Is It Time to Hire a Chief of Staff?

Hiring a Chief of Staff - Important Considerations

Hiring a Chief of Staff? Thinking about it? Following are some important considerations that may help.

There are arguably few roles as integral as the Chief of Staff. Your company is scaling, you’re at this pivotal moment of product-market fit, or your precious time is disappearing into operations oversight or creating agendas and assigning action items following a team meeting – is the CoS the right direction for you? 

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Here are a number of questions that might be rolling around for you:

    • Is now the right time to hire a CoS?
    • What does a CoS look like? (Meaning: What blend of market-specific or industry-specific knowledge, technical or technological language understanding, leadership, and team-play mentality does this individual need to be the RIGHT fit for your picture).
    • What does a CoS really do? Or, what should the CoS be tasked with in your organization?
    • Where is the right place in your organization to place a Chief of Staff?

Of course, there are a number of variables: what industry or technology are you in; what is your company structure; how many staff are employed; how many executives; etc.

Ultimately, there are different job descriptions that can fit the title “Chief of Staff,” but here are a few of the common (and one particularly critical) areas and skills for a CoS:

    1. (Naturally) They oversee staff or internal operations
    2. They take the lead on special projects
    3. They help balance workflow prioritization
    4. They assist the executive(s) with creating agendas, keeping notes, synthesizing copious amounts of diverse information, and following up on action-item assignments.
    5. They provide intimate and timely advise
    6. The Chief of Staff is a confidant

And IMPORTANTLY (here is where many CoS hires end up slipping sideways and costing exorbitant amounts to corporations, tech start-ups, and growing organizations)…

    • The Chief of Staff doesn’t have an agenda of their own. Imperatively, they are the perfect extension of the executive in terms of all the above modus operandi so that the Executive can focus their limited time on what matters most to them.

So, where do you put a Chief of Staff?

    1. Where input is needed
    2. Where leadership is demanded but it is time taxing on executives
    3. When you company is set – or starting – to scale
    4. Where critical corporate and partner relationships need to be exercised, or networking demands are set for expansion
    5. Where a diverse skill set is needed to balance between the power, the people, and the purpose

Yes, there are specific knowledge fields that will be required based on the specifics of your company, and of your market/industry. In addition to this, be sure to consider your Chief of Staff candidates for their fit, their scope, and their ability to extend your reach among your organization’s most important asset, its human resources, in a way that feels directly personal.

In Conclusion: The right person has never been more personal to you than this hire.

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“The Right Person has never been more personal to you than this hire. The Chief of Staff serves as an extension to your leadership, so the right skill and personality is imperative.”

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