Hire a COO: Essential Advice, Key Steps, and Lessons from Successful Founders


Feeling like a bottleneck lately?

Despite your best intentions to take a step back to focus on the big picture— the pressures of daily operations has a way of creeping back into your list of to-dos. Your best seller is out of stock, the next shipment is held up in transit, and you lay awake at night stressing over next month’s payroll. 

How will you ever grow if you’re bogged down in this everyday stress? Hire a Chief Operating Officer (COO).

A COO with a good track record oversees all business operations, helping free up your time to focus on the big picture and long-term strategy. But getting to this dream state—hiring a COO—is a significant investment. Finding the best candidate is also not a straightforward path. The decision may depend on the right skills, a proven track record, cultural fit, and the unique circumstances of your business. 

This guide aims to equip you with the information to navigate the hiring process for a COO successfully. We’ll cover four main areas:

  • Why hire a COO?
  • When to hire a COO
  • How to hire a COO
  • Onboarding your COO

Table of contents

  • Why Hire a COO? Hint: To offload operational burden
    • The Role of a COO (And how they can help you)
    • The job description of a Chief Operating Officer (COO)
    • Benefits of hiring a COO
  • When to Hire a COO
    • Signs You Need a COO
    • Timing for Hiring a COO
  • How to Hire a COO
    • Defining the Role
    • Qualities to Look for in COO Candidates
    • Hire a COO Tactics: Tips and Strategies to Find Your Ideal Second-in-Command
  • Onboarding Your COO
    • Defining Goals and Expectations
  • Final Thoughts: Hire a Chief Operating Officer (COO) – The Buck Stops With You