Growth Insights for CEOs

New Twist to Executive Staffing: Think EaaS

Posted by The Chief Outsider

Executives for Rent

While management consultants, marketing agencies and executive staffing have been around for decades, the notion of “hiring” just the amount of executive talent you need is something relatively new. It wasn’t until 1993 that John and Doug Tatum founded the firm that became synonymous with fractional CFOs. Their part-time executives join companies that can’t justify a full-time chief financial officer. Over time, Tatum grew to offer CIOs, COOs, and other “Os”. Jim McBride, senior managing member of Blue Sage Capital here in Austin, TX, once said to me, “if one of our companies needs a CFO, I know I can pick up the phone, call Tatum, and it’s done.”  

Great Idea for Marketing ExecsEaaS - Chief Outsiders Executives as a Service

Clearly, our firm Chief Outsiders is fashioned after this model. We see a growing demand for part-time or interim chief marketing officers. We’re even running ads now that say, “Why Hire a CMO?…When You Can Rent One, Fast.”

So what’s all this about? Is this new model for executive staffing here to stay? We certainly think so. In some ways, it was inevitable. It’s even similar to shifts in other markets, including how people access technology services.

SaaS - Cloud Pleasers

Businesses of all sizes are embracing technology applications delivered as Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS. This model of having applications and data live safely in “the cloud” provides a number of benefits:

  • Instant On – no installation required, turn it on today
  • Convenience – you have instant access from any number of devices and locations
  • Cost-Effectiveness – you only use the features and capabilities you need
  • Always Current – changes to the software are made centrally, as are your changes to your information
  • Backed Up – the SaaS provider makes the infrastructure investment so you have no worries of data loss

EaaS - CEO Pleasers

Recently Sara Spivey, CMO of Convio – a leading SaaS provider of CRM for non-profit organizations – commented that the Chief Outsiders model for securing top marketing executives for mid-market CEOs is really a PaaS, or People-as-a-Service. I love it. Then I thought we could be more specific, so perhaps we’re in the EaaS business, or Executives-as-a-Service. And hey, it looks like there are parallels in SaaS and EaaS value propositions too:

  • Instant On – “why recruit a CMO, when you can rent one, fast.” No hiring delays, head hunters, interviews or relocations.
  • Convenience – select from a roster of C-level experience and talent. No lifetime consultants here.
  • Cost-Effectiveness – you only tap the amount of a CMO you need
  • Always Current – we’re continuously sharpening our skill sets, which is no small challenge in this digital marketing era
  • Backed Up – each CMO has an entire team of experienced, C-level CMOs backing them up, reducing risk and assuring availability

As agile and savvy CEOs are looking for ways to save money while they address strategic growth opportunities in our continuing tough economy, we’re finding more and more interest in the EaaS model. Its time has come, and businesses everywhere are finding the advantages to be quite compelling.

- Pete Hayes, Principal & CMO     512-923-6512

Topics: Executive Staffing