Where and How to Find a CTO for Your Startup

Who Is a CTO: Roles, Responsibilities, Personal Qualities

A Chief Technical Officer (CTO), once unknown and confusing position that has become a competitive advantage in a business environment. Not that long ago, mainly tech giants held CTOs as they deal with dozens of projects, build high-load products, and have a variety of partnerships around the globe, thus, they must uphold their reputation and quality to maintain a competitive edge. These days, more and more newcomers are hiring CTO on-demand to facilitate the technical potential of their operations. Moreover, apart from hiring distributed teams, companies can also hire remote CTO from nearshoring vendor.

CTO is a person with a solid technical background, leadership qualities, and unlimited willingness to keep up to date with technology. CTO is the most responsible position for project execution as all technical matters are led, controlled, and maintained by the executive.

While large technical corporations have established and grounded working processes, startups require to build everything from scratch. A CTO for a startup is a magic wand that helps to find an efficient way to scale up the product, implement technological advancements, execute bug fixing processes, and support the overall company’s strategy.

Startup CTO: Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Technology Officer integrates all technical matters into the company’s business strategy to achieve success with minimum delays and pitfalls. Before we shed light on where to find a startup CTO, let’s take a closer look at what exactly they do.

  • Define the Team

Before any operations within a startup begin and CTOs take the main responsibilities, they build a team: hire engineers, data scientists, developers, QA specialists, and other employees. With this in mind, CTOs should have a clear understanding of startup goals, projects’ stages of development, its complexity and deadlines.

  • Observe Technological Surrounding

A good CTO glues the product and technical implementation to outward the product and make it successful. Simply put, with the CTO, your company is always aware of the newly emerging technologies, and they will be striving to implement those to bring a distinctive feature to your product. For this purpose, it is a common practice for a CTO to visit conferences, pass in-service training and courses, and consult with other CTOs.

  • Coordinate the Workflow

Obviously, all technical processes of the project are controlled and managed under the CTO’s close supervision. The distribution of roles, collection of daily reports, as well as meetings and sync ups, not only help the CTOs create an organized working process but also maintain the internal culture among team members.

  • Shape the Team Spirit

A successful jump of the technical team within a startup also depends on the overall team’s culture. A CTO, thus, fosters a healthy workplace environment by letting the team be initiative, supported, and heard. A contented team is more likely to deliver brilliant results and dedication as well as productivity.

  • Oversee a Need for Change

In the progress of the project, IT specialists may report on the weak areas which might require revisions. For such cases, a CTO takes the role of the researcher to detect the problem and, along with the team, find a best-working solution.

  • Coding

Yes, despite the fact that CTOs hire a team of software developers to code, their responsibilities also presuppose this duty, especially in startup projects. The CTOs in large corporations have numerous subordinates to perform the technical duties of the project unlike startups, which are still growing, thus, the workforce is not that powerful.

Where to Find Your CTO for a Startup

In general, you have several options on how to find a CTO for a startup and how to execute the process. In-house CTO and remote CTO –  time to clear out the difference and define pros and cons to have a background to decide what will work for you.

In-house CTO – an employee who has a direct personal interaction with the team and all other departments in a company.
Pros

  • Direct integration with all departments in a company
  • Quick responsiveness and interaction
  • Easy to align with the corporate culture
Cons

  • Lofty labor costs
  • Limited pool of candidates
  • The costs of hiring a wrong person are very high
  • Often CTOs want to get a share in the company
Remote CTO –  the table below demonstrates why to hire remote CTO for startups: a close up look on distinctive peculiarities.
Pros

  • Smart hiring costs
  • Various destinations (countries) to hire from
  • Quick hiring process
  • Opportunity to employ for short-term projects
  • Rich candidate pool
Cons

  • Cultural and language barrier
  • Communication gap due to time zone difference
  • Need to arrange regular live meetings with the management and cover travel and accommodation costs

The model of hiring CTO mainly depends on your preferences and needs; however, startups that hire remote CTO benefit in terms of a wide range of candidates presented on the global market, lower costs for hiring, high level of responsibility and dedication, and ability to have a person on a short-term basis.

How to Find a CTO via Nearshoring Model

Nearshoring services give you access to a wide range of technical experts around the world. In Mobilunity, the process of hiring developers for startup is the same as hiring remote software development teams. Take a look at how we can help you in a quest of “where to find CTO”: fee, steps, start date, selection process.

  • Step 1 – Define your goals, needs, requirements, project instructions – our recruitment team considers all crucial information to find the best suitable candidate and meet your needs.
  • Step 2 – Signing NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) and starting the engine – we recommend our clients to sign NDA so we could provide them with a full candidates’ profile including examples of their code.
  • Step 3 – Selecting and interviewing the candidates – before we offer you a shortlist of CTOs, we conduct internal interviews to check the candidates on the matters that are important (employment status, personal qualities, briefly assessing hard skills).
  • Step 4 – Presenting CVs of shortlisted candidates with our recommendations – here, you will have full information about developers, you can schedule interviews, give them test tasks, and decide whom to hire. Another good thing about our services is that if you do not have enough expertise to assess your candidates, we will gladly assist you in this question and direct you to our developers who can help you with that.
  • Step 5 – Final agreements – the only thing left is to discuss the start date and begin the cooperation.

3 Success Stories of Startups Hiring Ukrainian CTOs

Ukraine remains a promising destination from where to find a good CTO. Ukraine currently employs around 190,000 IT specialists, the largest pool in CEE. Moreover, there is a good number of tech firms of world’s recognition, that provide their software development services to West Europe, Asia, as well as North and South America. Here are 3 examples of startups who are gaining momentum from hiring Ukrainian remote CTOs.

  1. Vladyslav Yatsenko, a CTO from Ukraine, is now a complete member of the UK-based fintech corporation Revolut. Vladyslav has graduated from a Ukrainian university with a master’s degree in computer science. Previously working in the banking industry, he is experienced in financial systems development and delegates technical matters for Revolut.
  2. GitLab – a huge DevOps platform whose main specialization includes project planning, source code management, CI/CD and monitoring. In 2011, they hired Dmitriy Zaporozhets to execute the role of CTO on a remote-basis. The cooperation turned out to be skyrocket, so in 2015, Dmitriy became a full-time lead author of GitLab CE and CI.
  3. One of the first employees of the globally-used SEO tools platform Ahrefs was a Ukrainian CTO Igor Pikovets. He managed to guide the backend development, build the core storage, and hold the process of fixing bugs. The company that used to be small-scale and invisible on the market, is now the most demanding platform for other companies to backlink analyzing, link building, and competitors’ monitoring. They claim Igor to be willing to constantly look for ways of strengthening the technical core of the company and hire world-class developers to be a part of his team.

Mobilunity Provides Remote CTO for Esurance

Esurance is a Swiss-based InsurTech company that successfully utilizes a nearshoring model and is one of the biggest clients of Mobilunity with a successful track record of 3+ years. In 2017, we started to integrate our reliable dedicated software engineers to the prosperity of esurance that provides transparent insurance services for SMEs. The satisfaction from the quality of delivered services, timely manner, and security led esurance to the decision of hiring a remote CTO at Mobilunity.

Alexander Klimenko demonstrated a good number of 9 years in the IT sector with skills in PHP, SOA, Docker, Distributed Systems, and, based on Mobilunity’s coordination, successfully joined the esurance team. Initially, he performed PM duties with 70% dedicating his time for coding. With time, Alex managed not only to gather skilled professionals around him but also properly managed them to streamline the company’s strategies by fulfilling all technical requirements.

We have been providing nearshoring services for over 9 years to small and large companies around the world. Mobilunity was created with a core mission of engaging the very best in Ukrainian IT talent and leveraging the relationships we build to unite that talent with companies from around the globe. CTO consulting services presuppose careful analysis and responsibility of the recruitment process, that’s why we prioritize your needs, preferences, and requirements to shoot straight on them and naturally help you extend the in-house team with remote employees. These days, not only do we solve the issue of talent shortage for companies around the world, but also show them where to find CTO for startup; so, why not take the opportunity to hire him/her from Mobilunity?

Does your business idea require a world-class software development solution? Mobilunity will help you to hire remote CTO for a successful product launch!

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