Brands and ad agencies are hiring more fractional executives beyond chief marketers—a role that’s recently been high in demand—to fill in for full-time positions they’ve cut amid the slowing economy, including strategy heads, creative leads and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officers.
“It’s not just CMOs anymore,” said Tony Stanol, president of industry recruiting firm Global Recruiters of Sarasota. “They come from strategy, business development, production and even talent. A quick search of my own database resulted in 64 individuals with the word ‘fractional’ in my notes or their resumes—either been there or want that.”
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Stanol added he was skeptical of the term “fractional,” which at first was being interchanged with “consultant,” but it does seem an increasing number of executives are in fact working in a fractional capacity versus as an external partner. Companies hire fractional executives on a part-time basis—anywhere from six months to three years—to fill gaps in their leadership. These executives typically juggle a few roles at once.
“Consultant is a vendor from a separate entity, but a fractional executive is an extension of an internal team, responsible for outcomes and has a hand in the operations,” Stanol explained.