In a world consumed by technology, a CTO is critical for most organizations to meet consumer demands.
What does a business do if they need a technical leader, but it’s not ready for a large investment? Sometimes hiring a dedicated employee could be too expensive, or feel too risky. One solution is simple and requires little commitment and expense: an interim CTO.
There is a bridge between a full-time employee and a consultant. Enter the interim CTO, a solution that fits with any size organization in any industry.
What is an Interim CTO?
An Interim CTO is an alternative to a full-time employee. A traditional Chief Technology Officer drives innovation, owns strategy for technological resources, oversees products and teams, and is responsible new systems and structures. An interim or fractional CTO provides these same functions within an organization.
This is typically a transitional executive. When a company needs a new CTO, it may hire an interim CTO to lead the function while they conduct a search.
These executives are not permanent employees. They do not require benefits, bonus packages, and other investments.
The interim CTO may not join a company full-time, sometimes working less than 40 hours a week. In other scenarios, this executive immerses themselves within a business, no different than other employees.
What is a Fractional CTO?
Typically the fractional CTO is responsible for a portion of a CTO’s duties and provides on-demand services. Some companies use fractional CTOs to manage products, assess a tech stack, establish a technology roadmap, and more.
Why should a company hire an Interim CTO?
- Controlled cost. Smaller organizations can hire a fractional CTO to advise the business without committing to the significant cost of hiring these experienced executives. If a company is enduring financial struggles, an interim CTO may be a good fit as the company rights itself.
- Set schedule. Some companies hire interim CTOs for a trial period. This provides the opportunity to observe in real-time if the executive produces results and fits in culturally.
- Speed. Interim CTOs can join an organization very quickly. When there is no time for an extended executive search, a fractional leader can be found within days, as opposed to months.
- Limited onboarding. These experienced executives understand the challenges many organizations face. Been there, done that. They’re prepared to hit the ground running because they’re experienced in business challenges and tech.
When should a company hire an Interim CTO?
Every company is different, but there are several factors that call for a temporary executive.
Interim executives are an attractive option to companies moving through transition or rapidly growing. At a company’s inception, a chief technologist may not be necessary. But as an organization evolves, the business may decide to test this leader within their organization. When the role of technology expands within a company, an interim CTO may be valuable.
The average search for a Chief Technology Officer can take upward of eight weeks. Sometimes an organization needs a leader in the immediate absence of the former CTO. For example, in the middle of a digital transformation or product launch. When the internal need is critical, an interim CTO fills a seat quickly.
Other times, an organization may have a completely new role to fill – the CTO. If this is the case, a company can use a temporary executive to showcase what a CTO can do in a permeant capacity.
Interim CTOs arrive on the team much more quickly than full-time employees and impact the organization that much quicker. When a company needs a technologist to provide leadership or strategize quickly, they can bring a short-term executive onto the team to bridge the gap between white space and full-time employee.
How to find an Interim CTO
Interim executives have never been in higher demand. Companies rely on these interim executives to fill in the gaps after resignations.
A job board listing will result in hundreds of candidates – many of who are likely not qualified to provide strategic leadership. Technology executive search firms cut through the noise and deliver experienced executives to fulfill an organization’s specific needs.
Let’s Talk Interim CTOs
Ready to hire an interim CTO? Contact us. Talentfoot’s bench of seasoned technologists is ready to support your growth goals.