As CMOs are more involved in shaping the global corporate strategy, they are less able to manage the day-to-day Marketing execution. They increasingly need a right-hand person to help with the daily operation. This person is the CMOs Chief of Staff.
Two questions that Marketing leaders commonly ask when they are looking to hire a Chief of Staff are:
- What makes an effective Chief of Staff?
- Where and how do I find a quality Chief of Staff?
What Makes an Effective Chief of Staff?
A Chief of staff should be able to manage all roles within the Marketing organization (product, campaigns, marketing ops, lead generation, etc.). Marketing specialists who have spent their entire career within one marketing function typically, do not make the best Chief of Staff. They should have a broad Marketing background. This will enable them to connect with and help manage the day-to-day across the entire Marketing organization.
Hire a Successful Chief of Staff Who Can:
- Identify Talent Gaps- Align specific people to roles where their strengths align. Read more about becoming a “T-Shaped Marketer” in this article.
- Understand the CMO’s Strategic Vision- This will help drive the right data analysis and insights to encourage and support data-driven decisions and outcomes.
- Effectively Communicate- This person will ideally communicate with everyone from lower level marketers all the way up to the executive leadership team.
- Lastly, translate strategy into tactical execution and vice versa.
Where and How to Find a Quality Chief of Staff
You will most likely find your Chief of Staff internally. The primary concern most CMOs face is finding the right marketing talent to fill a role. However, the biggest obstacle they face is finding the time to invest in the team’s development sufficiently. While facing these challenges, nearly all CMOs can agree that when it comes to finding their next Chief of Staff, they are at a complete loss.
A quality and effective Chief of Staff needs to confidentially understand your organization, the department, marketing’s role within the global corporate strategy, and how the marketing-specific approach supports that.
By hiring a well-rounded and experienced Chief of Staff, they will better be able to help and make an impact on your role. At the same time, a Chief of Staff needs incredibly strong people and project management skills to drive the desired outcomes.
When putting together a job requisition for your next Chief of Staff, do not hesitate to express the requirements and skills that you need in the role. But without an effective hiring, onboarding, and coaching program, you may miss out on the opportunity to attract and develop the right talent. This article provides more insights on getting great marketing staff.
When the time comes to hire a Chief of Staff or any other Marketing resource. You should review SBI’s “Talent Strategy and Execution” questionnaire. The Questionnaire addresses the following topics:
- How to thoroughly identify the talent your team will need to acquire
- Identifies the types of performance management frameworks to deploy
- How to identify the tools, metrics, and systems to utilize for your team and your stakeholders
Additional Resources and Next Steps to Finding Your Next Chief of Staff
For more assistance with hiring top talent. Reference SBI’s “Talent Wake Up Call.” While it is written for Sales Leaders, it provides a step-by-step guide to hiring and retaining top talent. It talks about:
- Implementing job challenges for candidates to validate their skillset and appropriateness for a particular role.
- Onboarding new talent so that they can begin contributing as quickly as possible to both the work and the team culture.
- The elements of a successful coaching and development program
- How to develop new leadership and implement a succession plan
Additional Marketing content and articles can be found at Sales Benchmark Index – Marketing Strategy
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