Chief Information Officers: What You Should Know When Hiring a CIO on

Chief Information Officers: What You Should Know When Hiring a CIO

Everything you should know about hiring a chief information officer

Success in technologically driven industries rests heavily on the shoulders of a company’s chief information officer (CIO). CIOs, like many IT professionals, come in a wide variety of specialties. Generally, they are the highest ranking technology executive on staff.

What it takes to be a CIO

The Chief Information Officer is in charge of establishing and executing a technological strategy and ensuring operations are in line with the overall agenda of the company.

While having a degree in information systems, computer science, and/or software engineering is certainly helpful, a minimum of five years experience in IT management is typically required for consideration. In addition to having a mind for IT, CIOs are also expected to be business savvy.

Companies who are recruiting CIOs should look for the following skills:

  • Leadership
  • Network building
  • A shrewd business sense
  • Software development management
  • Strategizing
  • The ability to manage multiple projects
  • A knack for instituting changes

 The responsibilities of a CIO

CIOs expect their job performance to be gauged primarily on the successful operation of the IT department. That means if something goes wrong in the IT world, it’s their responsibility.

CIOs are considered a c-level executive. They usually report to the CEO of the company, though, in some cases, they’ll fall under the watch of the CFO, COO, or a global CIO. CIOs also may report to more than one executive. In most cases, the IT director and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) report to the CIO.

You may wonder what all that reporting comes down to for a CIO. CIO reports help keep a company’s technological capacities in line with, and in service to, the overall company agenda. They also ensure that budgets are practical, and met.

Chief information officers keep a close eye on technological advancements that might affect their company and industry. In most cases, however, their primary focus is assembling a structure to exploit existing technologies.

Considerations when hiring a CIO

As with most advanced positions – especially in IT – there’s a myriad of details to consider when bringing on a CIO. Here are some factors to consider when hiring a CIO:

Salary. In the US, a CIOs average salary is $152,000 annually—the global average is $186,647. Highly recruited CIOs can surpass $2.5 million.

Career expectations. It used to be the case that CIO was considered the top of the mountain, however, that’s recently taken a turn. Some CIOs go on to become CEOs, while others move into consulting, or more expansive roles within the company.

How long should you expect them to stay? On average a CIO will stay in the position for about four years, though some CIOs haven’t abstained from the job-hopping trend – and will move on after only two years.

Relevance matters. There’s not a one size fits all approach to hiring a CIO. CIOs might specialize in infrastructure, intelligent data, system integration, or technological innovation. It’s important to take an honest assessment of your needs before seeking out the services of a CIO.

There are many factors to consider when hiring for executive-level positions, and hiring a CIO is no different. Hiring a CIO requires a solid understanding of the job, and how it applies to your company’s individual needs. That’s where an IT recruiting agency can save the day. You can read more about the ins and outs of IT staffing here.