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IT Recruitment - How to hire a Chief Technology Officer responsible for driving the business forward through technology.

2020-07-28
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Welcoming a new leader on board

The dynamics in the fast-moving technology industry require companies to lead from the front and the talented technical teams give them the edge.

Any development team, even with the best skills and expertise on board, need guidance to elevate the products and drive the business growth.

One of our clients, offering a new generation of IT solutions for the higher education sector, faced a challenge of bringing onboard a new Chief of Software Development. PCG Academia,  a Polish subsidiary of a company with a US presence – Public Consulting Group, needed someone to lead their team while ensuring a successful technical delivery of a growing portfolio of projects.

What was the challenge? 

The organization anticipated a significant growth in the coming year, and a strategic business plan had been built to elevate and innovate the business. The person overseeing the software development so far, after a couple of years with the organization, was relocating to a different city and parting ways with the company. They needed to appoint a new Chief of Software Development - a technical savvy leader responsible for driving the business forward through technology. Not only were we to look for an expert to take the ownership of the product roadmap, ensure its successful execution and delivery, but also someone highly commercial and capable of engaging with senior stakeholders. We knew the challenge would be the limited number of candidates with the right skillset within the area. Therefore, straight from the beginning, we used the design thinking methodology to define the right path to success.

HR Contact had supported PCG Academia in the recruitment process of the HR Business Partner just a few months back. We introduced to the organization an experienced expert to develop and enact HR initiatives that supported the business objectives. During the process, we’ve gotten to know the organization and most importantly, we’ve built a partnership based on honest and open communication, discussing the challenges and focusing on finding solutions.

The Process

One of the first steps was a very thorough briefing session with the company. In close partnership with our client, we’ve gathered an in-depth knowledge of their business needs. An insightful discussion enabled us to truly understand who the company needed on board. A role profile was constructed, along with details of the goals, challenges and expectations. We were looking for a unique blend of skills – technical expertise, project management mindset, leadership and business acumen.

We tailored our approach and created the recruitment strategy. As it was crucial for the person to be on-site, and fully remote work was not an option, we targeted the local market landscape first. The specified skill-set made us focus on a very detailed research. We scrupulously mapped the suitable technology companies. Due to the limited talent pool in the area, we’ve gradually broaden our search to identify and engage with a wide range of experts.

We approached 86 candidates during our team sourcing sessions, generating also a number of recommendations and referrals within our network. As the challenge was to find the expert with a wide business perspective and a senior leadership experience, but also hands-on enough to provide the technical oversight, we focused on designing a tailored screening and interview process to verify all the matching criteria. 

We had 8 screening calls, qualified 6 experts for the full interviews and shared the short-list of 4 recommendations. Throughout the process, we were in contact with our client, addressing the challenges, discussing possible solutions and working towards a common goal - bringing on board the right person for the role.

In a nutshell:

• We reached out to 86 candidates

• We had 8 screening calls

Qualified 6 for full interviews

• Shared the shortlist of 4 recommendation


The success

To identify the expert with the unique blend of skills and expertise, we were able to leverage our network. We reached out to a candidate that we’ve cooperated with on a different recruitment project years back and engaged him in the recruitment process. The successful candidate had been invited to join the PCG Academia’s team to drive the company’s growth as the Chief of Software Development. We still continue our cooperation, enjoying a strong partnership and supporting the organization with bringing onboard the best talent.

“HR Contact has been crucial in helping us to achieve our recruitment goals – the team not only wanted too deeply understand the CTO role but also along the process provided us with the business recommendations. They shared the insights about the market and suggested solutions for us to successfully hire the right person. We consider our experience with HR Contact much more individualized and adjusted to our needs. The whole process was smooth and effective. We recommend HR Contact as a recruitment agency”. 

Justyna Kurek-Wdowiak, HR Business Partner, PCG Academia- about cooperation with the HR Contact team.


Author: Olga Kamińska

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