Virtual Chief Information Officer | Virtual Chief Technology Officer

Five Tips for Hiring an Awesome VCIO

The position of a VCIO or Virtual Chief Information Officer serves to aid smaller companies who have the beginnings of a need for a traditional full-time CIO. To help bridge the gap between these initial stages and the future of your business’s success, we offer you five tips for hiring an awesome VCIO.

Define Your Need for a VCIO

First off, let’s get back to basics. Review the difference in roles for CTOs and CIOs, how they interrelate, and what those roles mean in your company. What changes have taken place in these positions within your organization due to big data, the Millennial workforce, and Social Business? According to CIO Magazine, at least 44% of CIOs now report directly to the CEO and their roles are changing to include responsibility for implementing next generation technology to drive businesses forward. Additionally, studies show that 29% of executives believe the CIO to be the most important figure regarding supporting and driving business change. Is this how you would see a CIO type of role at your company?

What changes are you experiencing in your industry? The Healthcare Industry, for example, is expected to grow by 22% by 2022, the CIO role is becoming more of a strategic business role, and analytics is one of their top priorities. Look to the future of your respective industry and think about how you see the needs of your company, the future of your industry, and the needs you will have for strategy, leadership, innovation, and technology solutions. In other words, what tasks will need to be fulfilled?

Now ask yourself, what tasks do you need to be fulfilled now and in ten years? Does your workplace need to more closely resemble the devices Millennials are more familiar with using at home? According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Millennials are projected to make up a majority of the workforce by 2020, and 75% of the workforce by 2025. Is your company prepared to deal with the trends in your office that they will initiate regarding technology use? Alternatively, perhaps it is something else. Do you need technology to help unite a global workforce? Whatever your specific needs, this is the information you will need to write your VCIO job description.

Write a Killer VCIO Job Description

Once you have uncovered your needs for this position within your unique IT ecosystem, it is time to roll up your sleeves and craft a killer job description. Only 17% of hiring managers are happy with the qualifications of their candidates. That leaves much room for improvement. Some of the best job descriptions we have seen include:

  • SEO Terms: This promotes descriptions to be found in Google. 99% of hiring managers do not use search terms. The most successful people we have seen do. It helps to do your homework on SEO.
  • Appropriate Title: This means having a job description title that has been researched based on what people are searching for. This would include of course VCIO, but perhaps other terms that pertain to job titles in your industry.
  • Well Written Key Components: 5-10 responsibilities that are specific to your company as you have identified in your needs analysis for the VCIO role. As well it is important to include a good company description, your location even if you are looking for a virtual employee, the number of hours per week if it is a part-time position, and of course your contact details where candidates can send their qualifications.
  • Salary: If you are hesitant in posting your salary range then do some research to make sure you are competitive while staying within budget.
  • Backlinks: Share the link to your original post in as many places as possible on your social media channels, other pages on your website and ask your co-workers to share it to their social media channels wherever possible. This will help your VCIO job description get found by the right people.

Now that you have created the best job description possible for your VCIO, the next step is finding a list of potential candidates to target with inquiries.

Search for Great VCIO Professionals

Now that you have clearly identified your needs and written an excellent job description, you may benefit from broadening your search and seeking out individuals who specialize in VCIO services. Here are a few key points to look for in their profiles:

Look for communication skills, problem-solving and innovative solutions, and experience with similar industry and company size as yours. Ideal candidates will also possess the following skills:

  • Someone who can confidently serve as a trusted advisor to your clients.
  • Patience and the ability to work with lots of personalities and applications.
  • Strong IT background focused on implementation.
  • Understands your business with an emphasis on both cost and revenue.
  • Ability to backup data and prevent unexpected attacks.
  • Strong grasp of business and IT functions along with project management and communication skills.
  • Experience in the roles of IT Consultant, IT Manager, Network Administrator, or Systems Engineer.

Proactively Plan for Success

After searching for and selecting a solution, the final piece of advice is to avoid costly errors. You need to plan for your success with a VCIO proactively. Here are a few things to do so you will not slip up and make mistakes:

  • Set up a pricing strategy that scales appropriately with your business needs.
  • Budget for a monthly service fee that meets you needs while bearing in mind the cost per user.
  • Create a robust framework for the deliverables of your VCIO.
  • Provide the right coaching so the VCIO can complement the rest of your IT staff.
  • Make sure marketing initiatives supported by the VCIO are consistent and revenue focused.
  • Give a clear picture of how buyers interact with the company’s website.
  • Understand the difference between projects and ongoing activities.
  • Focus on the business benefits of the VCIO’s implemented solutions, rather than technological features.

Have questions? Intrepid Data can assist with VCIO Services or contact me directly to set up a time for a free consultation.

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn:

Robert Endo is the founder and Engagement Manager of Intrepid Data, LLC, a full-service developer that builds platforms for web-based applications.