Fractional Executive 

  • Reports to the CEO.
  • Responsible for designing,  implementing, and leading your team, tools, and strategy.
  • Part-time only.
  • Has other clients.
  • Work is Self-Directed.
  • Usually 10-20 hours a week.
  • Can be short or long-term.
  • Can transition to a smaller advisory role over time.
  • Paid on retainer, based on number of days a month.
  • Can be through payroll or as a business expense. Should always be a business entity. 
  • No Labor Law Risk.


  • Reports to an Executive Leader or CEO Responsible for project work or strategic assessments.
  • Not expected to work on implementation, delivery, or lead team
  • Work can be self-directed or directed by the company.
  • Often working with one client at a time.
  • Often part of an agency solution with contractors.
  • Hired most commonly for a specific task or project
  • Moves on, or hands off to a contractor team. Paid by the project as a business expense.
  • Can be a business entity, but sometimes times is not. 
  • Some risk of Labor Law rules.


  • Reports to a Manager or Executive.
  • Overseeing specific projects.
  • Not expected to lead strategy or team.
  • Full-time, usually for a fixed period.
  • Work is usually directed by the Manager.
  • Paid hourly, with overtime.
  • Sometimes through an agency.
  • Paid as a business expense.
  • Can be an entity.
  • Can be a W2 employee via an agency.
  • Labor Law Risk.



Reports to a manager.

Hired for a specific task or campaign.

Usually has a specific skill set.

Works as needed and often full-time.

All work is specifically directed by the manager.

Paid hourly, with overtime.

Usually a self-employed individual.  

Often not a business entity.

Paid as a business expense.

High risk of Labor Law Rules.


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Frequently Asked Questions

A Fractional Executive is a part-time leader who leads your strategy, systems, and team and is responsible for delivering your business outcomes.

Fractional leadership brings specialized expertise and leadership to your company at a fraction of the cost of a full-time executive. This arrangement allows for flexible, strategic guidance tailored to drive efficiency, growth, and innovation, especially during critical periods or projects.

Fractional executives can fill any executive role within a company, examples are CEO, CFO,  COO,  CGO, CTO, and more.  Our firm provides experts in all areas, ensuring that whatever your leadership needs, we have the right talent to support your goals.

Fractional executive services are highly cost-effective as they allow businesses to leverage the expertise of experienced leaders without the full-time salary, benefits, and other compensation typically associated with executive roles.  The cost is usually around 1/4 of a full-time C-Level role in your industry.

A fractional executive can be a replacement for a current executive open role and can remain in the role for a short or long period.

Yes, you can share confidential information with a fractional leader. They typically sign confidentiality agreements to ensure that any sensitive information disclosed during their tenure remains secure. This allows them to fully engage with your business challenges and strategies, ensuring they provide the most effective guidance and support.

Yes, fractional executives typically carry professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance. This insurance protects both the executive and the client company against potential legal claims related to the services provided. It ensures that both parties are safeguarded in the event of unforeseen issues arising from the executive’s work.  If fractional executives plan to work on-site at your offices, they will also have workers comp insurance in addition.

When hiring executives from Highland Valley Digital, you are hiring a serviced-based business, in a work-for-hire agreement, with legal contracts, NDA, and who holds no IP you do not classify us as a contractor.  All executives are agents of the entity and therefore you classify Highland Valley Digital as a Service.  

Yes, you can hire a full fractional executive team. Our firm specializes in building complete executive teams tailored to meet the specific needs of your business. This allows you to benefit from comprehensive leadership across all critical areas of your organization without the commitment and expense of full-time hires. Whether you need strategic guidance, operational management, financial oversight, or marketing expertise or more, we can assemble a team of seasoned executives to drive your company's success.

The cost of a fractional executive depends on the specific needs of your company but is generally about a quarter of the price of a full-time executive in the industry. This cost-effective solution provides access to experienced leadership without the full financial commitment of a full-time salary, benefits, and other associated costs. Pricing can vary based on the executive's expertise, the scope of their role, and the duration of their engagement.

To begin the engagement process, book a strategy session with us. During this session, we will understand your needs and challenges, allowing us to provide you with a cost and appoint an executive who best fits your requirements and can start making an immediate impact.

We align leadership with your company's needs by first understanding your strategic goals, challenges, and the current market environment. This allows us to match you with an executive whose skills and experience will drive the most value for your business.

The expected outcomes of engaging a fractional executive include improved strategic direction, increased operational efficiency, enhanced leadership within the team, and significant progress toward your company's growth objectives.  Detailed KPIs are identified during the engagement to ensure ongoing growth.

Companies should consider hiring a fractional executive when they need experienced leadership without the long-term commitment or cost of a full-time executive, particularly during periods of transition, growth, or when specific expertise is needed.

Engagements with fractional executives are typically flexible, with terms that can be adjusted to meet the specific needs of the business, ranging from a few months to longer than a year, without the long-term commitments of a traditional hire as these leaders are part-time.  Fractional executives scale up and down as your business needs and can transition to advisory roles and exit when needed.

Yes, you can share confidential information with a fractional leader. They typically sign confidentiality agreements to ensure that any sensitive information disclosed during their tenure remains secure. This allows them to fully engage with your business challenges and strategies, ensuring they provide the most effective guidance and support.  

If the collaboration with a fractional executive does not meet expectations or the executive is no longer able to support your business, the engagement can be adjusted rapidly. Our fractional executive arrangements are designed with flexibility in mind, allowing companies to switch to a different executive with minimal complications, ensuring that you always find the right fit for your business needs.

Not all fractional executives operate through a business entity; it depends on their business setup and preferences. Many fractional executives establish a business entity, such as an LLC or a corporation, to manage their contracts, finances, and liabilities more effectively. However, some may choose to operate as sole proprietors or independent contractors without a formal business entity.  There are higher risks for both parties if the executive is not a business entity and generally not recommended.  

Yes, you can switch to a new executive if the current arrangement isn't meeting your expectations. We maintain a pool of skilled executives ready to step in, ensuring that if you're not satisfied with your current executive, you can easily make a change. This flexibility allows us to promptly address any concerns and align you with an executive whose expertise and approach better suit your needs, with no HR complications.

Generally, the best way to start an engagement is by engaging in our Audit package.  You will work with our Fractional Executive over a period of approximately 30 days, working to identify and validate your opportunity areas.  You also gain the benefit of getting to know each other before the longer engagement starts.

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