How to Hire a CTO Without the Hiccups

March 29, 2018 | Sakshi Sharma

The world is constantly in flux. Businesses close and new businesses pop up. For those of you who are in the midst of building a company or already have one, you may notice that finding a CTO is a lot more difficult than it seems.

What is a CTO and the Responsibilities

A CTO is the Chief Technology Officer of any size company. They focus on managing the technology in the company. Responsibilities vary based on the size of the company. In a larger business, it can mean more meetings and managing people vs a small business where they focus on a specific project and the coding involved with it. Midsize companies can generally be a combination of both.

Some of the main responsibilities of a CTO include the following:

    • Understand and know different coding languages.

      ○ Staying up to date on all the latest technological advances to incorporate into the business is key.

    • Discussing all aspects of the business with the CEO, board members, and investors.

      ○ These items could include many of the subjects listed below.

    • Build a team that will work on a particular project and determines what each person will be responsible for.

      ○ Firing and layoffs is also an important responsibility.

    • Managing the people who are working on the technical aspects of a project.

      ○ This can also mean managing the actual management team of the department as well as be determining the culture and accepted the behavior of everyone.

    • Create a project plan of what needs to be done and how it needs to be executed.

      ○ This means communicating with external vendors about what technology needs to be built and to negotiate terms.

    • Solving problems with the project, deciding what the most important items are and how to fix them.

    • Determine budgets for products that are needed as well as employee pay.

Finding the Right CTO

Great well rounded technological expertise is hard to find. However, there are a decent of them out there, you just have to know how to find them. First, try talking to people you know to see if they know anyone. Connections are always a good option versus reaching out cold to someone.

If you do try to reach out to a CTO cold its best to do your research first. They most likely get a lot of people reaching out to them with the same old tired introduction letter (especially through Linkedin). It can get annoying so don’t do what everyone else does. Contact them with a personal touch. Determine what they like, what their preference of communication is, what they are working on, etc.

The Right Skills

Managing people is a very important skill. Not only does the CTO have to know and understand everything the team is working on but they have to manage every aspect of the team members daily schedule. This knowledge also helps when actually hiring the technical staff. However, when hiring it is not solely about their technical skills, it’s about their personality. They have to fit within your business culture because if they don’t it can hinder the growth of the business.

Of course, if you are a small company looking for a CTO managing a team may not be an important skill for them to have. Although your focus may be on their technical expertise you should still find someone that has the ability to manage people because things change and growth happens so you may want to have a CTO that can handle responsibilities like that.

Getting Investment

Something that is really important for smaller companies looking to grow is having a great team. If you are looking for investment your CTO is going to be key to getting that investment. Your technological team is very important for your brand, identity, and trustworthiness. Investors pay a great deal of attention to your technology and how big you could grow. The CTO must have a vision for the future and where that technology can lead them.

Take all these points into account when you start the hiring process for a CTO. If you have any questions about CTO responsibilities or about technology that can help your business contact Sakshi at 408.621.8481 or email

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