How the Fractional Staffing Model Helps Businesses

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For growing businesses finding the right balance for staffing can be a constant challenge, especially for non-customer-facing roles. You know that strong back-of-the-house operations like IT, Marketing, Finance, and HR can accelerate the trajectory of your organization. But hiring experienced professionals in those roles can stretch your budget, and rarely do you need that level of expertise all the time.

That’s why the fractional staffing model is such an effective solution for growing businesses. It offers a range of benefits from cost savings to access to specialized expertise, without the commitment and investment of in-house hires.

What Is Fractional Staffing?

In fractional staffing, organizations hire experienced professionals to work on a part-time or project basis—for a fraction of the cost of hiring that caliber of employee. 

These workers, known as fractional employees, can bring extensive experience to work within teams of multiple clients. This approach allows businesses to access high-level talent and expertise without a long-term financial commitment.

What’s the Difference Between Fractional Staffing and Temp Staffing or Gig Work?

While fractional staffing, temporary staffing, and gig work all provide flexible workforce solutions, there are several differences. Temp staffing is usually short-term and often a stop-gap, with less emphasis on cultural fit and team integration. It is very task-oriented or project-based, and gig workers are often self-managed and paid per assignment they complete.

In contrast, fractional staffing focuses on long-term, strategic roles where the fractional employee becomes an integral part of the team and contributes to the company’s culture and goals. Fractional employees often hold positions that require specialized skills and experience, and they work closely with the existing team to foster collaboration. But, unlike in-house employees, they often have several clients and are part of a larger organization focused specifically on their area of expertise.

The Benefits of Fractional Hiring

Flexibility

Fractional hiring offers a level of flexibility that allows businesses to scale their bandwidth and capacity up or down based on their current needs and business objectives. Companies with an upcoming hiring initiative might bring on fractional sourcers and recruiters to build and implement a new talent pipeline strategy to find, interview, and hire staff into a new division or role. Once the hiring needs have been met, the fractional recruiting and sourcing services can be scaled down to meet the everyday needs of the organization.

Expertise

One of the most significant advantages of fractional staffing is access to expertise and experience that wouldn’t be feasible for a growing business to afford in-house. Fractional experts, whether in IT, Marketing, Finance, or HR, can provide significant value and be key differentiators for an organization. But they come with an expensive price tag, not only in salary but also in benefits, when brought into an organization.

One common instance of bringing on fractional experts is a second-stage business working with a fractional CFO to design a financial strategy and operations during critical growth phases. It allows the business to benefit from high-level financial insights that will set them up for the next phase of the organization without the commitment of bringing on an executive-level finance leader before they’re big enough to need one.

Savings

Fractional staffing can lead to substantial cost savings. Companies only pay for the added capacity that they actually need, avoiding the expenses of recruiting, onboarding, training, benefits, payroll taxes, office space, etc, that come with hiring in-house. For example, a small business might hire a fractional HR consultant to build out their HR infrastructure and train up an office manager, saving the organization significantly on the costs of bringing on an experienced HR manager and the potential missteps a new-to-HR professional might make in the role.

Where to Find Fractional Employees

Working with a company that specializes in fractional employees can supercharge your organization’s growth while staying rightsized with your workforce costs. There are many companies that focus on the type of fractional expertise you need whether that’s IT, Marketing, Finance, Operations, HR, or another specialized area. 

Common Types of Fractional Employees

Human Resources

Fractional HR employees are ideal for businesses that need strategic HR or people operations support but don’t need or aren’t ready to hire for the role. The areas of expertise that fractional HR employees can provide range across the entire employee lifecycle from managing hiring, dealing with employee relations issues, addressing compliance risk, and running payroll, to designing high-impact talent attraction and retention strategies.

Finance and Accounting

Fractional finance and accounting professionals bring high-level financial management and strategy to businesses on a part-time basis. They can handle everything from bookkeeping to financial planning so companies maintain their financial health and make informed decisions.

Information Technology and Cybersecurity

Using fractional IT experts can help with essential technology support and strategy, such as managing IT infrastructure and implementing new systems. Their expertise can ensure that your business stays current with technological advancements and maintains secure IT operations.

Marketing and Sales

Fractional marketing professionals help businesses develop and execute marketing strategies tailored to their goals. They bring creativity and strategic thinking to campaigns, driving brand awareness and customer engagement.

Fractional sales experts assist companies in developing sales strategies, training teams, and closing deals. They provide targeted expertise to boost sales performance and revenue growth.

Operations

Fractional operations professionals are ideal for businesses that need efficient and effective management of day-to-day operations without committing to a full-time hire. These experts can streamline processes, optimize supply chain management, improve logistics, and enhance overall operational efficiency.

They focus on identifying bottlenecks, implementing best practices, and ensuring that the business runs smoothly in order to allow companies to scale operations effectively and maintain high levels of productivity.

Who Uses the Fractional Model?

Organizations with New Initiatives

Companies with upcoming projects that require expertise they don’t already have in-house can benefit greatly from fractional work. By leveraging fractional employees, companies can increase their bandwidth and skillset for the specific periods they need. This approach can decrease team burnout while improving the results. 

By utilizing fractional employees that are integrated into the team, companies also avoid the common challenge with consultants who don’t take the time to understand the real-world impact of their recommendations on a business and its people.

Small and Second-Stage Businesses

Small and growing businesses often use the fractional staffing model to access high-level talent that would otherwise be unaffordable. The model enables them to outcompete similarly sized businesses and even go toe-to-toe with larger incumbents in their industry, without overleveraging themselves.

Companies in Growth or Transition

Businesses undergoing growth or transition phases, such as mergers or expansions, benefit from fractional staffing by bringing in experienced, often executive-level, professionals to manage change effectively. Fractional experts provide strategic guidance and support during critical periods.

Considering Fractional HR Staffing?

If your business is looking to optimize its talent strategies or right-size its people operations  fractional HR staffing might be the perfect solution. Contact HR Collaborative today to learn how our fractional staffing services can help you achieve your business goals and drive success.

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