation part-time to lead a business unit.

Whether it’s a CFO, COO or CCO, the approach is the same – an organisation benefits from the experience of the senior leader for a fraction of their time (and budget).

This could be particularly beneficial within tech scaleups or those organisations that don’t have the budget to employ someone full-time.

Here, we look at the other benefits of a fractional leader.


Maximise your budget

Let’s not beat around the bush – with experience comes expense. And for senior leaders with decades of experience, it can be costly to hire them full-time (let’s not even begin to think about what that might also mean in recruiter fees).

The rise of the fractional leader benefits organisations as they can tap into this wealth of experience for a fraction of the cost.

While recruiting a fractional leader shouldn’t be considered a cheap option, it is a hire that could save an organisation a lot of money.

Irrespective of where you are on your growth journey, keeping an eye on the bottom line is necessary – particularly in an unpredictable market. As such, it can make sense to hire a couple of fractional experts part-time for what you might pay for one person full-time.


Scalable resource

The fractional nature of the hire also allows you to scale up or down the time you have with your fractional leader – helping to better meet the needs of the business depending on where it is on its growth journey.

This can support a fledgling business that needs to tap into external expertise at a level that they require in that moment.


A true partner – so your secret is safe

As your chosen fractional leader has been recruited to be a part of your company and not kept at arms-length, from an external perspective, customers, partners and competitors will assume that you have hired a full-time CxO or senior leader rather than a part-time employee or temporary consultant.

At a time when appearances are still everything, this will undoubtedly ensure you have someone who will support your business and promote your brand and its values. For startups or scale-ups, it will also demonstrate the strength and growth of the business to an external audience. So, unless someone says that individual has been hired on a fractional basis - no one will know.


Benefits to the exec

While the benefits to an organisation are broad, a fractional role can also be positive for the person in the role. Not only can they take on multiple fractional roles, but they can also cover a spread of sectors.

They can have a laser focus on their areas of strength and play these to the benefit of an organisation that needs them.

As they are not a consultant, it also gives them a feeling of belonging to a team rather than being out on their own.


Have you hired any fractional leaders already, or is this something you feel would benefit your organisation?

If so, drop the brass neck team a line so we can chat about how we can support you in a fractional comms position for your company.

Hit us up at or visit the website


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