What is a Fractional Executive Assistant? The Ultimate Guide.

If you're a busy executive or entrepreneur, you know how valuable your time is. Between managing a team, closing deals, and strategizing for growth, a leader's time is always best spent in their Zone of Genius: the tasks they enjoy, which also bring in revenue.

As a company grows, however, mounting administrative tasks can mean little bandwidth left for administrative tasks or project management. This is where an executive assistant can be a game-changer.

However, a full-time executive assistant can be a costly hire. That means it's often out of reach for new businesses or fractional CxOs.

That's where the fractional executive assistant comes in.

A fractional executive assistant is an assistant dedicated to supporting executives and business owners with a large array of professional and personal tasks. The "fractional" aspect means you hire them for a fraction of the time and cost of a full-time executive assistant.

How Does a Fractional Assistant Work?

Rather than being employed directly by your company, a fractional executive assistant works as an independent contractor, often through an executive assistant company or agency. This allows them to provide high-level administrative support to multiple clients on a part-time, as-needed basis.

Some key responsibilities a fractional assistant can take on include:

  • Calendar management
  • Travel arrangements
  • Expense tracking
  • Email management
  • Research and data entry
  • Personal tasks like scheduling appointments

The beauty of the fractional model is that you only pay for the hours or package you need - typically 10-25 hours per week. This provides the benefits of an executive assistant at a much lower cost than a full-time hire.

Why Hire a Fractional Executive Assistant?

Fractional executive assistants take care of administrative and project management tasks, so that executives can spend more time on revenue-building tasks like strategy, planning, sales, and more. In short, your assistant keeps things running so that you can innovate.

In an ideal world, every executive would have a dedicated executive assistant. The fractional model makes this ideal world more accessible than ever before, in quite a few ways:

Cost Savings:

Hiring a full-time executive assistant can be extremely expensive once you factor in salary and benefits. A fractional assistant allows you to get premium-level support for a fraction of that cost.


Need more or less support week-to-week? A fractional arrangement allows you to easily scale up or down as needed. Fractional assistants also allow you more flexibility in your schedule and working hours--ideal for fractional executives.


Executive assistants from top agencies are highly-trained professionals specializing in executive-level support. That means they have a high level of experience with project management, personal tasks, and even managing teams of administrative VAs.

By leveraging a fractional executive assistant, you can offload time-consuming administrative work and refocus on the high-impact tasks that drive your business forward.

Who Should Hire A Fractional Executive Assistant?

Anyone can hire an assistant to keep them focused, productive, and growing. However, there are a few roles in which a fractional executive assistant makes the most sense and the most impact:

Executives and C-Suite Leaders

As an executive, your time is an extremely valuable resource. By delegating tedious tasks to a fractional assistant, you can pour more focus into strategic planning, talent development, and driving growth. Many experts call the executive assistant role one of the most important in the company.

Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

When you're wearing multiple hats, it's easy to become overwhelmed with endless to-dos. A fractional executive assistant provides operational support so you can prioritize revenue-generating tasks.

Consultants and Freelancers

If you're a consultant juggling multiple clients, a fractional assistant ensures you never drop the ball on deadlines, meetings, and communication. This professional support enhances your reliability.

Remote Teams and Solopreneurs

For remote workers and solo business owners, a fractional executive assistant acts as an indispensable right-hand person to stay organized and on top of key priorities.

How is a Fractional Executive Assistant Different from a VA?

Virtual assistants can be a great, low-cost option for many professionals looking to hand off repetitive, low-level administrative tasks. While there is some overlap, fractional executive assistants differ from general virtual assistants in a few key ways:

Premium Training

Fractional assistants are positioned to specifically provide executive-level support. This includes mastering high-level project management skills like complex calendar management, travel planning, and prioritizing tasks. Virtual assistants, on the other hand, are often thought of as a low-cost option for ad hoc tasks, or for entry-level work that doesn't require a lot of experience to complete.

Premium Experience

Fractional executive assistants often have more experience than VAs, and focus on the "mental load" of complex task. For example, where a VA might be a great fit for a simple data entry task done from a set of instructions, a fractional executive assistant can take charge of identifying the need for a new task, creating the instructions, and managing the person who completes it.

Higher Skill Level

The most experienced fractional assistants offer a broader range of high-level skills, from data analysis to meeting preparation and light project management.

So while a general VA provides basic administrative support, a fractional executive assistant acts as a true force multiplier for your productivity. Many teams utilize both of these roles, with fractional executive assistants managing multiple VAs while the executive focuses on their zone of genius.

If you already have a VA but are looking for help managing them, reach out to our team for some free strategy on how to make the most of your assistant team.

In Conclusion: Fractional Executive Assistants Save You Time

If you're a startup or fractional executive looking for an assistant, but you aren't yet ready to commit to a full-time, in-house hire, a fractional executive is a popular and effective option.

ChatterBoss has been pairing busy execs with fractional assistants since 2016. To talk through your specific needs, and to discover whether a fractional option is right for you, make sure to give us a call. Your consultation is completely free.

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