How to find a CTO in Singapore

By Robert Half on 22 February 2023
Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes

The chief technology officer (CTO) is a key figure in any technology-forward organisation. Yet, an internet search for “how to find a CTO” reveals that there is a shortage of quality candidates in Singapore and finding talent across the board is tricky, especially for executive level roles. This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, where global talent headed home, and the reopening of borders and economies have left several countries — including Singapore — in a bid to compete for the best talent.

That said, knowing what to look for, where to look, and what your goals are increases your chances of finding a CTO suited to your needs.

Key qualities and experience needed in a CTO

When it comes down to how to find a CTO for your company, the ideal candidate should show demonstrable educational experience. Beyond the qualifications mentioned below, a CTO is a life-long role, requiring a commitment to learning, understanding, and implementing technological advances as and when they prop up in the industry.

Work experience: Experience requirements for this role may vary, however, the average amount of experience a CTO has in IT is 10 - 15 years.

Qualifications: Most candidates have a master’s degree in IT, with many having a specialised master’s in cybersecurity.

The ideal candidate is usually a combination of the following:

  • Infrastructure manager. A capable CTO should be able to guide an organisation through adopting new technologies while overseeing security, data and the maintenance of existing technical infrastructure.
  • Strategic planner. In addition to implementing and creating new technical strategies for the organisation, a CTO can weigh the impact of new technologies against their cost, and return on investment. After all, with technology ever-evolving, it’s important to pick the technological advances suited to your organisation.
  • Active thinker with advanced thought leadership. A CTO must be able to work closely with the organisation’s executive members, developing infrastructure strategies and business models that allow the organisation to achieve its business goals. A deep understanding of and keen eye for technology trends and markets is a must.
  • Customer liaison. Capable CTOs align the organisations needs to those of the customer. An experienced CTO will implement IT projects that ensure positive customer experiences.

Related: How to conduct an IT security risk assessment in Singapore

How to go about finding a CTO in Singapore

As we mentioned earlier, there is a shortage of executive talent in the market right now. That said, it’s important to know where (or if) you are willing to compromise. Are you willing to pay a notch above everyone else to land the best talent? Perhaps you’re open to decreasing experience requirements by a couple of years?

Where to look for a CTO in Singapore

Once you’re set in terms of what you want out of a CTO role, and what criteria are non-negotiable to your company, knowing how to find a CTO is straightforward. Here are a few places to start your search:

Ask within your existing network

There’s a reason an estimated 80% of jobs come through existing connections and up to 70% of jobs aren’t posted or advertised publicly. The tech industry is hugely tight-knit, so a good first step might be reconnecting with friends and colleagues in your network to ask if they know someone suitable.

Social media

Studies have shown that nearly 92% of companies and 72% of job seekers are using social media to find each other. Singapore is home to over 5.3 million social media users. Between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp, a single job posting can reach endless talent.

Online job boards

Job boards are perhaps the most effective way to find the candidate who is looking for you in return. With the added advantage of niche job boards, and searchable databases that allow applicants to filter job descriptions, the right candidate might be just a click away.

Recruitment companies

Depending on your needs, budget, and timeline, opting for a recruitment agency or HR consulting firm might be something to consider. These firms (including Robert Half) offer the added advantage of prescreening candidates — something that is a boon in case of a time crunch, or if your pool of candidates so far isn’t what you’re hoping for.

For more about how to find the right candidate, head here. If you’re still not sure how to find a CTO, let us help. Robert Half can help you find a CTO candidate, submit a job order.

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