How to Write a Chief Operating Officer (COO) Job Description Sample

A Chief Operating Officer, or COO, is someone who oversees the operational functions of a business. A Chief Operating Officer’s primary responsibilities include strategic, organizational, and administrative leadership to the day-to-day operations of a business.

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What does a Chief Operating Officer do? 

A Chief Operating Officer works with other leadership team members within a business to organize, plan, and control operations. They can work in any industry or different sizes of companies, typically working alone or with the board of directors to establish quarterly or annual company objectives. A Chief Operating Officer also works with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in a company to direct the business in achieving its objectives. 

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Chief Operating Officer duties and responsibilities 

A Chief Operating Officer performs many tasks that help increase sales and overall productivity. The duties and responsibilities of a Chief Operating Officer may include: 

  • Overseeing company operations, project timelines, business developments, and employee productivity while building a highly inclusive culture to ensure team members thrive 
  • Working with the CEO to set and drive the organizational vision and mission, corporate strategy, and hiring needs
  • Measuring and analyzing current revenue streams, offerings, and relationships to optimize business growth and revenue strategy
  • Developing actionable business strategies, objectives, and plans that ensure alignment with short- and long-term objectives developed in tandem with the CEO 
  • Strategically managing, organizing, and coordinating employees from different departments and locations to ensure efficiency
  • Implementing financial procedures and organizational policies and programs to drive the company’s operating capabilities to surpass the industry average
  • Assessing and implementing improved processes and new technologies and collaborating with management
  • Building and maintaining relationships with other professionals and organizations in the industry

Chief Operating Officer skills and qualifications 

A successful Chief Operating Officer has various skills and qualifications that allow them to perform the duties of this job. Some of these may include:

  • Ability to motivate, organize, and respond to employees of many different areas of expertise
  • Excellent business and budget-planning skills
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Ability to adapt to changing environments
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills
  • Ability to work as an independent contributor and as part of a team
  • Excellent analytical and planning skills

Chief Operating Officer experience requirements 

When looking through resumes for a Chief Operating Officer, it’s important to look for someone with at least 10 years of senior management experience in your industry. A successful job applicant should also have experience working for a similar-sized company as yours, be it a start-up or a Fortune 500 company.

Chief Operating Officer training and education

Chief Operating Officer candidates should have a bachelor’s degree or higher academic certification in business, economics, finance, or a related discipline. Candidates with a Master of Business Administration, or MBA, are an asset. Depending on the specifics of your business, you may require an applicant with industry-specific knowledge. For example, a Chief Operating Officer working in the tech industry might need a foundational understanding of computer engineering or IT. Look for candidates with additional diplomas or short course training on relevant subjects.

Chief Operating Officer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Chief Operating Officer in Canada is $132,407 per year. The salary can vary depending on the employee’s experience, the office’s location, and the company. 

Job descriptions for similar roles

If a Chief Operating Officer is not exactly what you’re looking for, other related descriptions include: 

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Chief Operating Officer job description FAQs

What should you look for in a Chief Operating Officer resume?

When reviewing resumes for a Chief Operating Officer, look for someone who has extensive experience as a Director or Vice President of Operations in your industry. When outlining their professional successes, a successful Chief Operating Officer may also offer information about how much money they saved or made for a company they worked for in the past.

How do you make your Chief Operating Officer job description stand out?

The best way to make a Chief Operating Officer job description stand out is to provide detailed information about the structure of the company and the size of the business, such as the number of employees, its operational structure, and its current goals. Including the salary in the job description can also help your company to attract the best candidates. If there are any company benefits, like an expense account or pension plan, include that information as well. 

What is the difference between a Chief Operating Officer and a Chief Executive Officer?

A Chief Executive Officer, or CEO, is in charge of where a company is going strategically. In contrast, a Chief Operating Officer is in charge of how the company plans to get there. A Chief Operating Officer creates strategic plans for an organization and reports to a Chief Executive Officer. While the Chief Operating Officer oversees the daily operations, the Chief Executive Officer makes final decisions within the business. A Chief Operating Officer can only give advice based on the functions and current status of the business.

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