Technology Executive Search Firm - CTO Executive Search - Cowen Partners

      5 Steps to Finding the Best CTO for Your Company

      The global pandemic has made businesses acutely aware of the importance of tech updates. According to the 2021 State of IT report by Spiceworks, 76% of businesses are planning for long-term IT changes. Investing in new technology is a smart move for your business, but it requires careful planning and consideration.

      A chief technology officer is responsible for managing a company’s technological needs. Whether your company is based in the financial world, the retail and consumer industry, or another area, the right CTO will create a strategic technology plan that will enhance efficiency, increase output, and improve workflow. Staying on top of the latest tech trends will also keep your business relevant and competitive.

      What Does a Chief Technology Officer Do?

      Technology updates are vital inside the company, but they also need to happen for the customer. A CTO is responsible for identifying technology that can be used to enhance the customer experience. Since technology advances so quickly, the CTO role:

      • Spends a significant amount of time researching the latest updates
      • Manages the research and development team to find innovative ways to improve offerings
      • Works with company engineers and developers to create the new product/service for customers

      In any business, customers expect the latest tech updates. They want the shopping experience to be fast and easy, and the products or services have to include the latest tech advancements. If a company falls too far behind on tech updates, customers will seek out a more modern product. Clearly, the CTO role is another indispensable position that will keep a company relevant and competitive. 

      CTO Job Duties & Responsibilities

      A chief technology officer may be responsible for:

      • Aligning product architecture with business priorities
      • Collaborating with vendors on supply solutions
      • Increasing the company’s top line
      • Owning the company’s tech offerings and external products
      • Managing the engineering and developer teams
      • Understanding & touching all technologies the company deploys
      • Using and reviewing technology to enhance the company’s external products

      If you’re in search of a chief technology officer for your business, below are five steps to help you find the best CTO for your company. 

      Step 1 to Find the Best CTO: Define the Chief Technology Officer role

      The role and responsibilities of a CTO can vary widely from company to company. It’s also common for the role of a CTO to change within an organization as the company grows and shifts. Before you start looking for a CTO, you need to clearly definite the position and set your expectations for the position. A few different CTO roles to consider are the infrastructure builder, technology driver, and customer advocate.

      Infrastructure builder

      A CTO that focuses on IT infrastructure will oversee maintenance, data, and network capabilities. The overall technology strategy will be managed by the CTO.

      Technology driver

      A technology driver CTO undertakes research and development to identify current and future technology needs for your business that will drive growth and success.

      Customer advocate

      The customer advocate CTO identifies technology that will ultimately enhance the customer experience either through user interface or user experience. This role interacts with the customer side of the business and closely follows target market trends to offer users the latest tech updates.

      Since the main role of a CTO can be quite different, it’s important to pinpoint what your CTO will do for the company.

      Step 2 to Find the Best CTO: Prioritize culture fit, qualities, and experience

      In addition to identifying the main responsibilities of a CTO, you should also consider the qualities, personality, and experience of your ideal candidate. Too often businesses select a CTO based solely on background. Technical know-how is important, but culture fit, personality, and qualities are equally significant factors to consider. You need a CTO who can be a team leader and motivate the IT department during each new project while also understanding the industry market and how tech trends impact the business. Determine the right balance of experience and culture fit for your company so you can look for the ideal candidate during the hiring process.

      Step 3 to Find the Best CTO: Make the position enticing

      Top CTOs are in high demand, so you have to make sure the position you offer is enticing. The best CTOs in the industry are frequently being contacted by recruiters, so consider what your business has to offer. In addition to deciding which qualities you want in a candidate, make note of what a CTO will gain from working for your business. New opportunities, exciting projects, and unique benefits are all factors that will pique a candidate’s interest in your business and persuade them to join the team.

      Step 4 to Find the Best CTO: Identify top candidates

      A lot of top CTOs aren’t actively looking for a new job, which is why networking and recruiting are vital aspects of talent scouting. Talk regularly with peers and attend industry networking events. You may meet a CTO perfect for your company or connect with someone who knows potential candidates.

      It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on competitor talent. If you propose a good enough offer, you may be able to steal talent away from the competition.

      Step 5 to Find the Best CTO: Deliver a great offer

      When you finally deliver a job offer, the package and opportunities need to beat out the competition. If you can’t offer the same CFO compensation package as the competition, then determine what unique benefits you can offer. For example, you might be able to offer equity options, more vacation days, or significant bonuses. Determine what your company can afford and are willing to offer but leave a little room for negotiation.

      Conclusion: A Good Chief Technology Officer Can Grow Your Business

      The right chief technology officer will push your business to grow while improving the overall efficiency of your processes.  It will take a little time to find the perfect person for your company but filling this important C-level position is a decision that shouldn’t be rushed. By identifying the type of CTO your business needs as well as recognizing what your company has to offer a candidate, you’ll be able to find the right person for the role.

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      Our hands-on technology recruiters have experience working with private, public, pre-IPO, and non-profit organizations. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000’s or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite – CEO, Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and include vice presidentgeneral counsel, and other director-level leadership roles.

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