Fractional to Full Time Hiring
Scope and Time
Jan 25, 2024
"What's the best way to engage with your team in terms of working with a fractional person?"
Let's say you decided you want to try a fractional approach to a hire. Start there with the intent to eventually make the position full-time, if it's going well. How do you do that? What's the best way to engage with your team in terms of working with a fractional person? What sort of timeline should you put around the engagement, what's the scope, etc.
To start out, I would say timing. There's two components really to timing. One is how many hours per week. What we found makes sense is 10 to 20 hours. It's hard to get meaningful work done, we found, less than quarter time- less than 10 hours a week. I think you'll find that most folks you know who are interested genuinely in position at your company, they can find 10 hours in a week. Whether they find that on the weekend, whether they find that after hours, that should be quite doable. In some cases 20 hours is available you'd be surprised what you can squeeze out when you're interested in starting a new career position. 10 to 20 hours a week makes sense in terms of how much time you should be asking for. It's enough to be substantial and really accomplish something.
Then the question of “how long do you need to have this period be in order to to see real results?” There I would say 2 to 3 months really would be appropriate. 3 months for sure, two months may be a sufficient. A long enough time period where you can assign from a scope perspective. This shouldn't be a test project it should be real work. If you're thinking about a developer, it's enough time to engage them on real sprints. So the scope should be a real project. Think about it this way: Let's say you're engaging somebody half time for 3 months. That's one and a half months sort of full-time equivalent. That's enough time to accomplish something real.
"That's enough time to accomplish something real."
Thinking about that from that perspective depending on your Sprint cycle, that's three to six Sprints of full-time work. Someone can get something very substantial done in that time period, so it should be a real project. Even if it's quarter time then you're still talking about a couple of Sprints worth of work if this is Dev work we're talking about. Engaging them in that real way expectation of real deliverables, no tests.
In terms of communication with your team, getting them on your slack or your teams so that they are engaged in a real way. They should be part of the team so slack, teams, email, all the communication. You'll find that most employees that are willing to work in this context, which is basically everybody, can find time to make one or two meetings a week during the business day. So they could probably make some of your meetings, not all but some meetings that are during the business day even while they haven't fully engaged, having that construct of one to two- I'll even say one to three.
At fraction we typically call for two to three meetings a week that happen during the business day. So in terms of scope, a real project using your real communication channels that you use as a team internally, and having a couple meetings a week in order to assess progress and really form a bond with that person, that way you'll know pretty quickly whether or not the team as a whole likes the new potential employee, thinks they're terrible, or somewhere in between.
"You'll know pretty quickly whether or not the team as a whole likes the new potential employee."
So if you do this I think you're going to get a much better assessment of the potential full-time hire, and then you're also going to get your teams feedback because they will have interacted with the person. The key thing when you go to make that offer (to the extent that this is possible in your organization) is that bringing them across the finish line, now you have a case where a person is full-time, and they're fractional so they're making some money. So how do you bring them across?
"How do you make it worth their while to take the full-time position?"
How do you make it worth their while to take the full-time position? The answer lies on the equity side of the equation because equity options, whatever variable performance comp you can bring to the table. This is how you seal the deal because that's what's not available to the candidate in a fractional capacity. Secondly if they really have seen your company now, and buy into the vision and the potential growth then this is interesting to them. So that's how you close the deal.