Are you considering hiring a COO, but not quite sure that you are ready to bring on a second-in-command just yet? Here are five signs that you may be in need of a Chief Operating Officer:
As a CEO, when you have too much on your plate you may find it hard to delegate, meet expectations, and maintain balance in your personal life. In addition, if we consider ones Unique Ability® there will be things that a CEO/ business owner either does not want to do, or is not good at. This is where a COO with opposing strengths comes in. Hiring a Chief Operating Officer will allow a CEO to focus on the areas of the business that bring them the most enjoyment, such as new growth initiatives. Conversely, the COO can manage the people, processes, and procedures in the business. In emerging growth industries, such as the cannabis industry, a CEO who does not have a COO may begin to start feeling like a babysitter.
Delegation may be a difficult task for the CEO who does not have a second-in-command as they typically struggle with handing off important business initiatives and priorities to their team. Too many high-level tasks will begin to burn out the CEO who lacks a Chief Operating Officer, and in turn, the CEO will spend more time 'in' rather than 'on' the business.
When a CEO is spending more time 'in,' rather than 'on' the business they may begin to underdeliver on expectations from various investors, customers, and staff. When this happens, the CEO may feel immense pressure to meet the expectations of these individuals. Most often, once this takes place the only thing for the CEO to do is to spend more hours working in, as well as on the business.
Like the 'domino effect,' time is constant and the only way to gain time for one area is to eliminate it from another area. Unfortunately, more than likely a CEO who is facing time management issues will pull time away from their personal life.
Is your revenue steadily decreasing and you cannot seem to narrow in on the cause? A strong Chief Operating Officer will be able to pinpoint profit loss and initiate a plan to turn it around.
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In this video, we detail three key characteristics of high-performing Chief Operating Officers. Learn more about the following traits we have identified: Humble confidence, quiet passion, and goal orientation & discipline here:
See the full list of top qualities to seek in a Chief Operating Officer here.
Keep in mind that the upfront cost of engaging with an executive search firm will always cost your organization more than it would if you used your in-house team. However, not all search firms are alike - some agencies will charge a percentage of first-year's salary for the new hire, while others, like us at Kaplan Executive Search will charge a fixed-fee.
The biggest cost to your organization will not be the fee of the search firm, but rather the fee associated with making a wrong hire. In fact, you should expect to see this cost made up in the first one to two years when the right operations leader is hired.
While your in-house recruiters will be experts in your organization, they are typically not specialist in recruiting for a specific function, such as the COO. In addition, is your internal team prepared for the hiring process that is involved with such an important hire? Here are a few areas to consider in your COO recruitment process:
If it has been determined that you are going to partner with an executive search firm to hire your next COO, you may now be questioning whether you should work with a retained or a contingent search firm. In this video, we detail the difference between the two different types of firms.
Retained searches are exclusive, and most often used for higher level searches. A retained model allows the search consultant to spend more time understanding the client business and needs. These searches are typically charged on a flat fee basis or a percentage of first year's salary for the new hire.
Contingent searches allow the client to work with multiple recruiting agencies. These searches are very competitive as there is more pressure to present a candidate sooner, rather than later. Contingent searches are best suited for lower level positions.