News & Articles

Why part-time expertise is often the correct course of action, while saving you money into the bargain

It is usually far better to hire top-tier talent on a part-time or interim basis, than some run-of-the-mill executive on a permanent, full-time contract.
18 February, 2020

It is usually far better to hire top-tier talent on a part-time or interim basis, than some run-of-the-mill executive on a permanent, full-time contract.

When it comes to hiring top talent for the boardroom, it’s certainly not cheap.

And as the business world becomes ever-more competitive, the more expensive it also becomes to hire ‘best in class.’

If you own a small or medium size business (SME), or if your company has limited funds available, then securing relevant cost-effective expertise can be difficult.

At times it becomes a conundrum or a puzzle that is difficult to solve. But don’t despair, as there are a number of ways to complete the circle or crack the code.

With regards to directors’ fees, taking on an executive who has a proven track record in your company’s line of business, can be extremely costly – especially if they sign up on a full-time basis. 

Running a business can be draining on finances at the best of times, so there is little point getting into a huge amount of debt by hiring a top of the range CEO or managing director.

Such an appointment might give the company short-term kudos among contemporary businesses and rivals, and even sprinkle a small amount of fear among competitors, but is it necessarily the best path to follow?

All business owners need to find the right balance between income and expenditure, so that the company can exist within its means. 

The aim of every company is to grow and progress, and this is often only achieved through investment. But being extravagant is certainly not the answer, particularly if your bucket full of cash is limited.

One such option is to think ‘part-time’, rather than ‘full-time,’ or even appoint a ‘star name’ on an interim basis.

Whatever your sector of business, you most likely have a budget to work with, so never turn your nose up at hiring a part-time executive.

For SMEs, this can be the answer to many of their problems. Far better to hire ‘the best in class’ for 12 hours a week or 40 hours a month, than a middle-ranking CEO on a full-time basis.

A few wise words of wisdom by the right person, will far outstrip an essay of mediocre sentences by a less-able performer. 

If you can’t afford the person you want on 35 hours a week, then try to secure a deal for 15. Remaining inside your budget is imperative for achieving long-term success.

So What Is The Salary Of Top Company Executives?

According to a recent survey, the average annual pay of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is just over £89k, along with an average bonus of almost £20k.

And that is only the average, with many CEOs being paid far more than this, some even reaching seven figures.

The one fact that clearly jumps out from this small item of data, is that the majority of SMEs are not in a position to appoint a top of the range executive – especially on a permanent, full-time basis.

But there may be an opportunity to hire one part-time, or possibly on an interim deal.

By doing so, it gives SMEs access to a high level of knowledge and experience, which might just give a company even the slightest advantage over their nearest rivals.

Taking on a high-flyer on a part-time contract has a number of benefits. These include having an agreement to increase or decrease the executive’s involvement, depending on the day-to-day, week-to-week or even month-to-month needs of the company at any given time.

Part-time execs can also be hired on a deal which allows business owners to review their performance every couple of months – or even on a shorter timeframe.

It is far easier to dismiss an underperforming director who is on a part-time or short-term deal, than an executive who signs-up for the duration.

SMEs may also have to accept that such a deal works both ways, thus allowing executives ‘to walk’ if they are unhappy with the conditions or constraints they are working under.

Another benefit to having a short-term, part-time, appointment is that decision-making is not usually as intense or long-winded.

If a small business owner needs someone urgently tomorrow, but only requires their expertise for a short period of time, then the process of hiring someone has to be completed quickly.

This means that firing an underperforming executive can also be carried out fairly swiftly.

However, if a business owner is seeking a full-time CEO or director on an indefinite contract, this assignment could take months to reach its conclusion.

The SME owner may even need to hire a head-hunting company to do research, providing even more headaches and expense. So outsourcing for part-time expertise clearly has its advantages.

If a company’s board faces a problem outside of their own field of knowledge, such as IT, then a quick appointment can be made by hiring an executive with expertise in this particular area.

So there are many occasions when ‘part-time’ beats ‘full-time’ hands down – and the reasons are not only to do with cost.