One of the hardest things to do as a Non-Technical Co-founder is to recruit a CTO who can join the company later but still share in the passion that you have for the product.
With the rise of accelerators, hands-on investors and easy options to build an MVP and launch, many CEOs are finding that they have so much to do in running the business and looking after the client end of things that they are in difficulty when it comes to dedicating time to finding the right CTO to fit the business.
The need for a CTO
Launching by having your product built by a third party or a friend is great and is a really cost effective way to get to MVP however, it creates a legacy of technical debt and potentially difficult code or technology stacks that might not be right to scale the product. This is where the CTO or Lead Developer is really key to taking you through to the next level.
At this point the CEO or COO will be heavily engaged in running teams, working with clients, mapping feature sets and reporting to the board. Their main constraints will be time as well as funding the hiring of a new CTO. Using agencies can be costly, 25% of salary is not a small amount, trying to find someone suitable through friends, referrals and networking can take forever, whilst the board will be increasing the pressure to hire every month.
The reality of hiring a CTO
I recently worked on a project for a client to do exactly this and thought it might be useful to share our experience.
The total amount of time to hire was 55 hours. This included setting up job postings, reaching out through LinkedIn, searching job boards, tele-screening candidates, organising technical screens and skype interviews with the CEO, COO, investors and finally closing the deal with the candidate. All of this was delivered by a professional recruiter, used to hiring at this level for this type of business.
That’s probably the average week for a CEO, ask one you know if they could afford the time to do this! I very much doubt it.
How can we help?
We reached out to over 250 candidates directly, managed over 80 advertising responses and had over 10 direct referrals across multiple sources.
We posted across Europe, headhunted, networked and drove the process on, keeping our candidates in the process during August when everyone was on holiday, giving consistent feedback to candidates and managing communications.
What did the company gain?
Using our process we believe that candidates get a better view of the company, have a better experience and due to implementing a workflow system called Workable, our clients are able to build a talent pool that will be receptive to them the next time they hire.
The learning points from this were:
For under 30% of the cost of an agency, a slick process and the opportunity to build an ATS, we hired a great CTO, did it in a reasonable time frame and the CEO spent less than five hours in actual interviewing. Now that is a good result!
TheTalentHackers.com is an in house recruitment service for startups and fast growth companies in the Technology, Bio and Mobile world. To find out more visit www.thetalenthackers.com