Hire a Chief Operations Officer

At CG Search, we specialize in building executive teams. The Chief Operations Officer candidates we partner with are the most sought-after in the industry. Whether you're seeking an operations leader to help grow your start-up or a COO prepared to lead a large organization, we can find a match for your firm's culture and brand.

What is a Chief Operations Officer (COO)?

A Chief Operations Officer is the second in command after the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This individual reports to the CEO regarding ongoing operations  and  ensures that all processes are aligned with the company's overall goals and strategy. The COO’s primary role depends on the specific organization's objectives and the CEO’s personal management style. In most companies, this individual is expected to complement the CEO's strengths and weaknesses.

Chief Operations Officer Qualifications

Our Senior Search Consultants can help you hire a chief operations officer with the right qualifications. Many employers expect a COO to have extensive experience in a related C-level role. We ensure candidates  have in-depth knowledge about business functions such as finance, HR, and marketing, understand data analysis and operations metrics, and possess excellent leadership skills. Depending on the employer, an MBA or MS is a plus, and sometimes required. To make a perfect match, we also screen for industry familiarity, demonstrated results in similarly high-level roles, and a strong brand and culture fit.

Duties of a Chief Operations Officer

  • Assist the CEO in new and ongoing company ventures
  • Design and implement the company operations strategies and procedures
  • Come up with operations policies that support the business’ vision, strategy, and culture
  • Report to the CEO about company operations and other matters of importance

Interview Questions to Ask When Hiring a COO

Asking the right interview questions when hiring a chief operations officer is key. When interviewing, we recommend engaging in thoughtful conversations and purposeful relationship building. Here are some starter questions to consider when hiring a chief operations officer:

  • What do you view as the most important qualities of a chief operations officer?
  • What steps do you take to ensure effective collaboration between departments under your supervision?
  • Can you provide an example of a significant operational challenge you faced and how you orchestrated its resolution?
  • What made you interested in working with our company?

Land your dream job as

a Chief Operations Officer

Getting your foot in the door with an amazing company can be a challenge. Our recruiting experts are ready to help you land your next dream role.

View Open Roles


a Chief Operations Officer

With over 40 years of recruiting experience, we can help you fill any open role, plus, offer insight into current market rates and team structuring.

Find Talent


What is a Chief Operations Officer (COO)?

A Chief Operations Officer (COO) is a top-level executive who oversees the operational intricacies of an organization to ensure efficient execution of business strategies. Reporting directly to the CEO, the COO's responsibilities encompass optimizing processes, coordinating departments, and aligning operations with the company's overarching vision. They monitor performance metrics, allocate resources wisely, and manage risk to foster a productive and compliant environment. Additionally, COOs often lead initiatives in talent development, innovation adoption, and crisis management, all while communicating with stakeholders and contributing to strategic planning.

In essence, the COO plays a pivotal role in bridging strategy and execution. Their multifaceted responsibilities encompass enhancing efficiency, mitigating risks, and fostering innovation to drive the organization's success. Through collaborative leadership, strategic insight, and operational expertise, COOs ensure that the company's day-to-day activities are seamlessly aligned with its long-term objectives.

What are Measurable KPIs for a Chief Operations Officer (COO)?

Measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for a COO can vary depending on the responsibilities and goals of the role within the office. Here are some commonly used KPIs for COO’s:

  • Process Improvement: Measuring process cycle timelines and process error rate can help identify the improvement of internal initiatives. 
  • Resource Utilization: This KPI can be measured through labor productivity and overall asset deployment. 
  • Risk Management: Evaluating the COO’s response to operational incidents and its overall adherence to compliance requirements can reflect proper risk management. 
  • Financial Performance: Reviewing operating margins and earnings can help review profitability associated with efforts. 
  • Strategic Alignment: Reviewing a COO’s execution of key initiatives can reflect on their operational alignment to the company’sstrategic presentation. 

KPIs should align with the targeted objectives and responsibilities of the COO’s job description in an organization. It's important to set specific targets and update these KPIs regularly to ensure relevance.

What Experience is Needed to be a Chief Operations Officer (COO)?

Becoming a Chief Operations Officer (COO) demands a blend of educational background, professional experience, and leadership qualities. While there's no strict degree requirement, COOs often hold bachelor's degrees in business-related fields and frequently possess advanced degrees like MBAs. They typically accumulate extensive leadership experience, advancing through roles that involve overseeing operations, project management, logistics, and procurement.

COOs need a profound grasp of operations management, strategic thinking, and cross-functional collaboration to ensure seamless alignment of operational strategies with overall business goals. Their leadership skills shine as they inspire teams, manage crises, solve problems under pressure, and guide change initiatives. Financial acumen, industry knowledge, technological adaptability, and the ability to communicate effectively are also key attributes, reflecting their role in driving operational excellence and contributing to an organization's success.

Comparing a Chief Operating Officer vs Director of Operations

A COO is a senior executive responsible for driving overall operational strategy and alignment with the organization's objectives. They have a broader influence on the company's direction and are heavily involved in high-level decision-making. On the other hand, the Director of Operations is a managerial role focused on overseeing specific operational functions, managing teams, and ensuring efficient day-to-day execution within their designated area. While the COO operates at a more strategic level, the Director of Operations is more tactically oriented, contributing to the successful implementation of broader operational strategies set by higher leadership.

How much does it cost to work with Career Group Companies?

For candidates, our resources are free to utilize in their job search.

For companies seeking to utilize our services, bill rates vary depending on the position, employment type, experience level, and length of the assignment. After contacting one of our offices, your account manager can speak to specifics.

Market Trend Report & Salary Guide

Discover the salary benchmarks and hiring insights you’ll need to build your team, across every industry and discipline.

Get The Report

Career Group Companies Market Trend Report and Salary Guide 2023

our divisions

Career Group recruiter writing in notebook
Career Group logo

As a leading, high-end administrative recruitment agency, Career Group specializes in staffing administrative support, finance and accounting staff, human resources, family office positions, and more. We are proud to be industry leaders, creating deep-rooted relationships and using a curated approach to make the perfect match. Careers start here.

Learn More

Syndicatebleu creative recruiter

As one of the top creative staffing agencies in the country, Syndicatebleu places highly skilled professionals in direct hire, temp-to-hire, and contract roles at some of the most notable companies nationwide. We specialize in staffing creative, digital, marketing, tech, IT, and sales talent across a diverse range of industries.

Learn More

Fourth Floor fashion recruiter
Fourth Floor logo

We understand that people are the cornerstone of the fashion industry. Fourth Floor specializes in staffing within the apparel, beauty, and lifestyle industries. As premier fashion recruiters, we take a hands-on approach to each search, allowing us to adapt to changing trends in both fashion and recruiting. Fashion careers start at Fourth Floor.

Learn More

CG Search recruiter portrait
Career Group Search logo

At CG Search, we specialize in building your executive team. We are a premier executive search firm placing top-tier talent in director to C-level roles, with clients ranging from Fortune 100 to boutique startup firms. Our tenured Search Consultants handle these critical searches with the utmost discretion, nuance, and care. Let us help you shine.

Learn More

Event Team recruiter
Event Team logo

For events large and small, Event Team has your staffing needs covered. Our expansive network of event staff spans the nation, and we’ll work with you every step of the way to make your next experience unforgettable. We set the highest standard for event staffing, using a high-touch approach and exceptional on-site staff management.

Learn More