When To Hire A CTO For A Start-Up

Stan Sakharchuk June 13, 2020 / 213 views

Technology is an integral part of any business in this day and age. You cannot run your business without having a technologically sound base. Irrespective of the kind of corporation you plan on running, making sure that technology is implemented correctly is essential.


You are always working hard to take your business forward and reach new levels of success. However, an expanding business requires more skilled labour and efficient man-power. If you wish to create an immaculate tech empire, you might have to hire a CTO at some point.

Now, appointing an official in the executive position may sound like a daunting task. Hiring professionals in such positions may need some planning. However, if you understand your business well and have a vision for it, this task might become easier for you.

With the right guidance, you will know exactly when your business requires a CTO or a Chief Technology Officer. Continue reading to learn more about CTOs, and when it is the right time for your business to hire one!

Who is a CTO, and what role does he play?

Time and again, you have heard about a CTO or a chief Technology Operator and why they are important or your business. However, defining the role of a CTO largely depends on your company and its requirements.


Generally, a CTO is someone who looks after the IT sector of your business. He is responsible for keeping the technological aspects of your business up and running. This post also requires them to become a link between technology and product planning in your business operations.


We often confuse a CTO with an IT director. These positions are occupied by two very different professionals. An IT director is responsible solely for the IT department of a business. They plan and direct actions are taken in this department only and align them with the rest of the business functions.

A CTO will focus on the future of your company with regards to technology. They will not be concerned with the day-to-day functioning of your tech operations. These officials are more interested in planning for the future, and they look at the bigger picture. The roles of an IT director and a CTO may seem similar but are not the same. The bottom line is your everyday tech operations are handled by an IT director, whereas the future of your business in technology is strategically planned and executed by the CTO.

When does your start-up need a CTO?
All businesses are different from each other. Your start-up needs are not similar to the needs of larger, more established companies. Generally, start-ups that hire CTOs have a very different set of requirements from their employees.


At large firms and corporate businesses, CTOs are in-charge of a large number of business operations. These officials are not responsible for writing codes and making a technologically sound layout for the business. This executive position requires professionals to make decisions related to the growth of the business.


Start-ups usually require a lot of brainpower and professionals who can contribute to the exponential growth of the business. A CTO working for a start-up will have to work on the codes and the proper functioning of the tech at the firm, whereas this will not be the case at bigger corporations.


A CTO may not be your priority during the inception of your start-up. This is because you will not need a tech executive to churn up codes for your products. You can hire developers and IT professionals to handle this aspect of your business instead. If you think that you need an official to handle your tech department, a CTO might be the way to go.


However, hiring one is not necessary. A CTO is great for when your business is expanding, and you need a professional set of eyes to plan for its future. Most start-ups skip the CTO and wait until they are an established firm to hire one. If you think your business is well-settled and your tech operations need to be taken a step further, then you must hire a CTO. Otherwise, you can make do with developers and IT directors instead.

Who should you hire as your CTO?
If you have decided to hire a CTO for your start-up, you must know what you need to look for. A CTO holds an executive position in a business, and they must possess the necessary skillset required for this position.


Continue reading if you are looking for the right criteria to judge candidates on.

1. Must possess technical skills CTO of a start-up needs to have the necessary technical needs. They must be proficient in programming languages. These officers should also know how to rectify problems related to tech in the business. This is important because, without these skills, a CTO cannot plan and run tech operations for a business.


2. Business skills mentioned earlier, a CTO is not just responsible for the IT management of your business. This is an executive position that requires them to make many decisions for the business too. These professionals are concerned with the planning of the technological progress of the business. Naturally, they will need to make decisions that will lead them towards progress.

3. Must stay updated with technology CTO working for a start-up should always be up to date with new technology. This is because tech is always evolving, and new advancements in technology are made every day. If you wish to stay ahead in this rat race, then you should always know about the best and the newest technology. CTOs are responsible for planning the future of the technology used by the company. If they are not aware of the new advancements made in the world, they are not competent enough for the job.

4. Must have good communication skills good CTO must have communication skills and have a way with people. Chances are your CTO is not going to work very hard on the programming and coding of your products. He will be more invested in meetings, future projects, and finalizing budgets. All this requires them to have people skills. If your CTO has a way with words, he will easily persuade anyone, which might end up profiting your business.

5. Must have a good network if you are a non-technical professional who is venturing into the tech stream, then this is vital for your business. You might not possess the right contacts or know the correct people to take your business forward in such situations. This is where CTOs with vast networks come in. Networking skills are ideal for when you wish to expand your business!

What are your other options?
If you think your business is not ready for a CTO, then you can opt for the other options that you have. Your tech needs are crucial in the initial period when you begin. All start-ups need bright minds and hard work to ensure the smooth sailing of your business.Here are some alternatives you can try for your start-up.

1. Hire developers one of the most important reasons why you should hire developers is that CTOs are hard to come by. There is a level of experience and skill required for CTOs. If you are planning to hire an employee who can look after your tech needs, you can opt for a developer instead. Developers are skilled professionals who can help you create a stronger base for your business. These professionals ensure good communication and better quality development in your IT department. You may need to hire a few developers who can help you expedite the development process in your business.

2. Hire part-time employees if you need someone only during a specific part of the year, then you can try these options instead. Hiring a full-time CTO will adversely affect your funds and might not be viable for the better part of your financial quarters. You can hire part-time help and come up with beneficial contracts that can fetch you skilled labour for very little money. Having too many employees in a start-up may not be as beneficial as you might think it is. The best way to ensure optimum work is to hire people smartly and incorporate part-time workers too.

3. Try outsourcing you are looking for someone who can manage the executive duties in your office, you can outsource them. It is a little known fact that you can outsource employees for executive jobs like CTO too. Outsourcing is not just good for programmers, coders, or developers. It is a great way to find competent people for the post of CTOs for start-ups too. Outsourcing is always preferred by start-ups because it makes your job easier. Your work is more organized efficient, and you get more done in less money. These executives are full of talent, which is just what you need!

4. Local agencies are the way to goLocal agencies are a great option for start-ups that do not wish to hire full-time professionals or freelancers. These agencies have great talent and can provide you with skilled employees. This method is gaining popularity among businesses as it is very cost-effective, and you get quality work done for your business.These local agencies can provide you with the best of work. Employees provided by them are highly skilled and work-oriented. They prioritize your needs and focus on achieving the goals you set for them. Partnering with local firms can highly benefit your start-up and give your tech sector a good boost! 5. Start-up studios are helpfulStart-up studios have everything you may need for your business. It is great for people who are just starting and need numerous services. These studios can provide you with all these services, and you will not have to look further.

In the end.

Hiring CTOs is a tough decision all start-ups need to make. At the end of the day, you must decide if your business needs a CTO, or you can do it without one. Most start-ups prefer waiting until they are settled before hiring. We hope these tips helped make your decision easier. Take your business forward by hiring the best employees who understand your business the way you do!

Have an app concept on your mind?

If you’d like us to build an app for you, let’s book a meeting where we’d assess your current situation, goals and do a free audit of your app to make sure we can help.

  • no commitment
  • 100% free
Get Started