17 Apr Top Pros and Cons of Hiring a COO
Companies on an upward trajectory undoubtedly face growing pains. It would be unsettling if they didn’t! You know, that “too good to be true” scenario never ends well.
Within a growing company, there definitely comes a time when CEOs and their teams need to think about filling the COO role. It’s a decision that can’t (and shouldn’t) be made overnight. You really have to find the person who both aligns with your ultimate vision and can bring it to fruition.
In my years of experience working with CEOs and other business leaders, the following pros and cons of hiring a COO are the ones that rise to the surface.
Pros of Hiring a COO
1) As a company grows, the CEO’s bandwidth isn’t what it used to be. At a point, managing operations becomes unsustainable (or at least undesirable). A COO can lessen the pressure by stepping in and streamlining operations. The COO also helps to hone operations, increasing efficiency among teams.
2) If a CEO is stretched thin, there’s a greater risk of teams becoming siloed—because communication just isn’t there. This is a dangerous place to be. Team members need to be on the same page as each other, as well as the CEO. A seasoned COO is skilled at breaking down silos, improving communication, and aligning objectives.
3) COOs are a great complement to the CEO role. Working together, the two of you can better define the CEOs vision and execute it with the greatest efficiency. This doesn’t always look the same. Perhaps you need the COO to oversee critical projects. It may involve advising on financial aspects of the business. The COO may also serve as a sounding board when you’re in idea mode.
4) A new COO often brings a fresh set of eyes to your company’s challenges. They can identify blind spots, uncover hidden opportunities, and inject new energy into the team.
Cons of Hiring a COO
1) Hiring a COO can be a significant investment, as their salaries are typically on the higher end of the scale. You’ll need to weigh the benefits against the costs, and consider whether you’re ready to allocate funds for this role. There’s always the option of hiring a fractional COO, which makes this obstacle easier to overcome.
2) Bringing on a new executive is always a gamble, and finding a COO who fits your company culture and shares your vision can be challenging. You’ll need to invest time in the hiring process—from interviews to reference checks—in order to find the perfect match.
3) For founders and CEOs, giving up some control can be tough. You’ll need to trust your COO and allow them to make decisions, even if you don’t always agree. Remember, it’s all about teamwork.
The Decision Is Yours to Make
With all this considered, is hiring a COO right for your company? Ultimately, it depends on your specific needs, budget, and growth goals. A COO can be a game-changer for some, while others may prefer to rely on a strong management team. However, I do tend to see the benefits of the former outweigh that of the latter.
It’s important to take the time to evaluate your company’s unique situation and make the best decision for YOU. If you aren’t sure you’re asking the “right” questions to determine what that decision should be, I’m happy to weigh in! And, if the budget factor is your primary concern, I have some insights on that as well.