How to hire a Chief Technology Officer for your business?

December 19, 2016
How to hire a Chief Technology Officer for your business?

How to hire a Chief Technology Officer for your business?

I was recently asked to provide a Job Description to hire a CTO.  It can’t be given over the phone and I thought its good to write more.

Not every great idea is actually successful when it makes to the market. This is where a CTO comes in. A Chief Technology Officer can help make the difference between an Innovation app or just an app sits in the shelf.

Hire CTO

What a CTO does?

It is challenging to find a technology entrepreneur who understands the world of business. Many entrepreneurs will believe their product or idea will be the best gift to humanity, but fail to develop a successful IT strategy for the long term success of their company. A CTO’s primary task is to ensure that the IT strategy for your idea will serve your company’s business strategy.

  • They help with technical design and platform selection

Do you have the tools and resources to bring your idea to life? Your CTO will guide you on the best path to take in order to provide the best design that your customers will be able to appreciate and afford. They’ll help ensure that team remains in check to ensure that your plans remain viable.

  • They see the bigger picture

You may think your idea is the greatest thing that everyone’s been looking for and market is investing Millions surrounding your Industry. It really helps to have someone who keeps things in perspective and look at the bigger picture.

The CTO keeps the capabilities of your technology and what it lacks in the forefront of their mind. They know what it can and cannot deliver. They understand your idea from what is written to what isn’t. They know its architecture and what it will take to bring it to life.

  • They’ll help you see options

CTOs are able to see the potential in an idea and help steer its development. When everyone else is tempted to say no or ‘we can’t, CTOs will see the possibilities and help everyone see them too. They’ll determine what needs to be done to achieve these new possibilities and how much it would cost. They’ll help you determine which option is dangerous and which would be worth considering.

  • Budget

They will help to manage IT spending by choosing wise options. Once you are famous and your Idea is wisely implemented, Cyber attack is an area to focus more.  Providing a cyber security to your app is similar as securing your country’s border. You would not know the pressure, heat till you were in CTO’s shoes.

How to Hire a CTO for your Startup?

Some startups need a CTO early in the development process. Others can go without a CTO for some time. Whatever stage you are in development, Learning how to find a good CTO will come in handy whether you want to hire one now or later on.

The following are some essential tips for finding a great CTO.

  • Define the requirements and job description for your CTO

You need to determine what type of person would be best suited for the role. Some characteristics that make a good CTO include:

  1. Experience

You’ll want to work with someone who has been down this path before and been successful.  They must have built SaaS based Enterprise applications and successfully launched it.

  1. Openness to new approaches

You’ll want to have a CTO that seeks to understand different approaches. You won’t want a person who thinks they know all and won’t want to even consider a new approach to a subject.

  1. Looking to advance their career

The candidate should see the CTO position as a stepping-stone in building up their career. They should be hungry. They should really want to take on the role of CTO.

  1. Familiar with variety of technologies

Avoid anyone who says they can only code in one language. The technology landscape is changing fast and you’ll need someone who can handle different technologies such as Web and Mobile applications development in order to ensure that your product remains relevant.

  1. Willing to wear multiple hats

Your CTO won’t be coding all the time. They’ll have to be able to carry out various tasks. It is therefore important to hire an individual who understands this.  Nowadays they will have to know about cloud computing, server administration, cyber security, and do competitor analysis. Having hybrid skillset including business and IT is a great asset.

Your CTO should have the right technical skills. They should also have the right soft skills. Decide what soft skills are important to your company e.g. motivation, mentoring, integrity or patience to stay with you. They should fit in with your company’s culture. Though everyone works to make money, but you cant enforce a CTO to just work for cash / equity unless if there is no real bond and love your idea.

CTOs come in all types. Some are technical wizards while others are visionaries. You’ll need to identify what you need in order to find the one that suits your company’s needs. Whatever it is, Trust will be the main factor moving further to have a successful relationship.

Let us know if you are looking for a CTO and best of luck!




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Written by

Madhu Kesavan is the Founder & CEO of W2S Solutions, a globally recognized digital transformation company empowering enterprises and governments in their digital journey. With 20+ years in the IT market, he makes his vision for a sustainable future come true by leveraging technology.