Why every startup needs to hire a gig CxO to provide interim leadership

Gig CxOs are not bound by employment to one company, and therefore prove to be more cost-effective for startups. Young companies can leverage their experience to reduce ramp-up time and add value in the short-term.

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic created a surge and transformed the gig economy in India like never before. Companies, both old and new, streamlined their talent pool to largely include project managers and needle movers who could contribute to the bottom line.

2021 was also the year of the freelance revolution as companies accustomed themselves to remote working and hiring employees on contract; this was especially true for some select startups that were fighting tooth and nail to survive.

And while it's commonplace to see gig workers in blue-collar jobs like creative associates, graphic designers, tech and coding specialists, delivery labour, etc, the rise in the demand of gig employees in white-collar jobs is relatively new.

Interestingly, the emergence of the gig CxO is proving to be highly advantageous in a global economy, especially for startups and young companies that are at seed, and pre-Series A investment stages.

Experts without borders

Hiring an outcome-based CxO allows early startups unbridled access to a talent pool that they may otherwise consider far out of their reach. And if the pandemic has taught companies anything, it’s that remote working is indeed not just possible but highly effective too, in terms of both cost and employee output.

This has been a game-changer when it comes to bringing on board a CxO on an assignment. You can now hire the right person for the job from across the globe.

Gig CxOs are unshackled by geographical limitations and in fact, a lot of them prefer working remotely because they’re working simultaneously with different companies.

They’re used to working from a virtual environment and are equipped with all the technology needed to make every second count.

Gig CxOs provide interim leadership

The pandemic hasn’t been able to dampen the spirits of the Indian startup ecosystem, which has proven to be anything but a rapidly growing sector. Predominantly, the founders of these startups are young people in their late 20s to mid-30s. While they bring their energy, their ideas, and their vision to the table, what they can benefit from is the experience in leadership, strategy and scaling from C-level minds.

An interim CxO would typically come with over a decade of work experience and many years under their belt in leadership roles. During their term, these experts serve not just as mentors but also as unbiased advisors who can make tough decisions, and are experts with a proven track record.

They hit the ground running and help a startup get from point A to point B, whether they’ve been hired for a project, an activity, strategy development and implementation, or even to build and equip the core team.

A startup may even choose to bring on a Gig CxO to help make the company more investable and to get the founders in front of the right people to secure funding.

Gig CxOs are cost-effective

In the post-pandemic world, hiring C-suite talent full-time can seem a bit excessive, especially for startups that cannot afford the initial cash burn. Gig CxOs are not bound by employment to one company, and therefore prove to be more cost-effective for startups.

Young companies can leverage gig CXOs working with top management to reduce ramp-up time, or even simply work with super-specialists who may add value short-term. For example, a B2C tech company may choose to hire a super-specialist marketing director to make a big splash when they launch, and then sustain the buzz with a mid-level marketing head in-house.

Elastic talent helps a startup be flexible with cost, and this way, they can strategically fuel their moves to catalyse growth.

In the new world, companies, especially startups, are driven to work with the best talent while still capping costs. Hiring Gig CxOs can help them build compelling products, services and solutions at an accelerated pace even with leaner teams. This is why we’re witnessing the rise of the ‘Assignment based CxO’, or ‘Outcome based CxO’ or ‘ Interim CxO’.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)