Hiring a second in command can be a challenge. After all, hiring someone you do not know to be your right-hand means instilling immense trust in someone right at the get-go.
In a recent podcast, Cameron Herold, the Founder of COO Alliance, spoke with Adi Klevit about this challenge – and shared advice that any CEO can use to hire and onboard their next COO, general manager, or other second in command.
Do You Need a Second in Command?
The first question a CEO can ask themselves is, “Do I really need a second in command?” One way to determine this is to list what you need someone else to do for you – and note alongside each item how much you’d be willing to pay for someone to do it.
If these tasks are nitty-gritty actions like “handle my email for me” or “keep my computer updated,” you may require an executive assistant. If these tasks are big picture items like “someone to oversee the accounting department” or “keep track of all company metrics” – and you’d be willing to pay a COO salary to get these items off your plate, then you need a second in command.
Another way to look at it is by following this concept from Cameron: A CEO is vision, and a COO is execution. Vision without execution is hallucination. You need to have both vision and execution to propel the organization.
Set Up A Hiring Process for Your Next Second In Command
If you have completed the task above and determined, “Yes, I need a second in command,” then it’s time to hire one! This could mean hiring a COO, a general manager, or a VP. Whichever title and responsibilities work best for your business, it is time to get the help you need to run your company.
Here is a brief overview of the hiring process you can modify and use for your own business:
1. Define the job responsibilities and title.
2. Determine what a “good fit” would look like. A second in command must mesh with the company culture and be someone you, the CEO, want to work with closely. What kind of person do you think would fit in this category?
3. Determine how you will find this person. Are you looking at promoting someone internally? Do you want an external hire? Will you use a service to help you find the best match – even if they already work for another company?
4. Execute what you’ve determined above.
5. Once you have found the person you believe would be an ideal COO, consider the onboarding process. If you promote from within the company, who will train the new COO to ensure they perform all duties you have listed – along with standard COO duties that a new COO may need to learn about?
If you have hired externally, you will likely not need to introduce them to the basics of being a COO. But, you will need to support them, indoctrinate them into the company culture, build trust with them, set up ways to connect and maintain that trust, and make sure that long-term staff support and help the new COO as well.
Building a system for hiring C Suite leadership will help you gain the support you need as your company grows. To determine other processes you need to build into your business, schedule a free consultation with the Business Success Consulting Group team. We are business systems specialists.