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Is It Possible to Hire A Remote CTO For A Startup? 7 Pitfalls to Avoid

Hiring tech-talent has become a new norm in IT and software development fields. Initially, hiring software developers was very popular; but nowadays, hiring C-level executives has become a new trend in the industry. Recently, a sizable number of dedicated websites and portals such as FindVirtualCTO.com for hiring CTO or Chief Technology Officer for startup businesses have emerged in the marketplace.

Why Are More Startups Turning to Hiring Remote CTOs?

According to the Flexjobs information, more than 159% of growth in the remote work market has been noticed during 2005 and 2017 in the US only. A massive uptrend in hiring remote tech-talent is highly prevalent worldwide. Meanwhile, the State of Remote Work 2019 report reveals that software development and IT services are the top 2 industries making over 56% of the entire remote workforce.

Hiring a C-level executive, especially a remote CTO is becoming a new uptrend in startups and SMEs due to numerous reasons. A few important ones are listed below.

Responsibilities of a Remote CTO?

A Chief Technology Officer CTO is the head of the engineering or technological department in an organization. He is responsible for fulfilling the technological requirements for achieving the best possible performance of the company. 

The major responsibilities of an expert chief technology officer include the management and utilization of the company’s technological resources including human resources and technical infrastructure efficiently. The effective use of existing resources and adding new technologies that are needed for developing a competitive-edge with the market competitor also form the fundamentals of a CTO’s responsibilities.

The detailed list of responsibilities of a virtual CTO is given below.  

Top Skills to Look for While Hiring a Virtual CTO?

Hiring a CTO is a very critical process, which needs professional-level expertise to access the skills, experience, and qualifications of a CTO candidate. A remote CTO in startups is supposed to take responsibility for all technical aspects of the company. So, he/she should possess all major skills to achieve those objectives in startups. A few very important skills to look for while hiring a virtual CTO are mentioned below.

Technical Skills

Soft Skills

Management Skills

Top 7 Mistakes to Avoid While Hiring a Remote CTO

A Chief Technical Officer (CTO) plays a pivotal role in the progressive future of modern businesses. So, hiring the wrong person would result in complete devastation. So, a remote CTO should be hired very carefully to avoid the following top mistakes while hiring a remote CTO.

  1. Considering cost as the top priority – Without any doubt, cost is a big factor in any competitive business, but considering cost as the top priority is a big mistake while hiring a remote CTO. You should make a better trade-off between cost, quality, experience, and skills to avoid this mistake. A CTO acts as the technical spine of the company so he/she should not be measured in salary at all.
  2. Focusing on narrow Picture – While hiring a virtual CTO always consider a broader picture of your business and the entire business ecosystem. Don’t confine your thinking to a certain domain such as enhancing existing infrastructure, cutting cost, or adding process automation. Consider the broader picture to improve the performance and business outcome thoroughly.
  3. Overrating skills over experience – Many times, hiring managers make a mistake by focusing unduly on the technical skills rather than counting the experience at large. A CTO is not supposed to work with technical things but he has to plan the effective use of those technologies. In such circumstances, always focus on a balance between skills and experience. 
  4. Missing experience in the relevant field – Experience should be in the field exactly in a similar environment that your company works in. Sometimes, this point is missed, which leads to undesirable results. Always focus on the relevancy of the experience.
  5. Skipping portfolio analysis and feedback – Analyzing portfolios and taking recommendations from past employers is very important in hiring a CTO for startups. This factor is missed in some cases, which may lead to disastrous outcomes.
  6. Forgetting about business acumen – The position of a virtual CTO is not all about the knowledge of technology but the effective use of technology through business acumen to increase the performance, competitiveness, and business process efficiency. Normally, hiring managers commit a mistake to miss this domain during the hiring process.
  7. Mixing rhetoric with creativity – Creativity is not all about talking beautiful quotes and experience. Solving common problems with the most efficient way and thinking out of the box is the most fundamental item for developing innovative solutions. Don’t miss to check-out the creative approach of the CTO.

Final Takeaway

Hiring a professional CTO remotely is possible for startups to earn numerous business advantages such as cost-efficiency, better ROI, and flexibility. The hiring process should be accomplished professionally by finding the right skills and avoiding the most common mistakes while hiring a virtual CTO as mentioned in this article.

Is It Possible to Hire A Remote CTO For A Startup? 7 Pitfalls to Avoid was last updated October 26th, 2020 by Anastasia Stefanuk
Is It Possible to Hire A Remote CTO For A Startup? 7 Pitfalls to Avoid was last modified: October 26th, 2020 by Anastasia Stefanuk