Fractional work – hiring a part-time specialist to help grow your business

As we head towards the middle of 2024, high interest rates and inflationary pressures have made it harder than usual for Kiwi businesses to thrive.

Time to read: 4 mins

At the same time, many businesses still see an opportunity to grow but may be reluctant to spend money on hiring a new person (especially at a senior/executive level) who could play a key role in unlocking that growth opportunity.

How can businesses hire for growth but limit costs, in short, have your cake and eat it too?

One answer is fractional work. It’s a little different to secondment, in that fractional work relates to highly skilled experts (think CEOs, accountants or HR managers) who spend a fraction of their time working for a business or multiple businesses each week. You could think of it as having a high-level resource on tap!  

Fractional work is a growing trend and an excellent means of sourcing a seasoned professional (on a part-time or project basis) to lead tasks, people or projects without the price tag of hiring a fulltime employee in that capacity.

This person could be part of your team one or two days a week driving critical and focused initiatives. A good example would be an HR professional to help attract, retain and develop the best talent; implement new technology to improve your payroll and leave systems; and provide strategic advice on how to lift the capability and performance of staff.

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, the traditional model of fulltime employment is undergoing a transformation. As businesses seek greater agility, efficiency and cost-effectiveness, many are turning to fractional work arrangements. Fractional work offers a host of benefits for those looking to thrive in a competitive but financially cautious environment.

What are the primary benefits of fractional work to your business?

Access to specialised expertise that will help with growth

One of the most significant advantages of fractional work is the ability to access specialised expertise without the overhead of hiring fulltime employees.

Cost effectiveness

By hiring fractional workers, businesses can reduce costs associated with recruitment, salaries, benefits and office space. Instead of committing to long-term contracts and overhead expenses, businesses pay for services rendered, optimising budgets and improving financial efficiency.

Flexibility and scalability

In a dynamic business environment, flexibility is key to success. Fractional work offers the ability to scale your workforce quickly and adapt to changing demands without the constraints of traditional employment models. Whether it's a short-term project, seasonal fluctuations or unexpected growth opportunities, businesses can leverage fractional workers to meet evolving needs while maintaining operational agility.

Another valuable time to utilise fractional work is between team members where an appointment hasn’t been secured before the outgoing incumbent departs. It gives a safe set of hands to fill the role or lead the team on a temporary basis.   

Reducing risk

Employing fulltime staff carries inherent risks and liabilities for businesses, including legal obligations, employee benefits and potential HR issues. Fractional work mitigates these risks by providing a flexible workforce arrangement that minimises administrative burdens. Businesses can engage fractional workers on a project-by-project basis, reducing exposure to legal and financial liabilities associated with traditional employment.

Focus on core competencies

Outsourcing a particular function of your business allows you to focus on core competencies and strategic priorities. Instead of diverting valuable resources and attention to tasks outside your expertise, companies can delegate specialised functions to professionals who excel in those areas.

Fractional work options on offer

Our Hawke's Bay Human Resources consulting team regularly provides fractional work to clients, ranging from playing a regular role as the HR/P&C Manager, to leading critical people-focused projects and/or change across your organisation.

The assigned consultant basically becomes your staff member for the period required, sitting with your teams onsite, attending relevant staff meetings, and engaging with clients and customers as and where required.

The time period may vary. For example, some clients prefer one day per week on an ongoing basis, whereas others might be shorter contracts with more hours.


By embracing fractional work arrangements, businesses and organisations can unlock new opportunities for growth, efficiency and success in the modern marketplace without the risk, added costs and inflexibility of hiring a contractor or part-time employee.

If you are interested in finding out how this might work for you, please get in touch with Hawke’s Bay HR director Andrea Stevenson.

DISCLAIMER No liability is assumed by Baker Tilly Staples Rodway for any losses suffered by any person relying directly or indirectly upon any article within this website. It is recommended that you consult your advisor before acting on this information.

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