Three Times to Hire a Fractional CHRO

Have you seen the job title, Fractional CHRO?  Or Fractional Chief People Officer?  Are you wondering what that means? It sounds like it’s only a part of an executive, but that doesn’t make sense, does it?  Well, in a general sense, that’s precisely what it is, but it’s much more than that.  

A Fractional CHRO is a part-time or contract Chief Human Resources Officer.  Wait, part time?  Contract? When would that make sense in an organization? We will go through three key reasons why you would hire a Fractional CHRO.

HR with no HR

A Fractional CHRO can come into an organization in many different ways.  First, it can be a great way to integrate HR into your organization’s strategy.  Maybe your business is a startup or is growing quickly, and you want to start laying down the foundation for your people strategy.  Fractional CHRO roles can also help organizations that are in transition and have an HR team in place, but need help building out a people strategy and the HR department.

I am the CEO of The Wellness Value and also a Fractional CHRO. Organizations have hired me when they’re in the startup phase or considered too small to have an HR department. As a Fractional CHRO, I help startups build the foundation for culture, people strategies, and benefits.  These startups understand the importance of setting the foundation early and being intentional. That’s where a Fractional CHRO can come in.


Cost Constraints or a Limited Budget

 Organizations that understand the importance of having an HR department but don’t yet have the budget to build one can invest in a fractional CHRO.  In this scenario, you get executive-level skills for a fraction of the cost.  Russell Lobsenz from Part Time CPO shared that he is usually brought in when costs are a factor.  “Early-stage companies often have financial constraints that make it difficult to bring on an experienced full-time leader. As a fractional CPO, I can often fill the void on a part-time basis (i.e., lower cost) and have an immediate impact. My clients can also scale up/scale down my involvement, as needed, without having to commit to hiring a FT employees (with benefits, equity, etc).”


Project-Based/Specialized Skill Set

You may have a project that requires a specific skill set different from what you have on your team or experience outside of what your team has experienced.  A fractional CHRO could bring that skill set into your organization without hiring a full-time person.  Russel Lobsenz states, “My background is in I/O Psychology. I have a decent amount of experience building and executing people programs, including talent acquisition, competency modeling, onboarding, performance mgmt, learning and development, and compensation.  Many of my clients hire me on a project basis to help build, implement, and support one or more of these programs.  Generally, the companies who engage me have no existing People/HR team (or a team of one), and they need an experienced leader to create (with the founder/CEO) a people strategy.”

Fractional Chief Human Resources Officers can be a short-term or a long-term solution for your organization.  The agreement can also ebb and flow, offering flexibility when needed. Fractional CHROs serve an essential purpose in the workplace and could be a more significant strategy for organizations of the future.

As for me, I believe that fractional roles will be the wave of future talent for most executive roles. We’re already in the Gig Economy, it only makes sense that we utilize fractional CHROs and other executive roles to achieve our strategic goals.