4 Early-Career Mistakes Made by CIOs and How to Avoid Them

ASK Staffing

All Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have a first day, a first presentation and several first mistakes. If your company is on the recruitment search for a CIO, then review these four early career mistakes and how to find the candidate that can avoid them.

A newly hired CIO will have many new projects, maintenance roles, collaboration projects with various team members and its own tech team to manage. Additionally, there are potential disaster scenarios, such as hacks, malware, ransomware, etc. they need to be accountable for.

As with any technology leadership role, mistakes happen, let’s look at the four early CIO career mistakes and provide advice on how to avoid them.

  1. Love the Everyday Work

With 80 percent of technology budgets going towards maintenance, support and upgrades, it’s fair to say your CIO will be spending a significant portion of their time managing maintenance and support services. When recruiting your CIO, look for a candidate that delegates routine maintenance, but is still involved. Your tech leader needs to know your network and be the authority for issues such as end-of-life and upgrade versus new deployment.

  1. Build a Smart Team

Steve Jobs said it best, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

Ask the candidates about their hiring and promotion philosophy.  Have them give examples of staff they hired with skill sets broader and deeper than theirs.

Additionally, does your potential CIO, know their skills gap? Knowing their skills gap allows them to build a team to compensate for strengths and weaknesses and shows leadership.

  1. Speak Tech, Only with Techs

Be sure your CIO, can turn and off the geek speak. Their leadership role includes collaboration with stakeholders, executive boards and project committees. The fastest way to lose the attention of a group is to overdose an audience with technical jargon and whiteboard network drawings. Your CIO’s job is to communicate complex, technical processes into a way your organization understands the benefits of.

  1. Does their Career Have a Path?

Becoming CIO requires transitional career steps along the way the way. CIO’s typically have 15+ years’ experience within technology, managed services, an area of specialty,  as well as management skills. Find out why your CIO candidates selected each career move. Did they strategically choose technology project leader positions and then added the experience of people management or asset management procurement?

Hiring your Next CIO

Hiring your next CIO is a critical, long term business decision. Organizations should not go down this road alone – the best practice is to align with professional recruiters, like ASK Staffing that specialize in C-suite technology leadership positions.

If your company is embarking on a CIO search or technology leadership positions, reach out to the professional recruiters at ASK Staffing to assist in your search. Contact us today!


ASK Staffing