Why It’s Not About the CEO: 3 Hiring Tips for Small Tech Businesses

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It’s not about the number of employees. Learn the three hiring tips that CEO Moran Lerner lives by.

I’ve been a business owner and executive within technology companies for nearly two and a half decades, and I’ve learned some valuable insights when it comes to hiring. 

It starts with putting a business strategy in place, and from there, it comes down to knowing where the company is today – both the stage of your business evolution and your funding situation – and your vision for the future, including who you want to work with in terms of partners, both internally and externally.

In my experience within the technology sector, I’ve found the number one issue that affects most smaller technology companies is the CEO. Whether people wish to be open about it or not, the CEO is the one who builds the vision, strategy and structure of the business, both in terms of the direction and the right people required to get to the destination. But unfortunately, most CEOs hire employees merely to make themselves look good. Many, when raising investment, go on a hiring spree, falsely believing that the number of employees has some relevance to size and stature of the business. 

Today my company is the leader in its space by quite some margin, yet we’ve earned this position with a team a fraction the size of any of our rivals. To achieve this, I knew I needed one thing – the right team.

1. Quality over quantity

What I personally look for, and what I always advise every company to look for, is quality. Quality is not, for me, just a CV. In fact, a CV matters very little to me.

An essential quality to look for is a person’s attitude, which includes integrity and, most importantly, humility. In my team, there is no place for egos, and that starts with me. Every member of my team is better than I am in everything they do. That’s why they’re there. It’s important to create a company culture where no one works for the CEO but, rather, for one another.

2. Trust in your team

The second thing to keep in mind is that my job as a CEO is to give my team complete trust and autonomy to do what they do best – without the need to micromanage. The CEO should provide the platform, tools, mentoring and support for the team as individuals and as a collective to grow, mature, learn and ultimately thrive – to work together through both hard and challenging times, as well as to celebrate the reward of success they have earned. We’re a team of people who work together seamlessly, help one another develop, and drive, push and complement each other.

3. It’s about them 

As CEO, I protect my team by taking any external pressures on my shoulders, whilst ensuring the lion’s share of praise and spotlight for success goes to the team. Too many CEOs want the front-page coverage and limelight with the media to build their own image on the back of the hard work and hours of those far more deserving of it. 

The end result for my company is the most perfectly tuned engine in our industry – a team of experts who honestly get better with every experience and every project. 

It’s not about the number of employees. It’s not about egos. And it’s not about the CEO, ever. Hiring the best is about allowing people to be the best, to grow and develop, and to love what they do.

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