Fractional hiring is often confused with outsourcing, but while both help fill team needs without hiring a full-time employee, they offer very different strategies. Fractional hiring is typically used when referring to executive-level positions. Outsourcing, on the other hand, is the term used to refer to staff-level positions. In either case, the part-time employee is hired to fill a specific role or function; they are engaged to integrate with your team and act as a dedicated resource for a set number of hours per week or on a per-project basis.

Outsourcing is especially valuable for companies that want to grow while still strategically managing their overall expenses. If you engage a firm to help you fill the fractional role within your organization, they will be responsible for any transition costs or training incurred to bring a new hire up to speed. This alleviates any longevity concerns as the firm you engage functions as your long-term solution and partner.

Fractional executives are a low-risk, low-cost alternative for expanding your executive team. With a fractional executive, you can bring in the experience of a leader who has already succeeded by growing a business from where your company is today, to one that matches where you want to go. Their hindsight can become your foresight, allowing you to avoid the typical pitfalls along the way.

A great example of needing to have the right “team” is with accounting and finance. Segregation of duties and internal controls are key ingredients to an efficient team with minimal errors. Most fraud occurs in the accounting department. Human error is also more prevalent when one person does everything and has no oversight, checks, and balances, or internal controls. Because having a full financial and accounting team on a full-time basis can be too costly for many businesses, fractional hiring can alleviate this strain and minimize costly accounting mistakes.

Whether you hire a fractional CFO, CMO, CTO, CPO, or CIO, they will provide expert advice, manage various business initiatives, evaluate current business performance, improve operational efficiency, mentor staff-level employees, and create road maps for future opportunities.

About Your Columnist

Jennifer Barnes is the CEO of Optima Office, Inc, a firm that provides Fractional CFOs, COOs, and Controllers. The company also has an entire team of accounting and HR professionals who work as a part of your team on a part-time basis.

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