How Do I Find a CTO?

By Grit Daily Staff Grit Daily Staff has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on March 26, 2023

From having an open mind and patience to reaching out to different networks, here are eight answers to the question, “How do I find a CTO?”

  • Reach Out to Your Personal Network
  • Look Into Referrals From Colleagues and Industry Contacts
  • Post Openings on Job Boards
  • Poach from a Competitor
  • Search for Talent at Tech Conferences
  • Research Candidates Thoroughly 
  • Connect Through Work Events
  • Use Word of Mouth and Online Research

Reach Out to Your Personal Network

After I started my SEO boutique agency, I knew I needed a CTO to help me develop the technical infrastructure for our services. I started by reaching out to my personal network and asking people in similar positions who they might recommend.

From there, I made a list of potentials and reached out to each individually. Once I had a list of candidates, I asked questions related to their experience and success in the field. I also asked them to provide references and to elaborate on any projects they had worked on.

After a few rounds of interviewing, I could narrow down my list and ultimately chose the best candidate for the job. Ultimately, I found that having an open mind, being thorough in my research, and taking the time to get to know each potential CTO was the key to success.

Lukasz Zelezny, SEO Consultant, SEO Consultant London

Look Into Referrals from Colleagues and Industry Contacts

When searching for a CTO, it’s important to look for someone with both technical and managerial experience. A great CTO should have experience managing teams, choosing technical strategies, and delivering measurable results.

In my experience working with companies and individuals, I’ve seen that one effective way to find a CTO is to leverage personal and professional networks. Reach out to colleagues and industry contacts, and let them know you’re looking for a CTO with specific skills and experience. 

They may recommend someone or connect you with potential candidates. That was the way we found our CTO and major developer. I was talking with a former colleague from the university; I explained to him what I was looking for and he recommended a person who was a good fit. Some days later, I interviewed that person. I explained my project, and he loved it. One week later, we worked together.

Luciano Colos, Founder and CEO, PitchGrade

Post Openings on Job Boards

As my company grew, ‌it needed someone to lead the tech team and drive the company’s technical strategy. What I did was reach out to my network and post job openings on relevant job boards. I received many resumes, but many of the candidates lacked the experience or leadership skills that I was looking for.

After several months of searching, I met a candidate who had been a CTO at a successful startup in a related industry. I interviewed the candidate and found that they had the right mix of technical expertise and leadership skills. The candidate was passionate about the company’s mission and could communicate the technical vision in a way that aligned with the company’s values.

It took a lot of time, but we could hire the right CTO!

Kartik Ahuja, CEO and Founder, GrowthScribe

Poach from a Competitor

To hire our CTO, we profiled several candidates we were targeting for the role based on their experience and what they would bring to our organization. 

Our search narrowed down to a standout employee in the tech department of a competitor whom we had interacted with through an online webinar. 

We reached out with an offer and gave the individual time to consider, after which they tendered their resignation to the competitor’s company and joined our team.

Liam Liu, Co-Founder and CMO, Parcel Panel

Search for Talent at Tech Conferences

I went to a tech conference in San Francisco where a young, smart developer gave the keynote speech. His knowledge of the latest technology, passion for invention, and skill at explaining complicated technical ideas interestingly all made an impression on me.

I went up to him and started a discussion about his work. His technical knowledge, leadership abilities, and strategic thinking struck me during our interview, and I immediately offered him the CTO position.

In the end, I understood that selecting the ideal CTO required more than just technical expertise and training; it also required looking for someone who shared the company’s vision and had the desire and passion to make it a reality.

Michael Lees, Chief Marketing Officer, EZLease

Research Candidates Thoroughly 

When I was ready to start my search for a CTO, the first thing I did was reach out to my network. I asked friends and colleagues who they knew or had worked with who might be a good fit for the role.

This allowed me to identify several potential candidates and quickly narrow down my search. Once I had a list of potential CTOs, I did more research online to better understand their experience and qualifications.

This included reading up on their professional histories, reviewing any relevant publications they had written, and seeing what others were saying about them on social media or industry forums.

Michael Dadashi, CEO, Infinite Recovery

Connect Through Work Events

I recently attended a networking event, and I connected with experienced CTOs there. I met an experienced CTO through a friend at the event and they had the right qualifications to fit the role in my company. 

We had multiple conversations and ultimately decided that he was the right fit for the role. I’m so glad I made the connection and could find the perfect CTO for my company!

Ranee Zhang, VP of Growth, Airgram

Use Word of Mouth and Online Research

I found my CTO through a combination of word of mouth and the power of the Internet. After talking to some of my networks about the type of person I was looking for, I could find a few potential candidates.

From there, I used the Internet to research each one’s experience and background. I contacted each one and had a few conversations before deciding on the right person. I was lucky enough to find someone with the right experience and the right attitude, and that made all the difference.

Jessica Carrell, Co-Founder, AnySoftwareTools

By Grit Daily Staff Grit Daily Staff has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Grit Daily News is the premier startup news hub. It is the top news source on Millennial and Gen Z startups — from fashion, tech, influencers, entrepreneurship, and funding. Based in New York, our team is global and brings with it over 400 years of combined reporting experience.

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