Three Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Next Chief Digital Officer

The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) drives digital transformation and optimizes an organization’s internal processes. Though the role is a relatively novel one, the strategic leadership of the Chief Digital Officer is critically important in driving growth and connecting companies to tech-savvy consumers.

The Visionary & Advisor

The Chief Digital Officer connects your IT to your marketing plans, and ensures that your technology is being optimally utilized in driving your digital transformation efforts. A Chief Digital Officer must be able to serve as a visionary and an advisor at all levels of an organization’s strategic development and operations. We place CDO’s focused on driving digital transformation and optimizing an organization’s marketing strategies and internal processes.

Here are three questions you should ask yourself while searching for your next Chief Digital Officer:

1. What digital threat is your organization facing and what digital model is right for you? 

When searching for a Chief Digital Officer, ensure that your next hire has digital aspirations and a vision which aligns with your organization’s needs. Consider what threats your organization is facing– who are your online competitors? How do you compare to the digital leaders in your industry? Then, determine what digital model is best-suited for your organization’s needs. Are you focusing on customer experience or operational efficiency?

Once you’ve determined organizational needs, align those organizational needs with the responsibilities of your new Chief Digital Officer. Critical goals will not be met if CEO expectations don’t align with the Chief Digital Officer’s responsibilities. When considering a candidate, determine if they are capable of the agility and flexibility required to

2. What capabilities do you need to develop in order to deliver on digital dexterity?

We have found that organizations need one of three types of Chief Digital Officers: a more strategically-minded CDO, a more technically-minded CDO, or a CDO with strength in implementation. Does your organization need someone who can build, develop, and manage digital strategy in the course of enacting major changes in technology architecture, business processes, products, and job roles? Does your new Chief Digital Officer need to be able to navigate technical solutions, optimize technical processes, coordinate efforts, and properly allocate resources? Alternatively, does your organization need someone who can effectively, robustly implement strategy and processes which are already in place?

Consider what stage of digital transformation your organization is currently in, and determine what needs to be done in order to advance your organization to the next stage. When considering a candidate, determine if they possess the leadership and management skills required to influence, execute, and realize the intended business outcomes through operating model, governance, marketing and IT capabilities.

3. Is your new Chief Digital Officer capable of building a team that can achieve organizational goals?

Digital transformation requires an organization to have the right people in the right seats, doing the right things. Your new Chief Digital Officer will be critical in driving your organization’s digital transformation efforts, but an essential component of managing the development and implementation of digital strategy is the ability to put the right people in the right roles with the right responsibilities. Ensure your next CDO has the experience and skill set required to effectively facilitate the processes within your organization’s digital transformation journey.

In Conclusion

Few C-suite roles are as variable as that of the Chief Digital Officer. A successful CDO optimizes today’s digital interactions while anticipating tomorrow’s, and works to better position the organization for tomorrow’s success. The role of the CDO is critical to your organization’s digital transformation efforts, so ask these three questions before hiring your next Chief Digital Officer: what threats is your organization facing, what capabilities do you need to develop at this stage of your digital transformation journey, and is your new CDO capable of putting the right people in the right seats?

The Critical Key to Recruiting Success

The Critical Key to Recruiting Success

We used to live in a world where the big ate the small. Now, we live in a world where the fast eat the slow. The velocity of business may be rapidly increasing, but the business world is facing a talent shortage. An organization’s ability to identify and hire talent will be directly proportional to their success, so talent acquisition should be a core strategic focus for today’s business leaders.

Hiring Your Digital Marketing Quarterback

Hiring Your Digital Marketing Quarterback

As author Roy T. Bennett once said, “If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”
Marketing changed drastically when the internet became everyone’s main source of information. Digital marketing is now cheaper, faster, more measurable and more engaging than traditional marketing.

3 Keys to the Champion Mindset of a CDO

3 Keys to the Champion Mindset of a CDO

The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is typically a company’s principal leader in the digital transformation process. 84% of companies fail at digital transformation, and the average tenure of a CDO is shorter than other C-Suite roles. Of course, there are many reasons for this; it isn’t easy to serve as the primary transformation leader and intermediary between other executives and functions in the creation and rollout of digital initiatives. In order to be successful as a CDO, you must have a champion mindset.

Written by Mark Whitman

Mark Whitman is the founder of TeamBuilder Search. Mark’s mission is to help clients recruit the top five percent of digital marketing executives, taking great satisfaction in helping clients out-recruit their competition. In the process of fulfilling his mission, he takes great care to help digital marketing leaders elevate their careers. People say Mark owns a recruiting and staffing company. He says he owns a life improvement company. To learn more about Mark visit our Leadership page.
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