A startup is defined as a new line of business, the peculiarity of which is that the CTO does everything or almost everything. From organizing marketing, sales testing, and product development to supporting it all: accounting, legal, processing, and others. How do you hire CTO?
Problems That Prevent You From Hiring CTO
You need a CTO who knows and can do everything
You need a versatile and very strong person. They must know and know everything: sales, marketing, product, and be a lawyer at the same time. Such a well-rounded person is difficult to find.
Unclear prospects of the project and salary.
The startup may or may not be successful. Maybe in a quarter, you will decide to close this direction, because it is unprofitable and does not bring any intermediate results — or maybe the project will be a success in 5 years. Not everyone is ready to work with that kind of uncertainty, to begin with.
Hence another difficulty — it is not clear how much to pay an employee for work. Promise them a percentage, a share, a fix, a quarterly or annual bonus for achievements — it is unclear what to tie it all too. Or even understandable, but very, very roughly.
To hire CTO who will be a professional, you have to present a company with no name
A non-existent company, an underdeveloped company, or a small company is hard to sell to a job seeker if you’re an investor without a known name. If you already have several projects of your own that bring results and are known in the market — then there should be no problem. If you do not have a well-known name, then you will have to present not only a company that does not exist but also yourself and the prospects of working with you.
How Do You Find A CTO? The Standard Ways To Find A CTO
Hire CTOs by an acquaintance.
There are successful examples, but there are very few. Not everyone knows how to separate communication: today you’re friends, and now you’re talking like an investor to a CTO.
Independent recruitment through HR platforms
The second job option is self-selection through a job search and placement resources. When you post a job posting where you specify a high income, you’ll get a lot of responses. How to choose from the number of applicants who responded to select the one who really can do something?
Hire CTOs with the help of staffing agencies
Recruitment agencies love to select top managers, but they are not very good at it. Most companies don’t or don’t do a good job.
The Real Reasons For The Problems That Keep You From Hiring CTO
Inability to set goals
Often an investor or founder doesn’t know how to set tasks and doesn’t understand that a business needs not just any director or employee with top-manager experience, but a person who can perform specific tasks in a particular business. It is the inability to get goals and objectives out of the customer that is the main reason that staffing agencies won’t help you.
Yes, you can hire a wonderful person, with the right experience in the market and with a good education, but they won’t close your goals because he’s never done it.
Inability to work with many applicants
The market for the selection of top managers is a buyer’s market, i.e. you. And here you dictate the terms because there are many times more applicants than adequate offers on the market. When selecting sales managers, the situation is reversed; there are not enough of them, but there are a lot of CTOs. What to do with them and how to properly filter them?
Even the best candidate may not be the right one.
The staffing agency says that they have a proven base that will help solve your problem. The same can be said by someone you know, “I have a great specialist, I recommend.” The problem is that these people are good in the context of solving some other problems. And not the fact that they are good in your particular case.
How To Hire CTO?
Write out tasks and goals for your future CTO
Whatever you think you need to do. Don’t think that a person who knows better than you the direction you want to develop will come.
If you don’t know it at all, order an audit or consultation from a professional in that market. If you know the business, it will not be difficult for you to write the objectives and goals for the new direction.
To hire CTO, write down the selection criteria
You need to formulate the criteria for the employee you are looking for: who is needed, what skills, what experience, who you will work with, and who you won’t. There are not many criteria.
Provide a system of motivation
Motivation at the start will be only approximate — given the fact that there are no clear criteria for the result. It is better to pay a little more than the average CTO gets — this is a conditional allowance for the ambition of the task and the uncertainty of business problems at the start.
Carry out the selection
Remark — all of these steps need to be sold. It should be clear to the job seeker why they should waste their time with you. Once you’ve articulated all of the above, as well as your advantages as an investor and employer, it makes sense to start recruiting.
Publishing the job and parsing the criteria
The number of people depends on how much you understand the criteria, and whether people state those criteria on their resumes. Then you do a mailing list for the actual job and call everyone — both those who responded themselves and those to whom we sent an email describing the job.
Interviewing the job seeker
In the next step, we interview applicants according to the criteria we’ve developed with you. The response varies greatly; the number of questionnaires depends on you as the employer, the conditions you offer, and the niche.
If you want to hire CTO who will be a real professional, the questionnaire helps to filter out those who are obviously not suitable. For the rest, you send a test assignment. This is one of the main tools you can and should use to select the right CTO for the startup. In the test assignment, you give difficult, worrying problems, difficulties, or tasks that you want the person to solve.
The level of questions can be different. The first-level questions have right and wrong answers. The second level of questions is already in-depth. Here you give a lot of input; the answer may be different, and even you may not know the right one. At the same time, all the answers will have to be proofread. Practice shows that people are interested in answering good cases.
At the end of the tests, leave the people you would like to talk to. It is better to agree with two or three candidates, because some of them might not accept your offer, and you will not be able to get the CTO.
Checking references of the applicant
It is mandatory to check references from previous jobs. Call personally the contacts he gives. This feedback will confirm that the person knows how to break up with previous employers adequately and without negativity. But never believe one source — people are different.
By doing such a complete, detailed job, it is very likely that you will be able to hire CTO. If you think it’s voluminous and too complicated — you can opt for an outsourced CTO service today.