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Has there been a paradigm shift in tech leadership hiring?

By Roopa Kumar, Founder & COO, Purple Quarter

The startup landscape has radically evolved, transcending boundaries, in the last few decades. As of today, we have over 800+ Unicorns globally — shifting mainstream startup dialogues across the US, Singapore, India and all over. Funding is paramount and credible investors and VCs are in abundance for businesses cracking the code of solving for essentials and the masses. What was offset by Silicon Valley’s service-based companies, transitioned to product tech giants like Google and Microsoft. These entities became the foremost solution providers and made technology ‘cooler’, more promising and more futuristic.   

Buoyed by their success, more tech product companies mushroomed with the challenge to deliver valuable services and products relevant to their target markets. Regionally diverse predicaments had locally distinct solutions, all driven by tech. Like Southeast Asia with densely populated areas focussed on digitisation, Africa focused on fintech with varying lending entities, while the US, being ahead of their tech curve, has had more focus on B2B and SaaS platforms along with solving for deep tech services. Irrespective of regions, tech came to the fore in solving critical long-pending issues.

When pandemic overhauled systems, economies and enterprises, technology answered large scale solutions with a steady and reliable response. We can comfortably say that Covid-19 has played the ‘Cupid’ for technology. Going digital, remote operations, virtual presence, education and more became possible with robust and innovative tech-driven solutions. Today, conversations around Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Machine Learning (ML), Blockchain are rooted in startups having real-world applications. They transform industries, change livelihoods and birth new possibilities. 

In the present-day IPO craze, the most noticeable companies going public have had hyperscale growth years fueled by disruptive technology-backed products, services or research. These companies possibly renewed their customer experience, improved performance metrics, invested in automation, found the right product-market fit, gained accurate insightful analytics and more; all tapping predominantly on technology. As technology aggressively permeated sectors, the need for effective, able leaders to spearhead tech verticals became paramount. 

What we have today is an inexorable demand for tech leaders. A pre-pandemic study hinted that by 2023, most firms will hire CTOs for harnessing disruptive technologies such as AI, blockchain and robotics. But post-pandemic, the demand for CTOs and tech leaders exploded. Existing businesses were pivoting to tech-first and newer entities are jumping on the bandwagon. In the absence of a capable tech leader at the helm, firms struggle to consistently innovate, dwindle in competition and lag when it comes to emerging technologies.

Businesses are aggressively seeking the most suitable CTOs available, but the challenge to find senior talent who can leverage disruptive technology is very real. Organisations, despite their critical mandates, lack the proper approach towards their tech leadership search. A tech leader has to be mapped very intelligently. They are responsible for a stake worth of business decisions, scaling teams & operations and front-ending an adroit strategy. Accuracy in profiling the right tech leader is imperative! You have to know the leader, know their trajectory, how much tech landscape they have solved, at what point did they solve certain tech problems, what was the immediate and overall impact, company fit, and so much more. These are all precisely gauged with smart and thoughtful parameters devised in-house by Purple Quarter. Our singular focus is on CTO search bolstered by authentic processes to deliver proven and accurate results. 

While the pandemic has invariably pushed the envelope on senior tech hiring, companies are now more flexible when it comes to remote hiring and employment. Teams with members across multiple time zones are more common than ever. The constriction of seeking region-specific talent is foregone. Companies have easier and wider access to an extensive talent pool while deserving candidates have countless options at hand. We can adeptly have a company based out of Nigeria looking at a tech leader from Israel or even a firm in Egypt sourcing talent pool from India. It has opened newer and wider doors for an inflow of talent. The traditional search process has evolved. It is diverse and mutually beneficial to both parties. More flexibility and agreeable employment terms minus the hassles of relocation, country-specific regulations and permits are on offer.

The scope of senior tech hiring is now boundless. Companies have opened up their criteria. Candidates have more than enough lucrative avenues. There couldn’t be a better time to hunt for the perfect tech leader.