July 26, 2022 | Role Specific Hiring Tips

3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your 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

Your Chief Digital Officer connects your IT to your marketing plans. Additionally, your Chief Digital Officer ensures that your technology is optimally utilized in driving your digital transformation efforts. A CDO serves as a visionary and 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. Ask these three questions before hiring your next Chief Digital Officer:

1. Based on the digital threat your organization is facing, what digital model is right for you?

When hiring a Chief Digital Officer, ensure that their digital aspirations and vision align with your organization’s needs. Consider the threats your organization is currently facing. Ask yourself two questions. Firstly, who are your online competitors? How do you compare to digital leaders in your industry? Then, determine what digital model is best-suited for your organization’s needs. Determine if your focus is on customer experience or operational efficiency.

Once you’ve determined organizational needs, align those organizational needs with the responsibilities of your new CDO. CEO expectations must align with the Chief Digital Officer’s responsibilities in order to meet critical goals. When hiring a CDO, determine if they are capable of the agility and flexibility required to fulfill organizational needs. 

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

Organizations need one of three types of Chief Digital Officers. If your organization needs someone who can develop and manage digital strategy, then you need a strategically-minded CDO. You also need a strategically-minded CDO if you need someone to enact major changes in technology architecture. Alternatively, if you need your CDO to navigate technical solutions, then you need a technically-minded CDO. You also need a technically-minded CDO if you need someone to optimize technical processes. 

If these don’t apply to you, then you may need a CDO with strength in implementation. If your organization needs a CDO who can robustly implement strategy that’s already in place, then you need a CDO with strength in implementation. 

Consider what stage of digital transformation your organization is currently in. Then, determine what needs to be done in order to advance your organization to the next stage. When hiring a Chief Digital Officer, determine if they possess the leadership and management skills required to execute 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 is critical in driving your organization’s digital transformation efforts. However, an essential component of managing digital strategy is putting the right people in roles with the right responsibilities. Ensure your next CDO has the experience and skills required to 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. The right CDO works to better position the organization for tomorrow’s success. The role of the CDO is critical to your organization’s digital transformation efforts. Ask these three questions before hiring your Chief Digital Officer. What threats is your organization facing? What capabilities do you need to develop at this stage of your digital transformation journey? Finally, is your new CDO capable of putting the right people in the right seats? Contact us for more information about hiring your Chief Digital Officer.

Posted 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.
Right Menu IconMENU