Hiring engineers is challenging.
And it's critical to get right. Your early engineers have an outsized impact on your company's success.
You need to attract great candidates, be confident they bring the right skills and competencies to the table, and close them. But the market for engineers is competitive, candidates don't know you exist, and you can't compete on salary.
As a non-technical founder or exec, it helps to have a structured process, a technical partner who understands your needs, and a technical interviewer who is effective, credible, and capable of selling.
Who is #CTO?
#CTO is me, Vikram Oberoi. I've been an executive, manager, technical lead, and engineer at successful, high-growth venture-backed startups like Harry's and Cloudera.
I've built and scaled teams, written gobs of software, interviewed hundreds of candidates, and have drank way too much coffee in the process.
I've also helped multiple founders hire early and key technical talent and by acting as a fractional or interim CTO.
What my clients have to say.
Founder & CEO
"Vikram's an angel investor and friend of the team who became our interim CTO in May 2020. He helped us fill a critical gap and was a steady hand during a big year for Sitka.
As interim CTO, Vikram helped us launch our product with a national healthcare provider, double the size of our engineering team, bridge a leadership gap until we raised our series A, and hire an experienced Head of Engineering to lead our engineering organization going forward."
Founder & CEO
"I've worked closely with Vikram over the past few years as we've grown the engineering team and Shift and he's top notch. He understands you with empathy, quickly pattern matches the situation, and is able to deliver extremely valuable work.
He feels much more like a joint-owner than someone just doing a job. I'm happy to personally share my experiences in more depth - I think he'd be a great complementary piece to any founder."
Founder & CEO
"Vikram helped us hire our Head of Engineering, Dan, a seasoned technical leader who has since developed version one of Garner's product and built our engineering team.
He understood our business, stage, and hiring needs, helped us develop our process, delivered thorough candidate feedback, and made it a priority to move quickly with candidates. The full process took two months including a timely Christmas Eve technical interview with Dan, who we hired."
Founder & CEO
"I worked with Vikram at Harry's, where he ran our engineering organization. He helped us vet Jason, our CTO, who's been building Anvyl's product and engineering team with us for over 3 years."
How the #CTO process works
You're at the point where need to make a key engineering hire or bring on a full-time engineering team. Here's what we'll do together.
- Determine your goals, budget, and timeline. These constraints inform decisions and tradeoffs you make at every step ahead. Are you building an MVP to test a hypothesis or selling an enterprise healthcare solution ahead of the product with a six-month sales cycle?
- Determine which roles to hire for. Do you need a hands-on CTO who can eventually build your eng org? A technical lead to build your product? A seasoned engineering leader for your growing company? How many engineers should you hire?
- Determine what skills to hire for. What skills will your product require? Should you prefer more back-end engineers at the outset? Front-end engineers? Any mobile devs or data engineers? How senior should they be? And if you don't have a product yet, what tech stack should you target?
- Determine experience you want a candidate to have. You may need specific technical experience (e.g. with compliance frameworks like HIPAA) or experience in your domain (e.g. e-commerce or IoT hardware). Startups are uniquely challenging and you may want evidence that candidates have worked independently and effectively in similar settings.
- Come up with a sourcing plan. You can source from your network or work with contingency, retained, or "hybrid" tech recruiters. What you do is dependent on your budget, the roles you're hiring for, and how quickly you need to hire. I won't source candidates, but if recruiters make sense for you I'll help you understand the costs and risks around recruiter arrangements, contract terms you should seek, and will make intros.
- Prepare and communicate an interview plan. This should cover technical and behavioral signals you're looking for, who is responsible for each interview, how you're pitching your opportunity, the interview timeline, and the experience you want candidates to have.
- Run the process. Screen resumes, interview candidates, sell your opportunity, and extend offers until you find and close the right candidate.
My goal is to help you find, vet, and close talented engineers whose skills, competencies, and motivations suit their and your company's needs.
I guide you every step of the way, represent your company in interviews, rigorously vet candidates, and deliver clear & balanced interview notes that help you make suitable tradeoffs and great hiring decisions.