Vice President Responsibilities (With Skills And FAQs)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 4 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A Vice President is a senior-level executive who is the second or third employee in command of an organisation. Depending on the organisation's requirements, the responsibilities of a Vice President may include any combination of routine or day-to-day work. Understanding the responsibilities and how to reach the position can help you decide your career advancement objectives. In this article, we discuss Vice President responsibilities, outline the steps on how to become a company Vice President, list key skills to help you succeed in the role and provide some frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help you better understand the position:

Vice President Responsibilities

Vice President responsibilities include a variety of tasks, including managing operations and holding substantial authority over other employees. The Vice President of an organisation is close to the top of the executive hierarchy. They are the third employee in command if the company has a CEO and a President and the second in command if the same individual is the CEO and President. Typically, Vice Presidents are in charge of the entire enterprise, institution, university, agency or government department.

Their primary responsibility is to oversee the development and execution of business plans. They can decide which plans proceed to the implementation phase and which do not align with the company's interests and vision. Usually, the Vice President of a business with multiple divisions oversees the various units or departments. They also convey any important matter to the President or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and seek validation for major decisions. They may also serve as the organisation's official representative at external events and with current and prospective clients and investors.

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Vice President Duties

The following are some additional important responsibilities of a Vice President:

  • Managing official correspondence on behalf of the president and the organisation, signing official documents and making legally binding decisions and agreements

  • Monitoring and evaluating other employee's work, including managing various divisions and departmental reports and submissions

  • Controlling executive-level business meetings to discuss important matters, such as strategic objectives, code of conduct and legal matters

  • Communicating the status and performance of the organisation's projects to the President, Board of Directors or other interested parties

  • Providing the President or other interested parties with viable project and venture proposals

  • Assessing the company's current projects and determining whether to proceed with them

  • Analysing shifting industry trends and modifying the company's objectives and projects to reflect these trends and attract the target audience

  • Observing growth opportunities and client leads and revising marketing strategies to entice additional clients and investors

  • Ensuring that the organisation always adheres to the most recent industry laws and regulations

Related: What Is A Designation In A Company? A Comprehensive Guide

How To Become The Vice President Of A Company

A junior-level employee can eventually reach the Vice President position, but this career path takes time. The transition from a junior-level position to a Vice President is often indirect. The following are the steps you can consider when aiming to become a Vice President:

1. Choose a relevant entry-level role

Consider beginning your journey towards this position by taking an entry-level role relevant to your knowledge and skills. You can get recognition, hone your skills and work towards promotions to more senior positions by exhibiting outstanding performance in junior positions. You may attract the company's attention faster if you perform well in your assigned roles as a team member and leader.

2. Create a positive reputation for yourself

Recognition of initiative, perseverance and leadership abilities early in one's career can be an excellent way to advance one's position more rapidly. You can accomplish this by engaging in volunteer work and experimenting with peer leadership. A positive attitude can also contribute to a great reputation within the organisation and make you eligible for potential promotions and other growth opportunities.

3. Develop and enhance relevant skills

Along with good business skills, some other skills are also important for a Vice President position. You can consider learning skills to include effective communication, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, leadership, organisation, patience and people management. You can observe your colleagues and senior employees, take online courses and watch videos to develop these skills.

Related: 18 Leadership Soft Skills And Their Benefits In The Workplace

4. Maintain good connections with recruiters

Headhunting or an executive search is the process of identifying the most suitable candidate for a position. To find and hire high-level employees or leaders, such as CEOs and Presidents, corporations usually employ a headhunting strategy instead of traditional recruitment methods. You can get a recommendation for an executive-level position if you establish a positive and good rapport with recruitment firms.

5. Get proper education

Even if you are a graduate or hold a non-business degree, business knowledge is necessary for advancement to the executive level. You can consider earning a Master's Degree in business administration or taking other business and management courses. Combining this knowledge with your experience can help you reach higher positions.

Key Skills For A Vice President Role

The following are the key skills to help you better perform your responsibilities as a Vice President:

Communication

Often, the responsibilities of a Vice President extend beyond the organisation. These external responsibilities usually entail a substantial amount of writing, correspondence and negotiation with prospective clients and investors. Having strong communication skills is important for interacting with clients and investors effectively.

Related: Verbal Communication Examples in the Workplace (With Tips)

Emotional intelligence

Most of the Vice President's duties require them to be socially perceptive, making emotional intelligence a necessary skill. As Vice President, you may oversee multiple employees or teams. Understanding people's reactions and motivations can help you foster cooperation, prevent conflict and inspire those around you.

Sound judgement

Normally, this position is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the company's President or CEO. They evaluate the alternatives thoroughly and make the most suitable choice for the organisation. Consequently, the ability to think logically and analytically to make sound decisions that can benefit the entire organisation is the key requirement for this position.

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Monitoring

As the person in charge of all other employees, the Vice President can oversee their tasks and assign each department's goals and performance benchmarks. Monitoring skills can assist them in assessing the performance of the employees accurately. It enables them to make precise and appropriate recommendations for every employee.

Work ethics

Maintaining the reputation of a company requires ethical leadership. Having a good work ethic can help a Vice President in overcoming business obstacles. Vice presidents who encourage their employees to perform their work ethically may foster an ethical and transparent work culture that prospective employees and the public can trust.

Related: What Is A Code Of Ethics And What Are Its Principles?

Transparency

It is typically necessary for all interested parties, including employees and investors, to have faith in the Vice President. Transparency and sincerity can inspire trust in the Vice President and their decisions and leadership. Employees can show dedication and commitment to a project if they comprehend its significance to the health and goals of the organisation.

Patience

Patience is the ability to calmly endure delays, misunderstandings and miscommunications. When a Vice President demonstrates patience, it shows employees that they can grow and learn safely. It can facilitate the interaction between the Vice President and junior employees.

Related: How To Keep A Positive Attitude: A Complete Guide

FAQs About Vice Presidents

The following are the answers to some commonly asked questions to help you learn more about the Vice President role:

What are the different Vice President titles?

Very large organisations may have various Vice President titles depending on rank. Though the hierarchy of this position can vary depending on the size and the requirements of the company. The following are some different Vice President titles:

  • Senior Executive Vice President

  • Executive Vice President

  • Senior Vice President

  • Vice President

  • Assistant Vice President

  • Associate Vice President

Related: What Are Company Titles? (With Examples And Descriptions)

What is the work environment of a Vice President?

A Vice President may be responsible for multiple departments within an organisation, making this a potentially diverse position. As a Vice President, you may be working on a single desk but find yourself interacting with the director of sales and the director of marketing at a particular time of the day. The Vice President generally works in an office but may travel for business meetings or to attend conferences. It is also important for them to be capable of managing multiple tasks together and making prompt decisions.

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