What is a Chief of Staff?
The chief of staff is an executive position that supports other, more senior, executives in their roles. The chief of staff will often support the top executive to assist in overseeing the operations of a company. Success in this role requires strong leadership, communication, organizational, and decision-making skills.
The chief of staff is commonly responsible for planning and managing all administrative, financial, and operational activities for the CEO. The chief of staff will often help the CEO manage their time effectively while acting in an advisory role for important decisions about the business.
The chief of staff exists to make sure the daily operations of the company run smoothly. Success in this role may lead to higher positions, such as Vice President or Chief Operating Officer.
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Average Salary and Compensation
Chief of Staff salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Chief of Staff is:
How to Hire a Chief of Staff
There are a number of important initial considerations when hiring a chief of staff:
- Recruiting: Do you possess the tools and resources to attract top candidates?
- Complexity: Does your internal team have the experience and knowledge required to recruit for the role?
- Urgency: How soon does this role need to be filled? Is there a negative impact to it remaining open?
- Privacy: Is the opening common knowledge, or does it require a confidential search?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:
1. Use a professional recruiting firm with relevant experience
When working with 4 Corner Resources, the heavy lifting is done for you. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), and can do so with the highest degree of discretion upon request. This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You need to maintain confidentiality during the search process
- You are open to a retained agreement to facilitate an executive search
- You unable to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff
2. Advertise confidentially on a job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
There are many career sites out there. Here are the two we recommend for a Chief of Staff opening:
LinkedIn is a social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses. With this popular job site, you can enhance your brand and advertise your open position to a wide audience of motivated, qualified candidates. Job postings on LinkedIn are also extremely streamlined and user-friendly, making it even easier for candidates to apply. Additionally, applicants can use their LinkedIn profile instead of a resume to expedite the process.
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your professional network
Gather a list of trusted industry peers who can maintain discretion while referring qualified candidates. We recommend this option when:
- You have a strong and loyal professional network
- You are not under a tight time constraint
- You do not need to maintain strict confidentiality
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Job Descriptions
ABC Company has experienced a remarkable period of growth as a direct result of increased efficiency, productivity, and teamwork. To continue on this trajectory, we’re searching for a highly qualified Chief of Staff to report directly to our Executive Vice President and work closely with our executive team. From day one, the Chief of Staff will immediately impact our productivity, streamlining strategic initiatives, overseeing program management, and communicating objectives between departments. The ideal candidate will have proven experience in a business leadership/management role, with a special focus on executive-level advising, project execution, and key interdepartmental collaboration. Ultimately, the primary function of this role is to ensure everything runs smoothly throughout company operations for their executive leaders.
- Oversee strategic business initiatives from development through successful execution under the guidance of leadership and departmental heads
- Assist the executive team members in determining and prioritizing business strategies based on their schedules
- Assist and communicate with executives in decision-making, program management, and initiative implementation
- Review, design, and execute improvements to org structure find knowledge and skills gaps and help address them
- Improve current processes and coordinate organizational procedures for optimized efficiency and productivity
Daily and Monthly Responsibilities
- Serve as liaison between staff, executives, leaders, and CEO regarding company climate, employee well-being, project updates, proposals, and planning
- Oversee daily operations through collaboration with the EVP team and department leaders, performing an array of administrative tasks from managing calendars, generating correspondence
- Build and develop relationships with all employees of the companies for increased efficiency and effective responsiveness into existing operations, and help to define new operational strategies, working with our EVP and executive teams on special projects
- Serve as a subject matter expert, handling inquiries and developing action plans to address them, and assisting with the preparation and dissemination of communications
Skills and Qualifications
- Degree in Business Administration or a similar field
- 5+ years in a business or management role
- Proven experience organizing and directing multiple teams and departments
- Proven success in a project coordination role
- Excellent communicator in written and verbal form with a strong focus on interdepartmental communication
- Extremely versatile, dedicated to efficient productivity
- Experience planning and leading strategic initiatives
- Experience with data analysis
- Experience with budget management
- Consulting experience with a focus on operations management
- Proven success in a project coordination role
- Nimble business mind with a focus on developing creative solutions
- Strong project reporting skills, with a focus on interdepartmental communication
The Chief of Staff will work vertically, with responsibilities that span high-level strategy down to business operations tasks. The Chief of Staff will be a strategic partner to ABC Company’s leadership and report to the CEO.
- Work side-by-side with the CEO and leadership team to multiply effectiveness and efforts
- In partnership with the leadership team, ensure the successful operation of portfolio companies. Problem-solve, create processes and execute business operations tasks
- Push to make time, information, and decision-making more effective and efficient
- Build and champion a people-first culture
- Continuously seek to improve processes and streamline collaboration across team members. Communicate project status to stakeholders and key project participants
- Perform quality control on projects to ensure standards initially set are being met
- Actively participate in all aspects of Revel Ventures including weekly team meetings
- Bachelor’s degree plus 1-3 years of experience in a Project Management, Growth, Marketing, Consulting, or similar role
- Entrepreneurial spirit and a self-starter who is eager and effective at solving problems
- Strong interpersonal and team leadership skills
- Ability to work in a fast-paced, highly independent environment and juggle multiple ongoing projects, responsibilities, and relationships
- Comfortable holding team members accountable to project deadlines and identifying areas in need of support
- Exceptional organizational, time management, and verbal and written communication skills
- Interest in building an entrepreneurial skillset and learning about high-growth startups
The Chief of Staff position is a critical and trusted leadership role as the strategic right-hand person to the CEO. In this role, you will help drive strategic business planning as we continue to double our growth year over year. This is a fast-paced, think-on-your-feet position as you interact and build key relationships with business leaders across the organization.
You will work closely with the CEO in the following ways:
- Serve as a trusted advisor and brainstorming partner
- Help lead and initiate new business processes throughout the organization
- Help strategic ideas take root and provide early facilitation
- Think strategically while providing tactical support to implement ideas
- Proactively address pressing business issues that need immediate attention
- Provide independent, informed, unbiased insight including feedback from the capabilities
- Own key initiatives on the corporate strategy map
- Proactively escalate and resolve potential issues by calling them to the attention of the department head and identifying potential solutions
- Work with leadership to deliver, monitor, and communicate progress on key organizational metrics aligned with our 5-year plan
- Drive a cohesive approach to key business activities including communications planning, training, and stakeholder management
- Build connections across all leaders of the organization
- Partner with the leadership team to define, prepare, and communicate organizational plans, including quarterly, annual, and 5-year strategy
- Support CEO in the preparation of board meetings and executive presentations
- Analyze and report performance based on strategies and business goals and recommend areas needing improvement
To be successful in this role you will have:
- Broad business experience driving execution and adoption of key strategic programs across large teams
- Ability to work in a flexible manner in line with the organization’s objectives and willingness to undertake other duties as reasonably requested
- Experience working in a fast paced, always-changing, entrepreneurial environment
- Project management skills and experience
- Excellent verbal, written, and presentation communication skills
- Proven ability to develop and lead the implementation of communications strategy, policy, and operational plans, to a successful outcome
- Strong financial analysis, budget planning, and management experience and skills
- A dedicated professional who leads through ambiguity and independently runs projects with minimal direction
- Excellent interpersonal skills and executive presence
- Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a focus on structure and execution
- Force for change who is open to new insights accepts challenges and leads with positive energy
- Trusted professional with the ability to lead strong personalities and drive open items to effective resolution
- Ability to think and act creatively, championing and promoting new ideas that contribute to the goals of the organization and the department
- We are looking for a smart, fast learner who can quickly grow into a Chief of Staff or someone who has been operating in a similar role and can bring fresh thinking and perspective to how we are doing things
Sample Interview Questions
- What is the most difficult part of being a chief of staff?
- What was your role in strategic planning at your last company?
- What is your way to show positive reinforcement when your staff does well?
- What is the most important skill to have as chief of staff in your opinion?
- In this position, you would be responsible for an executive’s schedule. What would you do if you were struggling to prioritize scheduling a particularly busy week?
- How do you keep track of important action items when delegating to other team members?
- In this role, you work as a strategic advisor to leaders in the company specifically for staffing and operations. Are you comfortable giving advice and feedback to your peers and/or your direct supervisor?
- What would you do if members of your team were failing to meet performance expectations?
- How do you plan to strengthen relationships within the company, specifically those of leaders and their employees?
- Are you open and able to take on additional duties to support the executives as things change during various busy seasons in the year?