What is Fractional Human Resources (HR) and why would I want it? 

You’ve heard of and maybe even hired Fractional CFOs. In today’s post-Covid economic climate, you can hire just about any position on your team fractionally rather than investing in a full-time hire. Start-up and scale-up organizations have often used fractional HR or a PEO model before reaching 100 employees to manage their needs on the HR side of the house.  

A traditional PEO model, however, generally only covers the true basics of HR – Payroll, Benefits, and Compliance. Today’s employees expect much more from their Human Resources functions – in fact, they don’t even want you to call it HR. Instead, today’s HR functions and consultants are often opting for People or Talent-centered names which take the ‘asset’ focus out of the conversation. Team members are the lifeblood of a company, not assets or resources. Talent is what moves a company forward and cares for an organization’s culture, customers, products, and bottom line. Today’s Talent teams are focused on employee engagement, performance coaching, career paths, learning & development, DEIB solutions (with an emphasis on B for ‘belonging’), talent recruitment, onboarding, Total Rewards like compensation and benefits, social impact, and, oh yeah, Payroll, Benefits, and Compliance too!  

The general rule of thumb for HR teams has been to hire one full-time hire for every 100 employees. Where does that leave teams of 20, 70, or 160 employees? Often it leaves them underserved meaning that leaders need to pick up extra work and serve as HR teammates in addition to leading their functions and driving the day to day needs, they were hired to focus on. Fractional HR Consultants allow teams to scale up at the right pace and ensure that employee strategies are well aligned with the company’s overall strategic vision and growth plans.  

Before you decide, review these 5 reasons why many companies are opting for fractional HR over full-time hires or supplementing their existing team with fractional resources.  

**Cost Savings**

This is often the most compelling reason. By hiring a fractional HR resource, you only pay for the time and services you need. This eliminates the costs associated with full-time salaries, benefits, training, and other overhead expenses. Why pay for a full-time position when you only need 20 hours of work a week? Fractional resources can work on fixed monthly retainers, hourly monthly costs, or project costs for a body of work.  

**Expertise on Demand** 

Fractional HR professionals often have experience across various industries, organizational structures, and company sizes. This diversity of experience can bring a wealth of ideas and creative solutions to your HR table. Additionally, many fractional HR Consultants have a team of people working with them to give you faster results by relying on the right resource for the right project. Similar to a marketing agency, a team of fractional HR professionals has expertise across multiple disciplines within HR. Win-Win: Benefits of multiple experiences and skillsets without the full-time cost of an employee who may have a narrower set of experiences.   


Here’s a fun stat for you: According to a study by Intuit, it’s predicted that by 2025, more than 40% of American workers will be independent contractors! Additional sources are predicting we’ll reach more than 50% of workers serving independently by 2030. The gig economy is booming (Uber lately?)! Companies appreciate the flexibility of ramping up or dialing back based on their needs without the challenges of hiring and releasing full-time employees. 


Short-term projects, special initiatives, or even seasonal changes can be handled swiftly without the need to train or onboard a full-time resource. A fractional HR resource can jump in, get the job done, and move on. This works equally well alongside an existing team when surge needs arise such as leaves of absence, seasonal projects like open enrollment, a spike in turnover resulting in heavier than normal hiring needs, or those projects that always seem to get put off until next quarter. Fractional Consultants are not JUST replacements for full-time staff. They are also utility players to expand your team skills and capacity quickly when needed.  

No matter the core reason a company might be considering fractional support, it’s worth looking from a business perspective to determine the best solution based on your needs, size, strategic talent plans, and budget.  

Recent Posts