How to Hire a Chief of Staff

Does your growing business need a chief of staff? As an advisor to the CEO, the chief of staff provides the executive management with well-researched and strategic information to make the best possible decisions for the company.

Here are some tips to help you find great chief of staff candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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What is the cost of hiring chief of staff?

  • Common salary in US: $121,765 yearly
  • Typical salaries range from $20,000$313,000 yearly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, chief of staff jobs in the U.S. are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 50 job seekers per chief of staff job.

Why hire a chief of staff?

Hiring a chief of staff can have a tremendous effect on the overall operations of your company. Their experience analyzing data and wealth of detailed knowledge help executives promote profitability in your company. The chief of staff supports the CEO in determining the best course of action during pivotal moments and encouraging progress.

Contributions of a great chief of staff:

• Experience analyzing data
• Has executive advising experience
• Is a detailed researcher for best practices in decision-making

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance chief of staff

Companies that require a chief of staff position often have them working approximately 40 hours a week, making a freelancer an expensive decision. However, there are some scenarios when hiring a freelancer is a good option.

If a company has recently lost its chief of staff, it may consider hiring a freelance chief temporarily while executives search for a new hire. Additionally, a freelance chief of staff is useful when determining if a full-time hire is justifiable. A freelancer can also provide coverage for a full-time chief of staff taking time off. 

What are the types of chief of staff?

There are a few traditional types of chief of staff who work in various fields, such as:

  • Government: A chief of staff in a government position, such as the White House’s chief of staff, communicates with other departments in the administration, manages staff activities for the head of the administration and oversees the staff’s daily operations.
  • Military: A chief of staff in the military advises the head of the government about military operations and issues. The chief of staff doesn’t lead any combat forces and has no command over troops in the military. 
  • Business: Business chiefs of staff organize the schedule of the CEO, manage all communications to and from the CEO and oversee the daily operations of the business’s staff. They can also act as a proxy for the CEO in meetings and take on responsibilities the CEO doesn’t have time to do. 

Where to find a chief of staff

To find the right chief of staff for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Promote from within. Analyze the communicative and organizational skills of the staff you already have. Get the news out in the office that you’re looking for the next chief of staff. Some of your employees may be quality candidates and interested in a promotion. 
  • Network. Build relationships with other businesses in the area and determine if they have any information on past employees who could be a great fit. 
  • Look online. Experienced chiefs of staff may be advertising their expertise and searching for work on online platforms. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your chief of staff job on Indeed to find and attract quality chief of staff candidates.

What are the types of chief of staff?

There are a few traditional types of chief of staff who work in various fields, such as:

  • Government: A chief of staff in a government position, such as the White House’s chief of staff, communicates with other departments in the administration, manages staff activities for the head of the administration and oversees the staff’s daily operations.
  • Military: A chief of staff in the military advises the head of the government about military operations and issues. The chief of staff doesn’t lead any combat forces and has no command over troops in the military. 
  • Business: Business chiefs of staff organize the schedule of the CEO, manage all communications to and from the CEO and oversee the daily operations of the business’s staff. They can also act as a proxy for the CEO in meetings and take on responsibilities the CEO doesn’t have time to do. 

Writing a chief of staff job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified chief of staff candidates. A chief of staff job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your chief of staff job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on chief of staff jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Chief of staff
  • Chief staff
  • Chief
  • Director of operations
  • Chief operating officer
  • MBA
  • Operations
  • Executive assistant
  • Management
  • Non profit

Interviewing chief of staff candidates

Strong candidates for chief of staff positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• Previous executive positions
• How they prioritize tasks
• How they manage conflict in the workplace

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of chief of staff interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a chief of staff

Is the chief of staff in charge of hiring?

Yes. They create and post job descriptions, search through applications, contact candidates and set up interviews, screen potential hires and make job offers. 

Do I really need to hire a chief of staff?

Although chief of staff is not an absolutely necessary position, having one can be very beneficial to a busy CEO.

How do I choose between two quality chief of staff candidates?

A very important aspect in your chief of staff is how they get along with the current staff members. Consider hiring the candidate who fits in better with the team. 

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