CTO Hiring Rubric

Note: This sample assumes that the CTO is responsible for all six areas listed in our Finding a Chief Talent Officer article. You should tailor them based on your how you have scoped the CTO role.

Candidate: _________________________

Interviewer: ____________________________

Date: _________________

Please rate candidate on scale of 1-4 based on whether they hit our bar in each specific must-have:

4 = Definitely Yes/Rockstar in this area

3 = Probably Yes 

2 = Probably No

1 = Big Red Flag

NOTE: The numbers are a rough guide – we care more about your impressions, questions + thoughts on overall fit, particular strengths +/or flags than we do about the numbers; they’re just a helpful shorthand. Ultimately, hiring managers will make final decisions weighing various needs + trade-offs.

Overall recommendation: ______________________________________

Must-have (These describe our bar. This is not the highest ideal, it’s a description of the fundamentals on the theory that we can teach people beyond this) 1-4                 Comments/Examples/Evidence

Please note 1-2 examples of what you saw<

Follow-up Questions (if any)
Vision, problem solving + systems thinking

  • Able to develop and communicate a vision for growing and developing our talent, and to devise creative, pragmatic solutions and strong systems to help us move forward on difficult challenges, including organizational/ management policies and practices that may yield inequitable outcomes.
  • Has a bias for action and avoids getting/staying stuck.
  • Can articulate how to turn vision into a concrete multi-year action plan.
High bar + discerning eye for talent:

  • Has seen first-hand the difference between good candidates and great, and has seen how hiring mistakes are made and the ways that that impacts organizations.
  • Able to discern between candidates who talk a good game and those, including hidden gems, who can actually deliver, and to set up systems that mitigate bias in doing so.
  • Able to think strategically about how to cultivate relationships to find the candidates we need, and engage effectively internally to generate and improve ideas.
Racial equity + inclusion competency:

  • Experience successfully devising creative, concrete, and pragmatic ways to address or prevent potential equity challenges, including in organizational and management policies, systems, and practices
  • Wrestles with complexities faced by senior leaders and identifies impacts of internal equity & inclusion issues on staff. Exercises excellent judgment in assessing trade-offs and finding strategic third way approaches or mitigations, and can prioritize solutions for maximum impact
Management alignment and experience:

  • Shares our approach to management and has enough experience managing people, including building teams that are inclusive of people with marginalized identities.
  • Can translate their experience into concrete plans for staff development, retention etc.
Project Management:

  • Can oversee a variety of talent-related projects.
  • Can come up with the requirement outlines and collaborate with others to put together realistic project plans.
  • Can see projects through to completion on-scope and within time and budget constraints.
Relationship-building + interpersonal skills:

Able to quickly build strong relationships across identities and lines of power – with staff internally as well as prospective candidates and connectors in the field (including winning over folks running organizations at the executive level).

Other Prior experience in the progressive advocacy, educational equity, or broader nonprofit arenas is a plus, but not a requirement.
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