5 Steps to Hiring Your Next Fractional HR Leader

Talent Acquisition

Your in-house HR team might not always have the bandwidth to address the growth plans you have for your company. Fortunately, working with a fractional HR leader allows you to keep your day-to-day people operations running smoothly while also preparing for your future workforce.

Fractional human resources is a method of providing the expertise of a dedicated HR professional—for a fraction of the time or expense it would take to hire a permanent, in-house HR expert. Leveraging fractional HR experts allows you to scale your people operations as you grow without overbuilding or overstretching your HR team.

When to Invest in a Fractional HR Leader

When Nearing a Compliance Milestone

The compliance requirements change significantly once your company hires more than 50 employees. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to any private-sector company with over 50 employees, covering 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave. 

That’s only one example—there are also factors for Affirmative Action Plans, Form 5500 for employee benefits, and numerous state laws to consider. Having a fractional HR expert supporting your business when you reach this milestone can make the transition easier because you’ll have an expert in your corner.

When Experiencing Systemic Talent Issues

Organization-wide talent issues can be challenging to address with your existing team alone. They also often warrant an external perspective—which is where a fractional human resources expert can make a difference.

A fractional HR leader can help you address deep-seated talent issues such as:

  • Struggling to attract and retain the most talented candidates
  • Losing your organization’s top performers
  • Experiencing increasing problems with employee relations
  • Declining employee productivity
  • Company culture shifting in the wrong direction

By providing an outside perspective, your fractional partner can help you take both short- and long-term steps to address these issues. These insights allow you to address immediate culture and engagement issues but also develop sustainable strategies for attracting and retaining top talent.

When Looking to Accelerate Organizational Growth

A fractional HR leader like a fractional chief human resources officer (CHRO) can help you implement a strategic plan to maximize your organizational growth for lasting results. They can focus on what will move the needle the most for your company and provide organizational development recommendations for the steps you need to take to reach those goals.

Effective fractional HR leaders are seasoned experts in guiding organizations through growing pains. They will help you establish goals to grow your company, they’ll also provide a timeline and steps that are realistic and geared toward sustainable growth.

When Training and Elevating Your Current HR Team

A fractional HR expert can help you elevate your existing human resources department and make it more streamlined and capable of addressing big-picture issues. They can train your HR team to look beyond daily people operations, address and eliminate issues such as bias during the hiring process, and take a more holistic approach to developing your team’s talents.

This allows your team to:

  • Take a more proactive approach to employee relations issues and  risk management
  • Implement more comprehensive development plans for all departments
  • Change how they onboard and train new hires for better retention
  • And much more

How to Hire a Fractional HR Leader

1. Connect with Your Stakeholders

First and foremost, it’s essential to connect with your company’s stakeholders and notify them of your needs—including leadership and members of your HR function. This allows them to be on the same page regarding your HR needs. 

It also allows them to potentially recognize that there are needs they haven’t been able to address while focusing on your company’s day-to-day operations.

2. Determine Areas of Strategic Need

Before you pick up the phone or start searching online for a fractional or managed HR support service, it’s important to assess your strategic needs. Your HR function and other function heads can help you identify possible issues.

Some common areas of strategic need for HR functions include:

  • Long-term objective setting
  • Succession and exit planning
  • Establishing and maintaining organizational core values
  • Upskilling and reskilling plans
  • Contingency planning and risk management
  • Addressing recruitment and turnover challenges

This is not an exhaustive list—every company has a unique set of strategic needs, shaped by their industry, history, leadership, and other factors. In discovering these areas of strategic focus, you might also learn which areas you need to prioritize. This can help you determine which type of specialty you should look for in a fractional HR expert.

3. Search for Fractional HR Services

This requires more than just a quick Google search and filling out a few forms. Your team should develop a potential shortlist for fractional HR service providers based on the company’s specialty and how they align with your organization’s needs and core values.

For example, some fractional HR organizations specialize in helping small businesses conduct thorough audits. Others might specialize in addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion needs at second-stage organizations.

Looking into the fractional HR service’s specialties can help you make the most of your partnership and ensure their services are right for your company.

4. Connect Your Fractional HR Leader with Your Team

Once you’ve connected with your new fractional HR service and begun working with one of their experts, you need to connect them with your team as soon as possible. Doing so helps them get to know your organization right away and helps them understand how your business operates.

In turn, they’re better able to integrate with your team and start addressing your organization’s greatest strategic needs sooner.

5. Treat Your Expert as Part of Your Organization

Even though they’re technically an outside resource for your organization, a high-impact fractional HR leader has a seat on your leadership team. This inclusion allows them to better understand the bigger picture of your organization.

In doing so, it’s easier for them to more effectively guide your organization toward its goals. This also allows your in-house HR specialists to work with them collectively, broadening the impact of the fractional HR leader’s work.

Ready to See If Fractional HR Is Right for You?

Connect with our fractional HR leaders today to see how we can help your organization go further and achieve healthy growth.

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