How to Hire a Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
As with many roles, a business owner has two choices when looking for a CTO. You can either hire one or promote someone within your company. The latter may seem more appealing, but they may not be experienced enough.
Promoting a technical manager would give the responsibility to someone who knows the company and the technical team well, but if they are lacking in leadership experience, they won’t have the confidence a CTO needs.
A CTO may need to make personnel changes and firing members of the team you’ve worked with for years can be difficult. Hiring a new CTO removes any bias, intentional or not, and will give you a greater chance at success.
You need to hire a forward-thinker who sees the potential in the business and will dedicate themselves to improving systems and productivity.
Someone with experience as a manager, with a technical background, is the ideal candidate to look for.
What to look for in a CTO
The most important thing to look for in a Chief Technology Officer is experience. They need to be knowledgeable about the technology, software and systems that need improving and have previous experience leading a team.
It is an executive role, so you need to choose someone who will represent your business well, and will integrate changes that other managers, stakeholders and staff will approve of.
You may naturally gravitate towards a candidate with a Business & Leadership degree but choosing someone with a technical education will often be better.
A candidate with Bachelor’s or Graduate Degree in Computer Science, Engineering, IT, or IT Security who has worked their way up to a management role is ideal. With this experience they will have worked from the ground up in roles that they will manage and will be better suited to work with your technical team(s).
As mentioned earlier, you need a CTO who will represent your business. No matter what industry you work in, they should be confident and willing to make big changes whenever necessary.
An effective CTO will create new business and technical strategies that they will outline to personnel and stakeholders. They need to inspire confidence whilst also showing they have thought out the strategies in detail to ensure success.
Overhauling the inner workings of a business isn’t an easy task. You should hire someone with an amiable nature who seems to have the business’ best interests at heart. Staff will be resistant to change, but with confidence and reassurance these changes can be made smoothly, and the results should speak for themselves.
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