Ali and Kanjun sat down with The Information to share their experience with the Chief of Staff role. Some highlights from the piece:

Think about your pain points and how the addition of a chief of staff might ease them, said Outset Capital partner Ali Rohde. A former chief of staff at Silicon Valley AI startups Imbue and Sourceress, Rohde has become a go-to adviser for founders looking to hire for the role. Ask yourself, said Rohde, if this person were to start tomorrow, what are the first three projects you’d assign? Maybe you’re behind on financial forecasting or your board notes are a mess—whatever makes you say, in Rohde’s words, “Holy crap, I need help with this.”

The role does seem to require a bit of wizardry—an ability to do everything and be everywhere, all at once. Depending on the company, a chief of staff might run the leadership and all-hands meetings, liaise with the board, draft speeches and decks, and act as the CEO’s eyes and ears within the organization and proxy, as needed. “They can act like a double you,” said Kanjun Qiu, CEO of Imbue, an Nvidia-backed artificial intelligence unicorn. Qiu has both employed chiefs of staff and been one herself at Dropbox, supporting CEO Drew Houston.

Need to go outside to hire? “This is a process that’s really driven by word of mouth,” said Rohde. Share the posting with colleagues, friends and advisers and place it with chief-of-staff online communities and job boards, like Rohde’s

Before extending an offer, take the prospective hire out to breakfast or lunch; meeting in a more social setting will give you a sense of your personal chemistry—or lack of it. “Think about the kind of person you work best with, whether that’s a super-high-EQ type or a gets-shit-done hustler, whatever type makes you feel good to be around,” Rohde said.

Read the full piece here.

Read the full article at The Information