A CoHired Executive: A Growing Leadership Solution

A business is a volatile environment. There are a lot of elements involved in the making and running of one. This is where a CxO comes in – in uncertainty they bring balance and leadership to a business, steering it clear of any storms and navigate it to avoid running aground.

However, as any business owner will tell you, hiring a top-level executive is expensive. Not only these people demand the top dollar, rightly so, but their salary package also contains a lot of perks, which usually add up to a company’s fixed costs.

This is where a shared executive, or a CoHired one, comes in. They stay for a pre decided fixed amount of time, take up a few short-term assignments and cost way less than a full-time exec. This is why their allure is on the rise in companies across India.

No one must have imagined 10-15 years from now that one day, companies will be hiring temporary CEOs and CFOs. Where once the temp job was limited to the lowest rungs of the corporate ladder, it has now become lucrative for companies to hire the top brass on a CoHired basis as well.

Who can be a Temporary CxO?

Mostly, these kinds of jobs are taken up by people over the age of 50, or at least in their late 40s. These people come with bags of experience, and usually are overqualified. These attributes allow them to hit the ground running at a firm. They are also not hung up on titles – as such, they are fine with being called a Project Leader or an Advisor.

A typical temporary CxO is a person who has rich industry experience, is in their late 40s or early 50s, does not want to work full-time and are thus looking to maintain a better work-life balance. At that age, most people are looking at retirement, or at least planning for it in the coming years. However, this assignment allows them to pursue hobbies and passions that they had buried long ago in pursuit of success.

This flexible model is fast becoming more attractive for the senior people. At the moment, no one can guarantee job security, and 80-hour weeks are all too common in top-level full-time positions. This system also allows such talented executives to leave endless internal meetings and corporate politics behind. Suchita Dutta, Executive Director, Indian Staffing Federation, in an interaction with The Hindu said that these meetings end up taking as much as 30-40 per cent of their time.

Therefore, for people nearing their retirement and looking for a relatively stress-free job, which leaves them adequate time and peace of mind at the end of the day, this is the job. Leading a portfolio of companies, giving them time as per your schedule, while pursuing a hobby – a life better than retirement, I wager.

What does a Temp CxO Do?

At most, a CoHired CxO will stay at a firm for a year. During that time, they perform the usual duties as the leader of the firm – taking up assignments, taking crucial decisions and making plans for the future.

Most companies hire a temporary CxO for mission-critical jobs – stuff that will decide the course of the company for the foreseeable future. A CoHired exec will not suffer any biases or fallacies while making unbiased, sometimes strict decisions with the future in mind.

The business value of hiring a temporary top exec is not limited to the money factor – of course, that is the biggest motivator still – but also includes the fact that a company recruiting a top-level executive on such a basis is assured to get what they are paying for.

A temporary CxO can include a temporary CEO, or even a temporary CMO, or a temporary COO. It could be any position, depending on the company’s need at that time. For example, a manufacturing firm wants to open a new facility but lacks the leadership to decide for them. Enter a temporary CEO, who not only secures funds and land but also gets the construction started. The same company now wants to bring an IPO – enter a temporary CFO, who, in a matter of weeks, can set everything in motion for them, including talking with SEBI and the investors.

Also, if a company is going through a transition period, a CoHired CxO can help out for a short amount of time till a full-time person is found for the job.

India Co. and CoHired CxOs

In India, this trend is certainly on the rise. Especially in the startup segment, which just cannot afford a full-time CxO, this solution is a godsend.

In India, other sectors that include the aforementioned criteria are mining and metals, renewable energy, Defence, EdTech, fintech and consumer tech. Jyoti Bowen Nath, Managing Partner, Claricent Partners, talked with the Times of India on the matter. She said, “in India, it’s picking up pace as a good number of talented senior professionals are looking to progress in a rather gig manner”.

Another platform that provides companies with independent senior executives. They recently helped a company hire a team of senior consultants. The platform’s founder said, “There’s been a positive uptick in registrations of professionals at the senior management and CxO levels as independent consultants across functions and industries”.

It is clear that the demand for such highly qualified senior talent is there in the country, and slowly, the supply is getting up. For senior professionals looking to take it easy in the twilight years of their career, it is a lucrative option to temp for a company at the highest of levels.

A Wrap-Up

India is a gold mine of business right now – there are few places with as much competition and none with the market size anywhere nearly comparable. India’s market is usually compared to that of whole continents. As such, leaders are always short in supply in the country. For leaders who want to contribute more to themselves than to their jobs, being a temporary CxO can provide the lucrative post-retirement income, while being easy on their schedule. It is indeed a leadership solution that is on the rise, and will soon become the norm, at least among India’s huge MSME sector.

Looking to hire an expert in a gig role? You can now hire a CxO to mitigate specific pain points in your business as a project. COHIRE makes this possible.

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