Fractional Tech Talent: The Secret to IT Success?

The tech sector, while exciting and innovative, also presents unique challenges for recruitment. Especially when it comes to accessing talent with specialized skills cost-effectively and then retaining them. While solutions abound, ranging from hiring full-time employees to freelancers, one that has recently become popular is fractional employment.

Since fractional employment is more common in the tech sector, it may sometimes be referred to as fractional tech talent.

Fractional tech talent strikes a balance between full-time and part-time employment, offering the flexibility of part-time work while providing the expertise and dedication of a full-time employee.

It offers businesses access to specialized expertise, scalability, and cost-effectiveness without the commitment of traditional full-time hiring.


Let’s get into the details.

What’s Fractional Tech Talent?

Fractional tech talent refers to highly skilled and experienced IT professionals who work on a part-time or project-specific basis. There are three main elements that make up the core of fractional talent:

  • Fractional talent has specialized skills
  • They devote only a portion of the time agreed upon
  • Fractional talent may work for one or more companies simultaneously

Sounds familiar to part-time or freelance model? It partly is—and partly not!

Here are the differences.

Fractional Tech Talent vs. Freelancing and Part-Time Employment

Fractional tech talent, freelancing, and part-time employment all offer businesses access to skilled professionals on a non-full-time basis.

However, there are key distinctions between these models:

  • Fractional tech talent—it typically refers to highly experienced and skilled IT professionals who work on a project-specific or part-time basis, dedicating a portion of their time to a particular company. They often possess deep expertise in a specific area of technology and are brought in to address specific needs or challenges.
  • Freelancing—freelancers operate as independent contractors, typically offering their services on a short-term or project-specific basis. What makes freelancing different from fractional employment is the involvement. Unlike freelancing, employees are more involved in the company, almost like a full-time employee is.
  • Part-time employment—part-time employees are typically hired by a single company to work a set number of hours per week. Most often, part-time employees are hired for repetitive tasks that do not require specialized expertise.

Pros and Cons of Each Model

Each model has its own set of advantages and disadvantages:

Employment ModelProsCons
Fractional tech talentSpecialized expertise, strategic guidance, long-term relationshipsMay require more onboarding, higher hourly rates
FreelancingFlexibility, cost-effectiveness, access to a wide talent poolMay require more management oversight, potential for inconsistent quality
Part-time employmentLower costs, familiarity with company culture, potential for growthMay lack specialized expertise, limited availability

What’s Driving the Adoption of Fractional Talent in the IT Industry?

Per Deloitte Insights, 60% of executives agree that fractional work is the most effective way to structure businesses and enhance value for both employees and organizations. This trend is projected to gain momentum in the future.

Fractional empolyment stats

Source: Deloitte Insights

What’s driving it?

The reasons are many. Given below are a few factors why the IT industry is embracing fractional talent.  

1. Access to specialized skills

Fractional tech talent provides businesses with access to a pool of highly skilled and experienced professionals. You can go as far as hiring a fractional but seasoned COO to take your company forward.

While full-time employment can also offer access to specialized skills, why fractional talent? The answer is cost-effectiveness!

2. Cost-effectiveness

Hiring fractional tech talent can be more cost-effective than traditional full-time hiring, as businesses only pay for the expertise they need when needed.

Think of it like this: You are a startup in need of talent, like a CTO or a software developer. The scale of your business is not large enough to hire a full-time employee. Going full-time may drain your budget—besides the base salary, you will have to pay up to 65% in benefits, taxes, insurance, and other bonuses.

But at the same time, you want the expertise of someone who would be deeply invested in the company. All this while remaining in budget!

That’s what fractional tech talent does—specialized skills in budget.

3. Scalability and flexibility

IT is a tricky sector; compared to other sectors, businesses in the IT sector can experience the ups and downs in their journey more frequently. Fractional tech talent offers businesses the ability to scale their workforce up or down quickly and easily as project needs change. This flexibility is especially required for businesses that operate in a dynamic environment.

4. Reduced Risk

Lastly, fractional tech employment offers reduced risk and commitment to both employers and employees compared to long-term full-time hiring. You may be aware of what happened across the tech sector last year and even the current year. It was a tumultuous year for organizations, but particularly for all those individuals laid off.

Fractional employment has reduced that risk. It’s easier for businesses to downsize as the circumstances change. But it’s also easier for employees, as they work with other organizations simultaneously.

Common Positions for Fractional Tech Hiring

You can hire fractional tech talent in whatever capacity your business requires. From C-Level staff to developers and engineers, a wide spectrum of specialized roles spans various IT domains.

Here’s a closer look at some of the most prevalent fractional tech positions and their distinct contributions:

Fractional Software Developers

Software developers craft custom software solutions, often tailored to specific projects or initiatives. If you are building web applications, mobile apps, or enterprise systems and do not want to hire full-time resources, consider fractional software developers.

You can engage them for the duration of the project, optimizing resource allocation and reducing overhead costs associated with full-time hiring.

Listed below are some examples of fractional software development roles.

  • Fractional front-end developers—they create the user-facing elements of websites and applications, and are concerned with the engaging user experience of the app or websites.
  • Fractional back-end developers—they are responsible for the server-side logic and data management of applications.
  • Fractional mobile app developers—they are experts in building native and cross-platform mobile applications for iOS, Android, or both platforms.

Want to know where to find fractional software development talent? This guide may help!

Fractional Data Scientists

Fractional data scientists are experts in machine learning, statistical analysis, and data visualization. They empower businesses to uncover hidden patterns, predict future trends, and optimize operations.

Choosing fractional data engineering talent, you can gain actionable insights from data to drive business decisions with minimized risk through shorter-term engagements.

If you are looking for specific roles to fill on a fractional basis, here are a few you may consider:

  • Machine learning engineer—specialized in developing and implementing machine learning algorithms to solve complex business problems.
  • Data analyst—skilled in collecting, cleaning, and analyzing data to generate actionable insights and reports.
  • Data visualization specialist—experts in transforming data into compelling visualizations that effectively communicate insights to stakeholders.
  • Business intelligence analyst—provides data-driven insights to support business decision-making and strategic planning.

Fractional Cybersecurity Engineers

Defending against malware attacks, preventing data breaches, or complying with cybersecurity regulations? Cybersecurity engineers are the first responders of the online world.

With a fractional cybersecurity professional, you can strengthen your—or your client’s— business cybersecurity defenses and protect sensitive data. And the good part about going fractional? Access cybersecurity expertise as needed.

Here are some popular roles you may consider filling in:

  • Penetration testers—simulate cyberattacks to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in systems and networks.
  • Security analyst—monitors network activity, analyzes security logs and identifies potential threats or anomalies.
  • Incident response specialist—responds to cybersecurity incidents, investigates breaches, and implements containment measures.
  • Security auditor—conducts security assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of an organization’s cybersecurity posture.

Apart from the roles mentioned above, there are hundreds of others that businesses may consider as per their requirements.

For instance, it’s the era of cloud architects. If you need resources with expertise in cloud computing technologies, such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), you can consider hiring the following on a fractional basis:

  • AWS Cloud Architect
  • Azure Cloud Architect
  • GCP Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Infrastructure Architect

Similarly, on the product side, here are some roles that are commonly filled on a fractional basis:

  • Product Manager
  • UX/UI Designer
  • Product Marketing Manager
  • Business Analyst

As mentioned above, the list above is not exhaustive. However, these examples illustrate the diverse range of roles that fractional tech talent can effectively fill across various IT domains. If you are from North America, this guide on IT staff augmentation may help you.

And when it comes to hiring fractional tech talent, let’s do it the DevEngine way.

At DevEngine, we specialize in bringing fractional tech talent from LATAM regions. We provide access to a pool of pre-vetted and experienced software engineers and data engineers from Latin America, ready to tackle your specific technical challenges on a part-time or project-specific basis.

Our fractional tech talent solutions offer the flexibility and expertise you need to overcome complex technical hurdles, obtain valuable second opinions, or supplement your existing team with specialized skills.

Book a call and discuss your goals with our experts, and we will be on the go to give you the perfect candidate—tested and pre-vetted.

Want to learn more? Here are some resources worth exploring:

A Step-by-Step Guide to Hiring Software Developers in Latin America

Nearshore Staff Augmentation: The Cost-Effective Solution to Talent Shortages

Nearshoring In Latin America – You Don’t Need To Commute To Compute