Finding The Right Technical Executive For Your Business

Hiring a technical executive is as much about building institutional knowledge as it is finding a leader who will smoothly integrate with the current executive team. We all know how hard it can be for smaller businesses to hire tech superstars. Giants like Amazon, Google, and Apple benefit from deep pockets and prestige, but competing against the tech behemoths isn’t the only stumbling block. Many companies seeking to enhance the expertise available in the C-Suite have trouble knowing where to start and how to recognize a viable prospect when one appears.

The most important step in hiring the right technical executive is to know what you’re looking for. In a highly technical and specialized industry, the specific technologies that a potential hire has experience and knowledge of can make all the difference. The list of requirements should be as specific as possible. For example, don’t seek an executive with “mobile broadband” experience, seek one who has demonstrable expertise in emerging technologies and standards underlying the evolution of 5g networks, including millimeter wave wireless backhaul, MIMO, LiFi, proactive content caching, and so on.

Peer networks and advisors can be a powerful ally in finding the right person. Talk to trusted vendors, mentors, colleagues, and professors and ask them to suggest names. It’s likely that someone you know knows someone who can put you on the right track. You should, of course, take any advice received in this way with a pinch of salt. People may have mixed motivations for suggesting potential hires.

If you’d prefer not to ask within your network, consider hiring an executive recruitment consultant that has experience of your industry. They will have a large database of potential hires, reducing the amount of time you have to spend trawling through resumes and filtering out the inevitable noise that gathers around any prominent recruitment initiative.

The best qualified and most experienced executives have their pick of positions, so take some time to think about what you can offer to them. Companies that manage to retain high performing individuals invest in the post-hire satisfaction of their executives. With technical hires, salary matters, but an interesting challenge is also a strong inducement. What can you offer beyond salary that will help a technical executive to achieve their personal career and intellectual goals?

As a final piece of advice, don’t neglect to assess the soft skills of any executive hire. If the goal is to enhance institutional knowledge and capabilities, whoever is hired will be responsible for managing, training, and mentoring employees and communicating with other members of the executive team. It’s entirely possible for the most technically skilled individual to be lacking where soft skills are concerned, so look for a history of successful people and project management.

About Dean - Dean Madison is the president of TD Madison & Associates. The company is founded on the principle of providing a more predictable approach for evaluating the culture, strategic fit and qualifications of potential candidates for key senior level positions within the cable and telecom industries. Follow them on Twitter @TD_Madison.

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