What is a Chief of Staff?
A Chief of Staff holds several different responsibilities, often acting as a point of contact and organizational liaison for a CEO or other top management personnel. This means Chief of Staff candidates will display strong management and leadership skills and excellent verbal communication skills.
Chief of Staff Qualifications
A qualified Chief of Staff will likely have a bachelor's degree or master's degree. At least five years of managerial experience is preferred, and related roles and relevant work experience in business operations or corporate strategy would be ideal.Optimal candidates display a variety of personality traits and leadership skills to manage multiple projects and teams, while acting as the “right hand” for their principal or executive simultaneously. Organizational and planning skills are a must, since the Chief of Staff will often plan and direct administrative, financial, or operational activities for the company's senior leaders. A strong applicant for this position will display effortless communication skills and an ability to quickly analyze and solve problems along with an ability to anticipate the needs of executives and the top management team.
Duties of a Chief of Staff
- Act as the communication liaison for your principal with other executives in the organization, clients or stakeholders
- Manage day-to-day projects and handle office disputes
- Plan, coordinate, and attend meetings, taking notes on behalf of the principal executive
- Manage the chief executive's schedule, travel plans, and meetings
- Ensure action items are properly executed
Interview Questions to Ask
Asking the right interview questions when hiring a Chief of Staff is critical. When interviewing, we recommend engaging in thoughtful conversations and purposeful relationship building. Here are some starter questions to consider when hiring a chief of staff:
- What qualities do you feel are the most valuable as a chief of staff?
- What experience do you have with job elimination and cost-reduction efforts?
- How do you create productive collaboration with a team that is dealing with conflict?
- What programs have you found the most successful at increasing employee engagement and retention?
- What do you see as the role of the chief of staff in creating and maintaining a vibrant company culture?
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