One of the more significant effects of the pandemic on the business world was the mass rethinking of work-life balance that followed. For some, that meant carving out more free time, travel opportunities or work-from-home flexibility. For others, it meant answering a simple but hugely significant question: Should I continue working at all? Most of the attention around the topic has landed on rank-and-file workers, but they weren’t alone in pondering these thoughts. Many executives who had already spent years (and in some cases decades) serving in C-suite positions also sought change. On the surface, that might have seemed implausible: Companies typically have high expectations of the time and focus their leaders invest in their duties. But as employee empowerment has grown in recent years, business has begun adapting and developing new opportunities based on the shifting tides. In the same way that other workers have recently discovered more flexibility and fulfillment in contract work, many C-suiters are finding a new, gratifying professional path as fractional executives and through consulting engagements.
Why Fractional Executives Are on the Rise
As front-line workers have used their leverage to push for – and earn – more consideration from employers in recent years, C-suiters have gotten in on the act, too. More executives are negotiating nontraditional arrangements with employers, especially as companies are discovering the advantages of bringing on “fractional” leadership.
“This is a solution to a problem that a lot of small- to medium-sized, rapidly growing companies have, which is they need certain sets of skills in order to grow effectively,” Jesper Sørensen, an organizational behavior professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, recently told the Wall Street Journal. “But oftentimes they don’t have enough scale to get the kind of experience and expertise that they really want.”
So will the C-suite of tomorrow resemble the contingent workforce of today? To a certain extent, yes. Fractional executives can bring extensive experience and valued thought leadership to businesses that otherwise might not be able to afford a full-time exec with similar expertise. And because fractional executives essentially operate as contractors, they reap benefits by working on their own terms, sometimes for more than one client at a time, while continuing to build their executive resume in positions such as chief financial officer or chief marketing officer.
The downside for an executive working on a part-time or contingent basis? Although wages can still be lucrative, companies are paying only for an exec’s time – likely something in the range of the going rate, but at a percentage of a typical full-time C-suite salary. Additionally, compensation for fractional leaders (like so many contractors) likely doesn’t include health benefits. Bonuses, pensions, stock options and other components of the traditional executive compensation package may also be harder to come by for leaders in a fractional arrangement.
The PeopleCaddie Advantage
Executives who might be interested in increased flexibility in both their lifestyle and professional opportunities might be reluctant to give up their benefits, and may also view part-time employment as a downgrade of sorts. But PeopleCaddie helps turn both of these potential disadvantages into plusses for aspiring fractional leaders.
As a full-service staffing firm, enabled by an AI platform, PeopleCaddie recruiters and technology help match stellar companies that are open, and even eager, to explore fractional relationships with C-suite leaders. PeopleCaddie also offers its contractors health insurance benefits, which would provide a semi-retired exec both schedule flexibility and peace of mind while allowing another C-suiter to earn like a full-time exec but engage multiple companies and expand their opportunities. Nothing “fractional” about that.
If you’re an executive looking to remain in the workforce under more flexible circumstances, PeopleCaddie can help. Create an account today to start looking for opportunities.