Fractional Board Members: Strategic Guidance for Your Executive Team

Fractional Board Members: Strategic Guidance for Your Executive Team

As a business owner or hiring manager, the decision to bring on a new employee is a significant one. Beyond simply deciding to hire, there are several factors to consider when determining whether to hire a full-time or fractional employee. Both types of hires have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one for your business requires careful consideration.


Pros of Fractional Hires

Cost Savings

One of the primary benefits of fractional hires is cost savings. Fractional hires are typically paid on an hourly or project basis, rather than a full-time salary. This means that you only pay for the work you need, without incurring the overhead costs of a full-time employee, such as benefits, vacation time, and sick leave.


Fractional hires offer greater flexibility in terms of workload and scheduling. You can hire a fractional employee to work on a specific project, for a set number of hours per week or month, or on an as-needed basis. This allows you to adjust your staffing levels to meet your business needs, without committing to a full-time employee.

Access to Specialized Expertise

By hiring a fractional employee, you can gain access to specialized expertise that may not be available in-house. For example, if you need a marketing expert for a specific project, you can hire a fractional marketing consultant to complete the work. This allows you to tap into specialized knowledge and experience, without the need to hire a full-time employee.

Cons of Fractional Hires

Lack of Commitment

One of the drawbacks of fractional hires is the lack of commitment. Because fractional hires are typically not full-time employees, they may not be as invested in your business or as committed to your long-term success. This can lead to a lack of loyalty and a higher turnover rate.

Limited Availability

Another potential drawback of fractional hires is limited availability. Because fractional employees may be working for multiple clients or on multiple projects, their availability may be limited. This can make it difficult to schedule work or get projects completed on time.

Communication Challenges

Finally, fractional hires may present communication challenges. Because they are not in the office on a regular basis, communication can be more difficult, and important details may be lost in translation. This can lead to miscommunication and errors in work.

Pros of Full-Time Hires

Commitment and Loyalty

One of the primary benefits of full-time hires is their commitment and loyalty. Because full-time employees are invested in your business, they are more likely to stay with your company for the long term, reducing turnover rates and increasing institutional knowledge.


Another benefit of full-time hires is their availability. Full-time employees are dedicated to your company, and are typically available during regular business hours. This makes it easier to schedule work and ensure that projects are completed on time.

Stronger Communication and Collaboration

Full-time employees are more likely to be in the office on a regular basis, which makes communication and collaboration easier. This can lead to stronger working relationships and better work outcomes.

Cons of Full-Time Hires

Higher Costs

One of the main drawbacks of full-time hires is their higher costs. In addition to salary, full-time employees typically receive benefits such as health insurance, vacation time, and sick leave. This can significantly increase the cost of hiring a full-time employee.

Limited Flexibility

Full-time employees offer less flexibility in terms of workload and scheduling. They are typically hired to work a set number of hours per week, and may not be available for short-term projects.

Hiring and Onboarding Process

Another potential downside to hiring full-time employees is the hiring and onboarding process. Bringing on a new full-time employee requires a significant investment of time and resources, including the cost of recruiting, interviewing, and training.


Hiring full-time employees can also lead to overcommitment. If business needs fluctuate, it may be difficult to justify the cost of a full-time employee when work is slow, leading to overstaffing during peak times and understaffing during slower periods.

Factors to Consider

When deciding between fractional and full-time hires, there are several factors to consider. Here are some key questions to ask yourself:

  • What is your budget for staffing?
  • What are your business needs and how do they fluctuate?
  • Do you need specialized expertise for a particular project?
  • How important is institutional knowledge to your business?
  • What is the communication and collaboration like within your team?

By answering these questions, you can better determine whether fractional or full-time hires are the right fit for your business.


In conclusion, there are advantages and disadvantages to both fractional and full-time hires. Fractional hires offer cost savings, flexibility, and access to specialized expertise, but may lack commitment, availability, and communication challenges. Full-time hires offer commitment, availability, and stronger communication and collaboration, but come with higher costs, limited flexibility, and a more involved hiring process.

Ultimately, the decision between fractional and full-time hires depends on your business needs and resources. By weighing the pros and cons of each, you can make an informed decision that best serves your business goals.

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