How Much Does a Fractional Executive Cost?

Fractional HR Leadership Can Be A CEO’s Secret Weapon For Cost-Savings
6 min read | by Tori Gersh
Money in the Jar

As a CEO, what’s one thing that’s always on your mind? You might be thinking about your clients or customers, right? Or maybe your team? And the one thing that always lingers in the back of your mind? Your budget. 

Well, if it’s not on your mind, your CFO is almost certainly regularly in your ear or in your executive meetings bringing up revenue, expenses, and how to maximize the bottom line. 

So when the topic of hiring for a human resources professional comes up, usually one of the first places you’ll start is asking “What is our budget for this role?” or “How much does an HR executive really cost?”

When it comes to hiring an HR executive, we know that the right HR leader plays a pivotal role in shaping organizational success. However, for many companies, hiring a full-time Chief HR Officer (CHRO) might not be the most practical solution because of the cost. 

The good news is, there’s an alternative solution to spending upward of half a million on a full compensation package for a CHRO that can give you the most bang for your buck and keep your CFO happy – and a happy CFO automatically doubles the value of the ROI, am I right?

Enter the world of fractional HR leaders – experienced professionals who offer their expertise on a part-time or project basis. In this blog post, we will explore the cost of hiring a fractional HR leader and how this flexible approach can be a game-changer for businesses and CEOs.

Strategic Investment with Flexible Pricing: How Much Does a Fractional CHRO Cost?

Unlocking the expertise of a seasoned HR or people leader doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. According to, starting base salaries for CHROs average $342,541 as of January 26, 2024.¹ As a CEO of a small to mid-sized business, you likely don’t have the budget to bring on a full-time HR executive. Fractional HR leaders offer flexible pricing structures, allowing your business to invest strategically. With hourly or project-based rates, you pay for precisely what you need, making it a cost-effective and tailored solution. How much you end up paying will vary greatly, as it all depends on your needs. 

Maximize Budgets, Minimize Overheads

Let’s face it – a full-time HR hire can be accompanied by a slew of associated costs, from benefits to office space. Embracing a fractional HR leader slashes these overhead expenses, ensuring your investment is solely focused on top-tier HR expertise. It’s about maximizing your budgets without compromising on quality. With more organizations operating fully remotely, hiring a remote fractional HR leader gives you a leg up when it comes to setting up your business to be a remote organization. Usually, they have experience with remote workforces and can help you decrease your overhead not just for the HR role, but for everyone at your company.

Tailored Services for Every Budget

Fractional HR services are not one-size-fits-all. Whether you're a startup in need of initial HR setup, a mid-sized company requiring ongoing support, or an enterprise seeking strategic guidance, fractional HR companies can customize their services to fit your unique budget constraints.

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Explore the Financial Benefits of Fractional HR
Learn how this approach maximizes your budget and provides top-tier HR expertise without the full-time expense.

Scalable Support for Growth

Your business is dynamic, and so should be your HR strategy. Fractional HR leaders provide scalable support, adapting to the ebb and flow of your HR needs. This scalability ensures that you’re investing where it matters most, whether during growth spurts or leaner periods.

Skip Recruitment Hassles and Costs

Recruitment for a full-time HR leader can be time-consuming and expensive. Fractional HR leaders eliminate these hassles, offering immediate access to top-tier talent without the lengthy recruitment process. It’s about getting the expertise you need, when you need it, without the recruitment headaches.

Unleash Productivity with Strategic Outsourcing

By outsourcing HR leadership to fractional experts, your internal teams can refocus on core business activities. This not only enhances overall productivity but also ensures that your resources are strategically allocated, contributing directly to your organization’s growth trajectory.

So What is the Cost of Hiring a Fractional HR Leader?

The cost of hiring a fractional HR leader can vary based on several factors, including the level of experience, the scope of services required, and the geographic location. Fractional HR leaders typically charge on an hourly or project basis.

Let’s explore some options you might come across when asking for a proposal. 

Hourly Rates

Hourly rates for fractional HR leaders can range from $75 to $1,500 or more, depending on the professional’s expertise, experience, and the complexity of the services provided. Junior or less experienced HR professionals may charge at the lower end of this range, while seasoned experts with specialized skills may command higher rates.

Project-based Fees

For specific HR projects, fractional HR leaders may propose a fixed project fee. This approach can be beneficial for both parties, providing clarity on costs and deliverables.

Retainer Agreements

Some businesses prefer to establish retainer agreements with fractional HR leaders, ensuring a set number of hours or availability per month at a predetermined rate. Retainers can provide cost predictability for ongoing HR support.

Consultation or Assessment Fees

Some fractional HR leaders may charge an initial consultation or assessment fee to understand the organization’s needs and propose a tailored plan of action. This fee is often credited toward the overall cost if the business decides to proceed with their services.

Additional Expenses

It’s essential to consider any additional expenses, such as travel costs (if applicable), software tools, or materials needed for specific projects. These costs should be outlined and agreed upon in the contractual arrangement.

Fractional HR leadership is not just a cost-effective solution; it’s a strategic investment in your business’ success. In a dynamic business environment, embracing the flexibility of fractional HR leadership may be the key to unlocking a wealth of HR expertise without breaking the bank.

If you’re considering when the right time to hire a fractional HR team member might be, check out this article or reach out to the Blend Me team. At Blend Me, our fractional HR leadership solutions allow companies to acquire expertise on-demand or on a interim basis at a fraction of the cost - our team uses a flat fee method to avoid unforeseen additional expenses. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you can learn more about our services on our website.

Originally Published by Tori Gersh on Thursday, April 11, 2024 | Updated on Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Fractional HR Leadership
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