Executive search: how to find a CTO for a blockchain project in a month?

Head of IT recruitment at Lucky Hunter
What are the key factors IT employers consider when hiring a CTO? And how long does the typical selection process take? Read our new case study and learn how our lead IT recruiter, Maria, found a CTO for a global blockchain project in just a month!

Executive search: the task and difficulties

An international blockchain company that creates various products reached out to us. They were looking for a CTO for a new project. As it was still in its early stages, the company required an experienced top manager who would be responsible for all the technical aspects and build a development team from scratch.

As you might expect, every case study presents unique challenges — this one is no exception. Besides, we at Lucky Hunter like to tackle complex tasks.

In this instance, several factors limited the pool of candidates:
  • 1
    The ideal candidate needed strong experience managing new projects, especially within the fintech industry. Since companies with negative reputations were emerging in the blockchain sector at the time, the client meticulously reviewed all projects listed on the candidates' resumes.
  • 2
    Since it was an international company, C1 English proficiency was essential.
  • 3
    As a rule, a CTO connects engineers with stakeholders. For this reason, the client prioritised hard and soft skills during the candidate selection process. Ideally, the chosen candidate would possess well-developed negotiation skills and teamwork and management qualities.
  • 4
    The selection process involved many stages with a final in-person meeting with the company’s directors in Israel.
  • 5
    While remote work was an option, the CTO should be ready for business trips to countries where the company had offices: Israel, Switzerland, and the CIS region.
Still, the client’s terms were appealing to potential candidates and relevant to the market: a high salary in dollars, remote work, and inspiring tasks. In addition, the client was open to candidates from all over the world and didn’t focus on one region, which expanded the funnel.

For over 7 years, Lucky Hunter has been connecting top IT talents with global companies and startups

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How we've filled the job opening

Based on the client’s requirements, Maria created a profile for the ideal candidate: they needed experience managing international fintech projects with a good reputation in the market, excellent English skills, and a willingness to travel internationally. Additionally, soft skills were crucial to ensure a good match with the company’s stakeholders. Since the geography of the search was quite extensive, Maria used several search tools and channels:
  • LinkedIn;
  • Thematic chats and channels in messengers;
  • Specialized recruiting services like AmazingHiring;
  • Our database of candidates.
One of the finalists, who ultimately received an offer, was found on LinkedIn. The candidate had ten years of experience as the head of the development department at a large fintech company, along with excellent English proficiency. However, the deciding factor for the client was their ability to connect with all project stakeholders. Interestingly, the specialist had spent several years living in two different cities, so frequent business travel wasn’t a problem: in fact, it even increased their interest in the position. In addition, by the time they took part in the selection for the position, the specialist had been living in two cities for several years, so the prospect of frequent business trips did not alienate him, but on the contrary, only increased interest in the vacancy. Even the requirement to travel to Israel for the final in-person interview didn’t dim their enthusiasm :)

The candidate accepted the job offer: it took a month from the discussion of the opening to get the specialist to start working. This is a good result for this type of role.

Success factors

  • Well-defined Search Strategy
    Maria accurately defined a candidate profile, leading to a more targeted and effective search.
  • The Principle of Partnership
    The client actively engaged in the process, listened to our suggestions and was sincerely invested in finding the CTO that would create a great fit with all the stakeholders. When a client is passionate about their projects, can inspire candidates with their enthusiasm, give timely feedback and promptly agree on meeting dates, candidates remain motivated throughout the selection process, even if it includes multiple stages.
  • Lucky Hunter Expertise
    With years of experience in IT recruitment, we go beyond filling standard IT positions. We also provide Executive Search services, specialising in placing top-level managers in IT. Our recruiters have extensive knowledge of filling top positions: they understand what’s essential for creating an effective search strategy and keeping candidates motivated.

Hiring CTOs, VPs of Engineering and other top-level positions can be challenging – we at Lucky Hunter specialise in filling standard and executive positions.

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