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Why Companies are Turning to Part-Time CEOs

Companies are increasingly turning to part-time CEOs as a solution to increasing workloads but limited budgets. The pandemic turbo-charged the move to flexible and part-time work, with more executive professionals searching for remote and part-time positions. These opportunities are ideal for executives looking to take the first steps up the CEO ladder. Part-time CEOs make industry-leading talent more accessible to start-ups and SMEs.


Companies are increasingly turning to part-time CEOs as a solution to increasing workloads but limited budgets. Thepandemic turbo-charged the move to flexible and part-time work, with moreexecutive professionals searching for remote and part-time positions. Theseopportunities are ideal for executives looking to take the first steps up theCEO ladder. Part-time CEOs make industry-leading talent more accessible tostart-ups and SMEs.

A part-time CEO position comes withouta long-term commitment. Companies can choose to transition the position to afull-time role as the workload increases and the company has the financialcapability to pay for a full-time C-suite role.

ExecCapital isone of the UK’s leading CEO recruitment agencies, specialising in part-time CEOrecruitment. The agency has seen an increase in demand for part-time CEOs ascompanies take advantage of the evolving role and the rise in flexible working.

What is a Part-Time CEO?

The only difference between a part-timeand full-time CEO is the number of hours they work. Both fulfil the same rolesand responsibilities. Start-ups and SMEs may choose to hire a part-time CEO asthey don’t have the workload or budget for a full-time position. Thesepart-time executives provide short-term leadership and can fill a company’sskills gap. Organisations typically turn to part-time CEOs when a project orchallenge arises that they need extra help with.

Recruiters will connect companies withhigh-quality executives who have the specialist knowledge and expertise thatthe company currently lacks. Hiring a part-time CEO is a win-win for start-upsand SMEs, giving them the insight of a CEO without the financial burden of afull-time position. A part-time CEO is an investment that will pay for itself.

You can consider a part-time CEO as a super temp’. They operate as consultants providing the same benefits as afull-time CEO. A company can choose to hire a part-time CEO on afee-for-service basis or an hourly rate. Many part-time CEOs work with two ormore companies at once. Hiring a fractional CEO is also more affordable as thecompany doesn’t have to pay for additional expenses, such as training andequipment.

Just because a company hires apart-time CEO, it doesn’t mean that they only do half the job. A fractional CEOis often the first C-suite appointment made by start-ups and SMEs. Theseexecutives develop the strategies, structures, and guidelines that support thecompany’s early growth.

Why Companies are Hiring Part-Time CEOs

Part-time CEOs are one of the easiestways for companies to build their leadership teams. The growing trend ofpart-time CEO recruitment is evident across every industry and is mostprominent among start-ups and SMEs. As executives are increasingly searchingfor more flexibility, hiring a part-time CEO role can bring more diversity tocompanies. Today’s CEOs are emerging from less traditional backgrounds,bringing a fresh perspective to companies.

Start-ups and SMEs adapt the role ofpart-time CEO to suit their current needs, transitioning the role as thecompany evolves. Hiring a fractional CEO offers scalability for mid-market organisations.They can move their CEO to a permanent, full-time contract as the need arises.

A company may turn to a part-time CEOwhen they’re experiencing a skills shortage or navigating an unexpected executiveexit. There’s no ‘right’ time for a company to recruit a part-time CEO,as it can happen at any stage in the company’s growth cycle. Companies willtypically choose to recruit when there’s a noticeable skills gap or theworkload is becoming too much for existing executives or the company’s founder.

You can think of a fractional CEOposition as ‘renting’ a CEO. Companies are turning to part-time CEOs totake advantage of the experience, skills, and insight of a CEO without making along-term or major financial commitment. Hiring a part-time CEO removesadditional costs, including relocation, training, and equipment.

Why Start-Ups and SMEs Turn toPart-Time CEOs

Start-ups and SMEs often struggle todecide when to hire new executives and talent. Most start-ups follow the legacyemployment model, leading them to recruit before the company becomes profitable.Therefore, these smaller companies typically appoint a part-time CEO to avoid negatively impacting the company’s profit margin.

A start-up will benefit more from apart-time CEO than other appointments. These fractional appointments givecompanies access to experts who can hit the ground running and come with theskills and experience to level up the organisation.

Fractional CEOs are the easiest way toget top talent into your industry without spending the resources on a full-timeexecutive. Start-ups and SMEs get a CEO’s full range of experience, skills, andnetwork without paying a full-time salary. It’s an investment in the company’sdevelopment and protects its bottom line.

Start-ups and SMEs are turning to part-time CEOs to tap into ‘big brain’ talent who would typically be outof their financial range. Exec Capital, and similar recruitment agencies, make industry-leadingtalent more accessible for start-ups and SMEs through fractional CEOopportunities.

Talent management is crucial for start-ups,who need to build relationships with clients and customers while establishingtheir mission and vision. Companies can recruit a part-time CEO as a short-termsolution while recruiting for a full-time role, while not losing out on productivity or efficiency.

Most start-ups and SMEs decide torecruit a part-time CEO to allow the founder to focus their time on otherprojects, moving beyond overseeing the day-to-day operations. These fractionalexecutives are a win-win for companies as an affordable investment into theirfuture.

Part-time CEOs give companies industryinsights, structure, and strategy as part of their day-to-day operations. Theseexecutives can positively impact every aspect of a start-up or SME, by offeringmentorship and guidance to founders, employees, and junior executives. Fractional CEOs will have previously worked with other companies in thatindustry, having experience navigating common challenges and problems thatcould otherwise stall growth for smaller companies.

Exec Capital is a specialist executive recruitment agency founded byindustry experts with decades of experience in part-time CEO recruitment. Explore thepotential that a part-time CEO could bring to your company by calling the ExecCapital team on 020 3287 2365 for a no-obligation consultation.



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