How to Hire a CTO?

Posted

14th December 2020
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How to Hire a CTO? Do you need to hire a CTO? Here’s when and how you should

Technology is the driving force behind most businesses. With technologies evolving and emerging all the time, it’s imperative companies are in a position to adapt and implement technical changes to stay ahead.

For many businesses, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is tasked with this responsibility. While a CTO can be beneficial to many technology businesses, ask yourself, “do I need to hire one?”

If the answer’s yes when’s the right to time to bring a CTO on board and what does it take to find and hire the best senior tech talent on the market?

The role of a CTO

It’s important to understand the role a CTO will play in your business, as well as a CTO’s role in businesses of different sizes. However, there’s no one answer for what a CTO’s responsibilities should be. Their role varies depending on the size of the company, what stage it’s at and the sector they’re in.

For startups, the typical role of a CTO is to bring cohesiveness between the business’s IT and its customers. Their key mission is to ensure that the business strategy is being met by the company’s technology, and often it’s a hands-on role.

Within larger businesses, the CTO’s role is more than just interacting with the customer. They often act as the visionary, leading technological innovation and developing strategies to minimise risk to remain competitive in the ever-evolving digital age. They’ll still have an understanding of programming but will be less likely to get involved in the day-to-day-coding, focusing more on running the engineering team.

Whether working for a startup or a mid-to-large scale business, any CTO needs to possess the right combination of technical skills and management skills. Equally, they require a strong understanding of development, and the leadership ability to manage the technical team successfully.  

When should you hire a CTO?

Choosing to hire a CTO is an important task and one that’s individual to each business. There are many factors that should be taken into consideration to determine whether their requirements are such that they should invest in a CTO.

If you are considering hiring a CTO, here are a few we’ve put together a few of the most important things to consider:

 

Is technology a driving factor in your business?

Most technology companies will have an in-house IT support team tasked with troubleshooting everyday employee technical issues. When the IT team become involved in meetings regarding operations, marketing, strategy and sales, then clearly, technology is a significant driving factor for your business.

Essentially, if the technology function in your team shifts from support to strategic, and you require someone to flesh out your company’s technological solution, hire the engineers and manage the team to build it, all while reporting back to senior management on progress, it could be time to hire a CTO.

Can the team meet the technical needs of the business?

If your team is feeling overwhelmed, then hiring a CTO is a smart move. Anyone stepping into the role will be able to effectively manage the team’s workload and ensure the successful completion of projects.

Likewise, having a CTO in your team can help structure the team and make day-to-day tasks and processes more efficient to save time and deliver results to the business.

Does the technology in your business stack up?

Hiring a CTO to lead future investments in technology, and to manage their implementation can be a practical and strategic business decision.

If your business is beginning to be affected by antiquated technologies which are impacting on your broader productivity, then a CTO eases any transition while working towards delivering on the business’ long-term goals.

Does our technical team need a leader?

As a senior, C-Suite role, a CTO provides a link between your management team and your technical team. They are involved in strategic decisions and understand the winder needs of the business, as well as the technical understanding of the development team.

As such, part of their role is to communicate both the effectiveness of technologies and projects to the senior management team and the direction the business intends to go to the engineers.

In addition, if the growth of your business is a crucial consideration, hiring a CTO will give you their experience in hiring and vetting the technical and engineering talent do drive your business forward.

So, if you’ve determined that hiring a CTO would be beneficial to your business, what’s the best way to go about finding the right one?

How do you hire a CTO?

Filling the role of CTO requires a real understanding of what the role entails and what makes up the perfect fit for it.

First and foremost, you need to create a clearly defined and comprehensive job description for the role of CTO. Having clarity on the required technical capabilities, soft skills, and professional traits of the required candidate will allow you to be clear in the type of CTO you’re looking for throughout the hiring process.

Having done so, there are a few routes you can take when it comes to finding your CTO:

Recognise existing talent

Have you got an engineer in your team who is capable of a step up and leading the team in the role of CTO? If there is someone internally who is a high performer and has the respect of the team, then they’re worth giving serious consideration.

Having a careful look at the talent of your current team and promoting from within will minimise disruption to projects, reduce time to get up to speed with the business and ensure continuity within the team.

Utilise your network

When it comes to hiring, never underestimate the power of your network, regardless of how big or small. Leveraging personal relationships and the networks of your peers is an excellent way of identifying candidates that could be a great fit for your CTO role.

Do you know anyone who could do the role? Is there anyone in your network who can introduce you the right candidate?

Engage with a specialist recruitment agency

Doing so will tap into their networks and experience, as well as saving you time.  

If you go down this route, it’s important to work with an agency that specialises in helping businesses to hire senior-level technology professionals and not a ‘one size fits all’ agency. A specialist will understand the current market conditions and what it takes to encourage a move so you can secure the best CTO talent.

However, you decide to hire a CTO into your business, engage your existing team in the process. This way, they can see if the candidate is a suitable fit for the team, making the transition as seamless as possible.

Revere Digital Recruitment have a wealth of experience hiring CTOs into technology-driven business across the UK. If you need advice on whether hiring a CTO is right for your business, then get in touch.