Why You Need a Chief Technology Officer With People Skills

CTO with people skills

In today’s C-suite, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) has a bigger role than ever. Without the right individual occupying the position, ineffectiveness is the best you can hope for, and widespread failure becomes a very real risk. As you look for CTO candidates, make sure you don’t focus on tech, management, or business skills alone. You’ll also want someone with the true people skills – communication, empathy, patience, personality, etc. Here’s why:

Technology is Central to Your Mission

From top to bottom, in every department and in everything you do, you rely on technology. A CTO who is a strong communicator and an equally good listener will be able to articulate a clear mission and strategy for your use of technology and get everyone on board. People with bad people skills tend to end up closed off and ignored. If your CTO can’t connect with other executives, others on the tech team, and all stakeholders, your company is in trouble.

Long-Term Business is at Stake

Every company knows that a single tech hiccup can lead to huge amount of lost business. Data breaches damage brands, website problems slash revenue, and bad tech initiatives simply market your competitor’s business. If you’re going to succeed over the long term, your CTO needs to be an advocate for tech at all levels, get everyone enthused, and build long-term relationships. That means working with a lot of people and making a lot of positive impressions. Someone with bad people skills is going to struggle in that role, and your customers and clients will feel the impact.

Your CTO Reflects on Your Company

It’s been written about here and elsewhere how central company culture is to recruiting these days. Young, tech-savvy professionals want to work for companies that understand technology, embrace technology, and implement technology. Your CTO will be central to shaping that image, and their success both in-house and as a representative of your company will have a big impact on the kind of talent you’re able to recruit. Tech is central now and in the future. You want the best and brightest working for you.

The obvious question becomes, how do you evaluate a person’s people skills in the limited process of an interview? Admittedly, it’s tricky, but it can be done, especially if you have an open and honest portrait of the candidate’s past and personality. Get more of the information you need to be successful in your executive search by working with Artemis Consultants.

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