Is Fractional Integrating a Hoax? – by Thomas Rechtien

Is Fractional Integrating a Hoax? – by Thomas Rechtien

What is Fractional Integrating?

Fractional integrating is an approach to company management that involves hiring part-time executives or specialists to fulfill specific roles within an organization. It is seen as very cost efficient, gives access to a diverse skill set and gives access to scalability.

Ideally, fractional integrating allows businesses to adapt quickly to changes and scale up or down as needed. As organizations grow and evolve, their management needs may change, and fractional integrating accommodates these fluctuations by adjusting the required support level from specialists.

What are the Challenges with Fractional Integrating?

It all starts with expectations. The Owner / CEO has certain expectations that they want an integrator to meet. The integrator has certain expectations on how to do their job. 

It is therefore essential to clearly define what the pain points in the hiring company are and what the main focus for the integrator should be. 

The more granular this scope discussion goes the more likely can problems down the road be avoided.

Trust is important as well. If the integrator does not have all the info they need paired with the ability to take decisions in his area of focus the desired progress is highly unlikely.

The CEO / Owner needs to be willing to let go and fully delegate a certain area of focus to the integrator to get the best results.

Cost to Outcome Ratio:

Oftentimes companies want to hire a fractional integrator to have part time help, but they expect full time support. 

Part of the initial discussions needs to be a clear analysis of the cost of not having that expertise in the company (Opportunity cost, cost of not being able to solve problem X, etc.). 

That, paired with the cost for hiring a fractional integrator can be a good guideline to determine if it makes sense to have a fractional integrator on board.


  • Cost Saving:  A fractional integrator can be a cost-effective solution for businesses that need executive level support but are not able to commit to a full time employee.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Fractional integrators can adjust their support level based on the needs of the business they work with. This allows businesses to scale up and down as required.
  • Access to Expertise: Fractional integrators often bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from various industries.
  • Objective Perspective: As outsiders, fractional integrators can offer an unbiased, fresh perspective on business challenges and obstacles.


  • Limited Availability: The time and attention of a fractional integrator is usually divided between various clients, which could delay project completion and decision making vs. having a full-time employee on board.
  • Lack of Company-specific knowledge: While fractional integrators possess a broad range of skills and experience, they lack in depth knowledge of the inner workings of the businesses they get involved in.
  • Potential Communication challenges: Integrating a fractional executive into an existing team can sometimes create communication challenges.
  • Short term focus: Fractional integrators are usually focused on immediate solutions for the scope of their engagement vs. a long-term strategic planning approach.

Potential Pitfalls:

  • Lack of cultural fit: A fractional integrator might not fully align with the company’s culture, which may manifest in various ways. This could result in reduced productivity, poor team cohesion, or high employee turnover.
  • Limited commitment: Since fractional integrators are not full-time employees, they might not develop the same level of commitment to the company’s long-term success. This can lead to a focus on short term gains rather than sustainable growth strategies, which could hinder the company’s progress in the long run.
  • Knowledge gaps: Fractional integrators may not possess in-depth knowledge of the company’s industry or specific operational parameters. This can lead to slower decision-making processes, ineffective problem solving or failure to capitalize on industry trends and opportunities.
  • Communication Challenges: With their divided attention among various clients, fractional integrators may struggle to maintain clear and consistent communication with the company’s team. This could cause confusion, delays, or misaligned expectations among team members and the management team, which ultimately affects productivity and morale negatively.
  • Dependency: Companies may become overly reliant on fractional integrators, leading to a lack of internal skill development and potential issues if the integrator becomes unavailable. This could create a skills gap within the business and hinder its ability to adapt and grow independently over time.


With the right mindset on both sides (visionary and integrator) and an open discussion about pain points, expectations, responsibilities, experience, skills and costs you can make it work!