Nine Steps To Take If You Want To Hire The Best COO For Your Company


As a member of the executive team, a COO—or chief operating officer—is a key leadership position responsible for the overall daily operations of a business, ensuring long-term goals are met with everyday tasks and initiatives. Because the COO has a hand in nearly every department of the company, selecting the right one could be the difference between a major business failure and a major success.

How, then, can companies ensure they’re recruiting and hiring the best candidates for such an important role? The members of Young Entrepreneur Council break down the answer below by sharing nine tactical steps business leaders can take to ensure they hire the best COO for their team.

1. Ask About The Most Complex Problem They’ve Solved

Ask about the most complex problem they have had to solve in their career as it related to the financials of the business and the impact on the staff. A strong candidate for a COO role will surely have a few memorable moments that required them to navigate complex situations. Assess their answer and ask very specific questions about particular elements of their response. You should be looking for a candidate who can smoothly respond to your questions and dive into the details of the problem, solution and clean up. Their ability to provide relevant details should tell you a lot about their style, how they handle pressure and their standpoint on how they treat staff. – Drew Gurley, Redbird Advisors

2. Focus On Their Digital Marketing Experience

One tactical step is to focus on their experience in the field of digital marketing. In today’s world, digital marketing has become a crucial component of any successful business. A COO who understands the ins and outs of digital marketing can help drive your company’s growth and ensure you’re reaching the right audience with the right message. Don’t be afraid to ask potential candidates about their experience in this area, and make sure you’re selecting someone who can bring fresh ideas and strategies to the table. – Kaitlyn Witman, Rainfactory

3. Allow An External Recruitment Agency To Take The Lead

Ensuring the best COO hire involves a nuanced, tactical approach. We have learned that it is best to collaborate with an external recruitment agency experienced in team dynamics and role suitability with a mastery in managing the hiring funnel, conducting insightful interviews and objectively scoring candidates. By using their expertise, we not only avoid our potential subconscious biases, but we also save significant time, streamlining our focus onto the final two to three exceptional candidates who have triumphed during the early stages. Recognizing our limitations as founders or CEOs is vital. We may not be the best judges of a suitable COO. For example, we are likely to create job advertisements that resonate more with us rather than the ideal candidate whose job we ourselves are not a fit for. – Benji Rabhan, Aboutly

4. Define The Role And Responsibilities As Specifically As Possible

One tactical step you can take when hiring a COO (before you even meet a candidate) is defining the role in the most specific, detailed way possible, preferably with the input of all the executives who will interact with the role. None of the details of the role should be “fuzzy” when it comes to the COO. Just to start, you should be sure the job description defines precise daily tasks, exact reporting structures (including in the case of emergencies or crunches) and minimum technical and soft skills or experience. This exercise works to the benefit of both the hiring team and the candidates who will be responding. Doing this can help you sharply narrow down a pool of candidates. Fewer people on both sides of the table will waste less time. – Matt Doyle, Excel Builders

5. Check Their Alignment With Your Goals, Milestones And KPIs

When I’m hiring a COO for my company, the key tactical step is achieving alignment with our operational goals, milestones and KPIs. A strong candidate must exhibit a history of hitting similar metrics. The COO, being the heart of the company, plays a vital role in its overall vitality and growth, irrespective of the industry. Their unwavering commitment to the company’s road map, readiness to navigate daily challenges and focus on operational KPIs (such as transactions, users or downloads) underscores their suitability. The COO’s performance, critical for our survival and competitiveness, must adhere to the operational road map, forming a central part of my hiring strategy. – Rui Santoro, Local App

6. Observe Their Skills During A Trial Period

I advocate for a trial period before finalizing the hire. This allows you to evaluate how they problem-solve, adapt to your culture and interact with the team. A COO is vital, impacting your entire operation, so it’s worth investing time in this practical assessment. It provides a glimpse of their actual capabilities beyond interviews, ensuring alignment in vision and execution—something essential for the best fit. – Michelle Aran, Velvet Caviar

7. Consider Whether They’ll Fit Into Your Company Culture

It’s key to find an individual who not only has the skill sets (based on past experience) for the role, but who also fits your company culture and believes in the vision and direction of the company at large. Tactically speaking, take your time hiring for key roles. A good COO will want to do their due diligence on you and your company just as much as you will want to do your due diligence on them. Once hired, assign this individual with objectives and key results to achieve within a given time period. – Jeff Cayley, Worldwide Cyclery

8. Assess Their Communication Skills

I have found that getting people onboard is often linked to how we communicate with them; therefore, I would want to make sure the communication skills of my potential COO match the values of my organization. During the initial interviews, I’d make sure to discuss how the candidate would respond to different case scenarios, which, of course, will depend on the specific responsibilities they will be in charge of. Scenarios may include workplace conflict, customer complaints, discussing a new project with key stakeholders and any other situation they may need to deal with. These answers will give you an idea of the communication style of the candidate and if they meet your organization’s values. – Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow

9. Conduct Thorough Reference Checks

To hire the best COO, conduct thorough reference checks. Contact previous supervisors or colleagues to gain insights into their performance, leadership style and operational capabilities. This step verifies qualifications, validates claims and helps make an informed decision for a suitable fit in your team. – Nic DeAngelo, Saint Investment – Real Estate Funds



Source link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2023/08/21/nine-tactical-steps-to-take-if-you-want-to-hire-the-best-coo-for-your-company/

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