Even if you have a brilliant idea and a bit of courage to implement it, it may not be enough to run a successful startup. You also need a technical wrap for your project to make it work. As startups involve innovation and not yet proven technology or service, such projects are very risky. To avoid failing under the rising amount of technical tasks, it is worthwhile to look for a technical coordinator who would transform your idea vision into clear technical solutions. So, how to hire a CTO to give more chances to your startup?
CTO (Chief Technician Officer) is not only an engineer as it is widely thought. This concept is much broader. CTO is the technical leader of the company. He understands the pains and challenges of the business and can find a technical solution for these. He can tell which people to hire, what tools to use, how much time should be spent on adoption or change, etc.
This person is able to study and predict the short and long-term needs of the startup. CTO authorizes investments to help the company achieve its goals.
There are several important stages where CTO plays a crucial role: Business idea. Even if you have created a seemingly working business plan, a CTO will evaluate the technical potential of your idea and available methods of its implementation; MVP development. Even if the idea has been approved, it is still too early to pass on to full-fledged development. It needs to be tested in a real environment prior to serious investments. It is best if a CTO is a co-founder of a startup and has profound programming knowledge; Further development and support of the product. After successful MVP testing, CTO is dealing with further product improvement. He scales up the developing team to speed up ready product deployment.
It will not be enough to hire a technical specialist. You will need a person who is keen on making strategic decisions and choosing a vector of work. There are many ways to find a CTO for your project. Become a CTO yourself. Even if you feel technically strong enough to bring your idea into life, think well if you will have enough time reserved for it. It is about the ability to objectively assess the business as a whole. You should be able to promptly generate decisions that are important for the management of the company and take responsibility for their implementation. It requires a lot of learning, and still, it is a long way that is rarely possible to cover without mistakes. Look for candidates in the nearest circle. Be sure to use your network, take a closer look at your friends, and ask for recommendations.
If you don’t have a relevant local network, take a look at conferences. There you can find experienced experts who follow technology trends and, at the same time, have good communication skills. One of the options is to look for a potential CTO at local tech meetups. If there are no such events at your location, you may look for professionals online. There are many great developer communities like Dev.to. Attract a freelancer. Some platforms for self-employed specialists allow finding highly skilled freelance developers. You may find a lot of high-level specialists on Clutch or Upwork. However, the main drawback of this option is the lack of long-term commitments: freelancers are constantly switching from one project to another.
When, after launching a product, you need to refine it again, a freelancer may not be free to come to your aid. Use outsourcing. This method will be especially interesting for small startups with a tight budget. Theoretically, you can hire a CTO from an outsourcing company from anywhere in the world. These companies usually offer the best talents from the Asian region at very competitive prices. They can help you list the competencies your CTO needs, formulate his tasks and find the right candidates. But be ready to work remotely during the whole project and in different time zones.
Excellent technical background. To evaluate the professionalism of the candidate, it is enough to review their previous projects. Great communication skills. The success of your startup significantly depends on the level of interaction within your team. Besides having strong technical skills, a CTO must be able to maintain a positive psychological climate in your startup.Team building approach. Ask the potential candidate about their previous experience. A good CTO is always proud of their team’s achievements. Being a team player is a valuable soft skill of the CTO-to-be. Ability to see the long-term perspective. A professional CTO is equally capable of navigating the company in the present and foreseeing the future.
CTO plays an essential role in a tech startup. And it may take you months to find the right person to manage your business. It is recommended to look for a person who would be ready to evolve with your business and take on new roles along with its growth. When selecting a candidate, pay special attention to his desire to learn and understanding of the business side of your company. You would be lucky to find a person who used to work with similar projects. But note that any good developer can learn a new programming language, so it doesn’t matter what languages or frameworks they have worked with in the past. The key point is their potential and willingness to work in your team.