Exceptionly placed its first Chief Technology Officer to one of the fastest-growing software services companies in the United Arab Emirates last week. We wanted to congratulate Eren Aygunes on his new role at Lean Scale as the CTO. I’m proud of my crew at Exceptionly and our partners at Lean Scale for making this happen. To celebrate, we’re giving 50 free copies of the fantastic book “Thinking Like a CTO” by a seasoned technology leader Umut Gökbayrak. You can join the draw by commenting under our Linkedin post here.
Chief Technology Officer is one of the essential hires any founder would make. Usually, it is the second or third most important role in a technology company. It is more challenging than hiring a hands-on coding software engineer since you need to make sure that specific management skills such as Software Architecture, Change Management, Team Management, Output, and Quality Optimization are beyond technical skills. Let me give you some brief figures before we proceed to HOW-TOs of this success.
Here are the funnel figures for the Chief Technology Officer role at our client Lean Scale:
Endorsements by Exceptionly
7 (64% conversion)
4 (57% conversion)
1 (25% conversion)
How to hire a CTO
Project duration: 65 days
Here are the critical steps of hiring a CTO based on experience. Founders will need a good combination of objective hands-on testing and leadership skills assessments to make better decisions or work with an expert team such as Exceptionly.
- Do not sugar coat the realities of your current software engineering challenges
The Lean Scale crew’s best thing was to put in the realities of their software engineering process during hiring interviews. They did not sugarcoat the truth. Since they already have a good functioning engineering team, they explained their perfection expectations clearly during the process. They discussed the short-term and long-term expectations from the CTO, and they were looking for a “challenge accepted” attitude. They got what they needed.
- Offer a combination of above-average base payment and bonuses
While I can’t disclose the deal details, after the initial interviews and providing a complete picture of their current status in software engineering, they offered a highly competitive compensation package which made candidates both interested and excited about what they can build in their environment. I suggest you do the same.
- Offer incentives for the CTO candidate to be a part of the game in the long run
When you are looking for a CTO, you are hiring a key partner for a multi-year journey, be honest. Base payment and bonuses are outstanding, but what else? CTO is not someone you can replace weekly, so you should be providing a clear path to becoming a part of the success in the long run. Lean Scale was super bright in setting clear expectations, incentives, and a growth path in the future.
- Meritocracy is the key – introduce the candidate to your engineering team before hiring
One of the critical success factors in this project was the overall software engineering team involved in the hiring process. After several interviews, Lean Scale opened the candidates to its software engineering leaders and collected votes. The CEO made the final decision, but we all know that great software engineers want to work with a leader to look up to. This move is going to reduce the integration time and struggles.
- Provide clear performance, quality, and cost targets on your software engineering process
Lean Scale already had over 50 software engineers working full-time on their projects. They set the goals during interviews in a crystal clear fashion and monitored the reactions of the CTO candidate closely. While they deliver high-quality software products on a weekly basis, they wanted to optimize the speed, quality, and volume of the output. Beyond that, they wanted to optimize the software delivery cost using modern cloud technologies such as AWS.
Need help with your CTO hire?
Exceptionly has over 100 hands-on tested CTO candidates with a proven track record of building amazing software products with remote teams from all around the world. Feel free to schedule a quick talent strategy meeting with me to introduce you to my team and help you hire the best of the best software engineering talent as CTO, Software Engineering Manager, Team Lead, Software Engineers, DevOps, or QA Automation Engineers.