The Difference Between Employees, Contractors,
& Fractional Consultants

The way people work has changed drastically.

Resources - Fractional project staffing

Adapting to an Ever-Changing Workplace

By the end of 2022, the United States had 70 million gig workers. It’s no surprise that due to the COVID pandemic and multiple recent layoffs, so many in the American workforce have chosen to engage in the gig economy. 

The workforce is more diverse than ever.  

You have options when it comes to supplementing your existing team and leveling up your business. When you are considering expanding your team, it can be difficult to distinguish between a fractional consultant and a freelancer.  

As you are determining the best path forward for your business, we want to provide an overview of how fractional consultants differ from full-time employees and contractors.  

How Fractional Consultants Differ From Full-Time Employees:

While full-time employees devote their full time and attention to your organization, they also fulfill a broader range of responsibilities. Yes, they should have a 30,000-foot view of where the business is heading, but, depending on their experience and role, they may not have the ability or bandwidth to provide the air support your business needs. 

Fractional consultants have years of experience, and they have typically served a variety of organizations. Because of this, they have the ability to develop dynamic strategies and execute them accordingly. While they will dedicate a portion of their time to your business, they do not serve in a full-time role. However, their expertise ensures that every minute they spend working on your business is spent effectively.  

When you secure the help of a fractional consultant, you do not have to pay for the underlying costs of a full-time employee. You pay them their rate, but do not need to cover their health insurance, retirement, or business expenses.  

For your business to function optimally, you must have full-time employees and a dedicated team. If you need high-level assistance, but cannot employ a full-time C-level executive, a fractional advisor may be exactly what you need.    

How Fractional Consultants Differ From Contractors/Freelancers:

Although fractional consultants and contractors have similarities, such as providing services for your specific needs and having more control over their work/life balance, there are some key distinctions between them. 

Contractors often work on a project-by-project basis. They may have years of experience, but they usually agree to accomplish specific tasks or operate within set parameters. Unlike contractors, fractional consultants do not generally work on a project-by-project basis. They usually dedicate a portion of their time to your small business.  

For example, fractional consultants may set aside specific days of the week to come into the office and work alongside your team. Furthermore, because they typically fulfill an executive-level role (and possess executive-level experience), they will strategize and take action in light of your company culture and long-term business goals, instead of merely focusing on a specific project.  

It may be that you only need a singular project completed, such as a website, or require only a few recurring specialized tasks to be completed every month, such as podcast production or social media design. There are many impressive contractors and freelancers who may suit your needs. However, bear in mind that the task of filtering through the thousands of contractors is time-consuming and you risk enlisting the help of someone who may not be a good fit. 

Closing Thoughts

Regardless of where you are on your business journey, you can acquire the help you need to grow your business and benefit your team. 

It may be that you need to hire more full-time employees to join your mission. Or, you may need to secure a contractor to complete a highly specialized project so you can grow your business. Alternatively, you may need the help of a fractional consultant who can understand your vision and execute a robust strategy that can advance your organization.  

No matter what you need, our Leaders’ Community can support you. When you join, you can interact with other high-level leaders through our Discord, expand your network at our in-person events, and get connected with the top 1% of fractional advisors.