Or should it be split into multiple roles? My co-founder and I are strong at Marketing and Sales, but need help with Ops to deliver our service efficiently. We need to make a top-level hire to design, implement and monitor processes and KPIs. We also need them to handle the day-to-day issues of our team, to take pressure off my co-founder and me. What job title should we use to accurately describe this role? We thought COO, but I'm not sure if this captures it. Or, should it actually be two roles, if it would be hard to find one person with the skillset to do it all?
You can consider a title "Business Process Manager", unless you feel that the position is really a C-level position, then COO is exactly that.
Have in mind that all positions should be taking pressure off you, and that doesn't make them high-ranked positions.
It also matter of company size (# employees) and structure. If its a big operation, and you don't have a COO, you might as well go with that.
As you will be headhunting for a similar profile in both cases, I would advise you put both on the job ad: Business Process Manager/COO, and decide according to candidates.
COO is a good place to start from, although the role you've outlined could also align to a 'Service Delivery' type title e.g. Head of Service / Service Director / Head of Service Delivery...
Perhaps rather than becoming too focused on the job title (which I understand you want to pin down to aid with recruiting the right 'fit' and skill set), it could be worth looking at what you're trying to achieve both in the short and longer term.
With the caveat of not knowing the size of your company/industry sector etc., I'd suggest hiring someone on a project basis - to fulfill the objective of designing and implementing your processes and KPIs first; then determine if a less experienced candidate (as Delilah has suggested) could continue with day-to-day monitoring?
This may help with flexibility, as well as not committing funding/cash flow too early on in your organisations journey.
I've advised a number of companies (from early-stage VC-backed companies to the Fortune 50) on organizational design, and I think I could be helpful here.
It sounds like you're still early stage, and I think you should keep this role with one person to start. As you expand, you can reevaluate job responsibilities.
I think COO or Director of Operations would be suitable. That being said, it would be helpful to understand more about the current set up and what your current titles & responsibilities look like.
I'd be happy to chat on the phone if you would like to discuss in further detail.
This would be an operations role. Be careful handing out C-level roles too early. If you find a C-level (experienced executive) person then you could bring on a COO that's great (and expensive). But, if you're just getting started, you could start with a Manager, Director, or VP of Operations. Note: It's easier to hire at a lower title and promote later than the other way around.
Figuring out questions like this is literally what I do — organizational design. I'm a former COO who implemented OKRs in a 200-person organization and helped shape high-level roles like this.
You could hire a COO for this, and it would be safer to start by hiring a "Head of Operations" (not C-level) and promote from there. What's needed from a COO is more than what you list here. And what you list here, yes, could be one role.
It sounds like there may be more questions around this, including how to shape this role and how to know if someone is a good fit for it, and what to look for.
If you want to go deeper, I imagine a 10 minute call where we go into some more detail would give you a lot of clarity, if this is something you're still considering.
Best of luck. :)