Hiring VP of Engineering – Keep these 5 things in mind

It is not simple to hire a VP of Engineering who can take your product to the next level. If you’re new to the market, your team is most likely a tight-knit, committed group of engineers managed by a few seasoned founders who can’t hand over the reins to just anybody. Alternatively, your company’s approach is too engineering-focused and is yet fresh and unproven.

Engineering is, without a doubt, one of the most important responsibilities in a technology company. In fact, as every firm transforms into a tech company in some way, it’s becoming increasingly important. While there may be enough engineering leaders in the technical product function, from architects to CTOs, the VP of engineering is the executive in charge of growing and managing the engineering team. They also determine the time it will take to deliver products or features and ensure that quality releases are delivered on time.

Benefits of having a trustworthy vice president of engineering on your team

When you understand the role in the context of logistics, you oversimplify it and miss out on the many other important and complex responsibilities that a skilled VP of engineering can deliver. While scaling a company, determining delivery dates and prioritizing development by group consensus is difficult. And that’s without considering how to create the correct culture, which is crucial for keeping engineering talent who may otherwise leave. It’s simpler to relocate than to stay in today’s market.

 

Hiring VP of Engineering
Hiring VP of Engineering

An excellent VP of engineering takes charge of everything while keeping the team informed about the process. Suppose you wait too long to hire a good VP; in that case, you’ll have to deal with every internal issue that arises as a result of not having one, such as a badly constructed team, a broken process, an imbalance between product and engineering management, a difficult engineering culture, and so on.

When should you consider hiring a VP of Engineering for your growing company?

  • Your product has evolved into a business, and your job has evolved as well. You’re no longer trapped in the complexity of individual functions and are instead driving the company’s overall direction, it’s high time you hire a VP of engineering.
  • Your investors are telling you that it’s time to hire someone who has built a successful engineering team from the ground up.

  • You understand the need of bringing in someone with a more diverse skill set than you, and you’re willing to trust their judgment.
  • If you need someone to lead and expand your engineering team, make tech stack decisions, and take ownership of the product’s development you should look out for a VP of engineering.

The qualities that make an excellent vice president of engineering

  • A competent VP of engineering should have a thorough understanding of the software development process and ensure that the proper procedures are in place and followed. To begin, the candidate must possess the necessary skills and be prepared to roll up his or her sleeves and repair a few issues. As your company expands, you’ll want someone who can act as a conductor. They don’t have to know how each instrument in the orchestra should be played, only how it should sound and whether it’s out of tune or out of key. The trick here is their capacity to work as part of a team, communicate effectively, and ensure that the vision is carried out. Essentially, the VP of engineering does not need to code on a daily basis, but a working knowledge of technology at all levels of the firm might be valuable.
Hiring VP of Engineering
Hiring VP of Engineering
  • However, a skilled VP’s power should not be limited to controlling product releases and features. Building an engineering team and establishing a firm’s engineering culture is among the responsibilities, especially when the company grows to the point where middle management is required. While the indicators of a good engineer’s skill level are apparent, such as code tests, open-source credibility, and so on, management is a more qualitative topic. As a result, a successful VP of engineering must be able to identify the best managers for the team, employ them, and improve their skills over time. This isn’t going to be a one-time affair. And when the team grows with the company, it’s easy to lose sight of the original group’s culture. A VP of engineering must be able to blend the current culture with the changing one. Examine a VP of engineering’s current and prior team to analyze them beyond their on-paper qualifications: Did they stick to their release schedule? Did they follow a methodical or haphazard procedure? Was there too much friction between teams, as in, was it creative friction or unproductiveness? The engineering managers are best reflected in the groups they lead.
  • Most individuals who have worked for major organizations for a long time have either never learned or forgotten how to get the task done on a budget that isn’t ridiculous. People from a company’s research section or academics should also be avoided. They are often overly technical when it comes to developing reliable manufacturing methods. Instead, look for applicants (such as the VP of engineering) that have produced at high-growth, early-stage firms, ideally in an engineering management role.

Conclusion

Many young organizations appear to assume that they don’t need a vice president of engineering since their engineering staff is either too small or senior enough. But the role’s importance cannot be overstated. The right VP of engineering will give the required backbone to survive market shifts and commercial challenges while also developing your firm without enabling it to fall under the weight of ad hoc processes. Putting in place the proper process and culture, regardless of size, is something that must be present to your business, and this is precisely what appointing a competent VP of engineering at the right moment will do. The true problem is anticipating and preparing for this situation. Even in the best-case situation, it will take four to six months to find a new vice president, so you can’t wait until something goes wrong to start looking. If you allow yourself enough time to think, you’ll be less inclined to settle for an ordinary prospect. Good luck with your search.

Author’s Bio:

Shivam is a content writer who is also a nature-aesthete. He goes by the philosophy of “being humanitarian first, then a professional.”

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