[NiFe]–hydrogenases catalyze uptake and evolution of H2 in a wide range of microorganisms. The enzyme is characterized by an inorganic nickel/ iron cofactor, the latter of which carries carbon monoxide and cyanide ligands. In vivo generation of these ligands requires a number of auxiliary proteins, the so–called Hyp family. Initially, HypF binds and activates the precursor metabolite carbamoyl phosphate. HypF catalyzes removal of phosphate and transfers the carbamate group to HypE. In an ATP–dependent condensation reaction, the C–terminal cysteinyl residue of HypE is modified to what has been interpreted as thiocyanate. This group is the direct precursor of the cyanide ligands of the [NiFe]–hydrogenase active site cofactor. We present a FT–IR analysis of HypE and HypF as isolated from E. coli. We follow the HypF–catalyzed cyanation of HypE in vitro and screen for the influence of carbamoyl phosphate and ATP. To elucidate on the differences between HypE and the HypEF complex, spectro–electrochemistry was used to map the vibrational Stark effect of naturally cyanated HypE. The IR signature of HypE could ultimately be assigned to isothiocyanate (–N=C=S) rather than thiocyanate (–S–C≡N). This has important implications for cyanyl–group channeling during [NiFe]–hydrogenase cofactor generation.