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The Team at Laudale

5 things Technology leaders want to know about your opportunity

4 minute read

We’ve interviewed 1000s of ‘Business Technology’ leaders (IT Directors, CIOs, CTOs, CDOs, ‘Heads of’, etc.), from which we’ve gained a vast amount of insight.

Interestingly, no matter how many technology leaders we speak to, 9 times out of 10, we are asked a variance of the same handful of questions.

Why is this interesting? Because these questions are rarely answered or addressed by representatives of the hiring company at the first point of contact with a potential candidate.

In a talent scarce market this is a missed opportunity.

By clearly articulating answers to these questions up front you will greatly increase your chances of keeping the best candidates engaged. Weak or no answers to these points simply increases the probability that great candidates lose interest.

Done well, this means that everyone involved in your recruitment process is aligned and can answer questions like the following.

1.What are you trying to achieve with this appointment?
There are many variants on this question that centre around company vision, strategy, objectives, and how you would like technology to contribute. Does the business know what it wants to be? You’re making a significant change by bringing in a technology leader – why? What would you like the outcome to be, and by when?

2. How is the technology function currently perceived by the wider business?
It’s helpful that the candidate knows the current lay-of-the-land and what’s on their prospective customers’ minds. This perception isn’t always negative! The technology function could be flying and therefore it’s important to maintain momentum. Conversely there could be some bridges to build.

3. What level of financial backing and proposed investment in technology is there?
Think about your own position – if you’re being held to account for a function, knowing your budget is a prerequisite. It could be that there’s very little IT spend and the candidate will have to create efficiencies to reinvest. Or you could have a pot of cash. Either way, be clear about this up front.

4. What level of sponsorship and influence will the technology leader have?
Similar to the above point, but separate to financial backing. The incoming technology leader will ultimately make impactful decisions. How are decisions made? Will the successful candidate have access to the exec/board? Who is chiefly behind him or her when making the big calls?

5. How did this position come about?
Very obvious, right? Yet, few job adverts make explicit reference to this, and it’s infrequently clearly articulated at first point of contact. You might be creating a new CTO role to improve tech capability, following new investment. You might be replacing someone who hasn’t worked out. Whichever way the vacancy came about, clearly articulating this up-front is a simple and professional way to start the conversation effectively.

In your experience what else is important to address early on in the recruitment process? Technology leaders: what questions do you want answering before seriously considering an opportunity?

Preparing effectively for a strategic appointment can significantly increase the likelihood of a successful recruitment drive. Laudale help clients to make the key decisions that will shape their approach to recruitment.

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