The Benefits of Hiring a Fractional HR Leader

Hiring a full-time Chief Human Resources Officer or Chief People Officer may not be a commitment you can make – or need to make – at this point.
6 min read | by Jennifer Cameron
A group brainstorming at a board

For small businesses and startups in particular, every dollar counts. Hiring a full-time Chief Human Resources Officer or Chief People Officer may not be a commitment you can make – or need to make – at this point.

You’ve probably considered that there’s a cost savings associated with hiring fractional HR leadership. However, hiring a fractional HR leader is an option that provides many benefits for your company beyond that, including flexibility and the ability to tap into the specialized expertise your company needs at different stages of growth.

Fractional HR Provides Cost Savings

We’ll start with the obvious. Total executive compensation packages are a large financial commitment. With a fractional HR solution, you get the expertise without the overhead. According to our research at Blend Me, it can cost up to 130% more to hire a full-time HR leader than a consultant with the same expertise. 

If you run a small business and DO hire an HR leader as a team of one, that employee would need to be a jack of all trades who handles both high-level, strategic work and day-to-day administrative tasks. This means you’re paying an executive-level salary no matter the type of work you need them to perform. 

If you can decouple the tasks and hire a fractional HR leader to focus on value-added work and an additional, lower-level consultant or employee for other assignments, you’ll pay accordingly and find obvious cost savings. 

For small companies, there’s also a financial risk in NOT having HR expertise when you need it. You might have the knowledge to run a business, but it’s hard to know the ins and outs of every single aspect of a business as you grow. 

Employment regulations are complicated and frequently change. You don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of a lawsuit by making a people operations misstep. It’s much less costly to have the compliance support you need from the start rather than pay an expensive settlement.

Fractional HR Gives You Flexibility

Fractional HR solutions offer your company the opportunity to scale up or scale down according to your changing needs. 

It gives you flexibility on duration and scope. You can bring in a fractional HR consultant to set up your organizational structure and plan benefits and compensation as your company is in its early stages, and then scale back when that effort slows. 

Perhaps you want to bring on fractional support for seasonal needs or special projects. This model allows for that flexibility.

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Fractional HR Lets You ‘Try Before You Buy’

It’s always a risk when you make a full-time hire that the person isn’t a fit for your organization. Bringing in a fractional HR leader gives you the opportunity to test out leaders without strings attached. 

Utilizing a variety of fractional HR consultants over time will give you insight into the kind of leader who works best with your organization. You’ll learn about what competencies and skills best support your company’s needs and, with any luck, have a roster of great candidates for a full-time executive if that is a role you need as your company grows.

Fractional HR Offers Specialized Expertise

Bringing in fractional HR leadership to your organization can provide you deep expertise that meets the needs of your organization at a given time. Maybe as your company starts to expand and needs to bring on more employees, you need help setting up a talent acquisition function. You can find a consultant skilled in building out the systems and processes that will enable you to ramp up hiring quickly.

Or you might be expanding your business to a new part of the globe. You’ll need someone who can guide you in compliance with local labor laws, as well as establishing hiring and recruiting operations abroad.

Do you need investigatory help in dealing with potential legal issues? A knowledgeable resource for establishing an internal communications function? A consultant who can establish a strong DEI framework at your organization? Someone to build out your ESG strategy?

There are fractional HR leaders with diverse experiences and areas of expertise who can provide the help you need when you need it.

Fractional HR Allows You Access to a Larger, More Diverse Talent Pool

If you are hiring a full-time HR executive, that person would need to work within the parameters your organization sets for all other permanent employees – working 40 hours, perhaps within a geographical region if your employees work on-site. 

With fractional leaders, you have more freedom to hire consultants from a larger geographical area and a more diverse pool of talent. This provides a wider range of experience and expertise, and more diversity of thought. The result for you? Stronger candidates, more chance of finding someone with that specialized expertise that your company needs. 

Fractional HR Brings an Outside Perspective

A fractional HR leader who comes into your organization on a limited basis does not have the same perspective as the founders or current executive team. They aren’t attached to the old way of doing things – a frequent issue that companies need to overcome to effect change. They won’t have baggage or allegiances from years of service at the company. And ideally, they won’t get caught up in internal company politics.

Fractional HR managers have likely worked in a variety of settings – different size organizations, different industries. That means they bring their past experience and fresh, new ideas that haven’t been considered before. They can be objective about approaches to problem solving. And because they aren’t permanent employees, they likely feel more confident in proposing changes that are difficult but the right direction for the company. 

Working with Fractional HR Leadership at Blend Me

At Blend Me, we have decades of people operations experience to provide fractional HR support for your company. Not only will you have the expertise of a reputable professional executive and services tailored to your needs, you’ll have access to the full Blend Me team of creatives, data scientists, and policy writers. That’s the kind of support that sets us apart.

Reach out, and let’s talk about how we can help your organization grow.

Originally Published by Jennifer Cameron on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 | Updated on Wednesday, April 3, 2024

We would like to thank Brett Perceval for her contributions to this article. 

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