How To Recruit A Fractional CXO On Linkedin Who's Not In The Market

The recruitment market has changed drastically in the past years, especially with the rise of AI, remote working, and market turbulences. Employees from all levels, industries, and positions need to adapt… and do so with haste. Even those working for industry giants such as Google, Facebook, or Apple aren’t safe from layoffs and disruptions. 

To combat this process, employees started to pivot their mindset from “I have a single employer so I’m safe” to “I need to ensure my skills stay relevant so I can be of service.” This approach led to one of the biggest rises of gig workers in the modern workplace. Gig workers make up 36% of the entire U.S. labor force and the number is still rising.

This is the perfect opportunity for startups to explore the gig talent pool and find amazing talent at affordable rates. And in this article, we’ll explain how to do so. 

How C-level recruitment functions

You just received one of your finding rounds and now, it’s time to find the talent that will make that plan a reality. So what do you do?

Traditionally, that would mean setting up job ads on different boards and maybe even hiring an executive search agency. These agencies would take months to find talent that *could* be a good fit. On top of that, they’re paid on a contingency model. That means that they get paid once you hire talent through them and they take a large cut for that; usually an additional 30% of the person’s first-year salary. 

So on top of paying the market rate for a C-level professional, which would be in the range of  $235,000 to $433,000, you would also have to pay an additional $70,000 to $135,000 to the agency that found you the talent. 

As a startup, these are impossibly high prices that would leave you dry for any other operation in your company. 

The solution to this expensive problem? Fractional hiring model. 

What Are Fractional CXOs?

A fractional CVO (Chief Experience Officer) is an experienced executive who works for a company on a part-time or contract basis for a specific period and provides strategic guidance. 

These executives have valuable business experience and can be the difference between the startup succeeding or going under. 

The usual roles that these executives fill as fractional executives are: 

  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Chief Product Officer, 
  • Chief Strategy Officer, 
  • Chief Financial Officer.

Most of the fractionals that you would hire would cover one (or multiple) of these roles for a specific time period, usually until the end of the project or until they set up the right systems in place. 

Why is fractional hiring different?

A startup that wants to find the right person to lead a department and provide strategic inputs needs to explore the fractional hiring model. Here are five benefits why this model is far superior to the traditional model for a startup: 

Benefits of fractional hiring for startups 

  • It’s not (super) expensive. Traditional hiring of C-level executives would cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, hiring a fractional executive can be as affordable as $5,000/month. The exact rate depends on the industry, the experience of the executive, and the project itself, but it’s a far more affordable option than having a full-time executive on the payroll along with all the benefits. 
  • Time-to-fill is fast. Hiring an executive for a full-time role would take you six to twelve months. Most startups don’t have that much at their disposal. The good news is that you don’t need to wait endless months to fill that role. Today, fractional executives can step up into the role fast and provide the much-needed stability and experience to the startup.
  • There’s a big supply. The rise of gig workers made the supply of fractional executives high in the market. So it’s easier to find the right match to fill a fractional role than it is to fill a full-time role. When you’re talent planning for your organization, keep in mind that fractional executives can fill many roles that would traditionally be reserved for full-time employees. 
  • No full-time roles. Hiring for a full-time role takes a lot of time, is expensive, and has specific contractual obligations. With a fractional executive, you avoid all of that hassle. With only a fraction of the cost, you get an executive that solves your problems and they do so quickly. 
  • It’s timeline-based. A fractional executive works for you until you finish the project. They’re not employed at your company indefinitely. Once the project is finished, you can assess the effectiveness of the fractional executive and see how well they did on the project. This will help you determine if you’ll work with the person again in the future. Also, considering how fast the market moves these days, recruitment determined on a shorter timeline might be highly beneficial for you. 

How to get the most out of your money: finding qualified CXOs

Understanding why you should work with a qualified fractional executive is one thing, but finding one who perfectly matches that role is a whole different thing. Even though the market today provides plenty of supply for this kind of talent, you would want to follow the next four strategies to ensure that you don’t miss-hire a candidate. 

4 strategies that will help you find the perfect match

  • Use the “fishing ponds.” If you’re looking to find a fractional finance executive, then go to places where those finance executives would be (fishing ponds). Look for specific LinkedIn groups, Reddit threads, or finance-focused networking groups. 
  • Approach the passive candidate market. Passive candidates are those who are employed in a job and are not actively looking to switch it. According to the Achievers Workforce Institute 2023 Engagement and Retention Report, passive candidates comprise 39% of the talent pool. Approaching these people might be the difference between settling for a candidate and finding that elusive perfect match for the role. 
  • Tap into LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social media network for businesses and professionals. This is one of the best places where you would go to find fractional executives. If you type in their search box “fractional executive” and click the filter “People,” you will get back about 2,180,000 results. With LinkedIn, you can find fractional executives via the search function or you can also start following executives who share their insights on the network. This way, you can immediately see if they’re knowledgeable and have the necessary experience to solve your problem. 
  • Use brand ambassadors. Look at the people in your startup. There’s a high chance that they know someone who would be a perfect match for the fractional executive role in your company. So create incentives for your employees to provide you with references and word-of-mouth recommendations. Since they’re already working in your company, they know the culture and the workload so they know who would fit right in from their circle. Also, since they still work in the company, they probably like it a lot and they would gladly share this opportunity with their network.

Finding a great fractional executive is easier than ever

Finding a great C-level executive doesn’t have to cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars today. If you hire these executives, you would do so for only a fraction of that price. And with the supply of C-level executives working as fractional leaders today, it’s easier than ever. 

If you need help with sourcing a great fractional CXO, you should book a demo with us and we’ll guide you through the process.