Finding the perfect executive personal assistant can be a daunting task.
A personal assistant handles the aspects of your life that you don’t have time for. Most of those aspects are small things, such as writing letters, answering calls, or sending bills.
However, small things can really add up. An important colleague may think you’ve forgotten about him if he never receives that call or letter. Your power or phone could be shut off if the bill isn’t paid on time.
These seem like simple things you can keep track of yourself, but you’re so busy. You have your job to go to every day. You have your children to look after and a home to maintain for your family.
Major stresses have a way of making us forget about the small things.
For that reason, it’s important to make sure you hire the perfect executive personal assistant. Read on to learn more.
Finding the Perfect Executive Personal Assistant
In many ways, finding the right executive personal assistant is like staffing any position. You want to find someone who has experience or transferable skills.
At the same time, a personal assistant is, well, more personal. They know your schedule, your preferences, and your deadlines. In a way, they know more about you than you do.
Let’s review how to find the right executive personal assistant.
When it comes to choosing an executive personal assistant, nothing beats a sense of humor.
If possible, both you and your personal assistant should have the same sense of humor. Having the same sense of humor will ensure you’ll react to unexpected circumstances in the same manner.
It will also help your personal assistant understand how you think. When your PA understands how you think, they can make judgment calls in your stead. You won’t have to worry about them making any bad calls.
A similar personality will also help your personal assistant understand your needs without you explaining them.
Experience goes a long way in every field. Many times, lack of experience is a disqualifying trait for candidates.
To be fair, the lifestyle of a personal assistant isn’t for everyone. Being a PA is a stressful job. It isn’t for the faint of heart.
If any of your job candidates have experience as an assistant, that’s a good indicator they can handle the job. The experience doesn’t have to be as a personal assistant per se.
Experience as an administrative or legal assistant works too. Like personal assistants, administrative and legal assistants must keep track of “the small things.” They must also be intimately familiar with their bosses’ schedules.
It happens. Every now and then, an executive will post a personal assistant ad and get no interest from parties with experience.
Should you dump all the resumes you got and start your search over? Absolutely not!
If you examine those resumes carefully, you’ll find that many candidates have great transferable skills.
Making weekly orders. Keeping track of merchandise. Creating work schedules. These skills can all transfer into the executive personal assistant field.
The same goes for estate management, travel preparation, and event production. You can learn more here about how these skills apply to the personal assistant field.
Sure, narrowing down candidates will take a bit more time. But having an excellent personal assistant is worth it, right?
Every assistant, personal or not, needs to be organized.
While scoping potential candidates for interviews, pay close attention to their resumes. Is the formatting neat? Were the grammar and spelling meticulously proofread?
Fast-forward to the interviews. While meeting face to face with candidates, take note of their appearance.
Do they appear well-groomed? Like they got enough sleep? Like they regularly partake in good hygiene practices?
Also, pay attention to what they’ve brought to the interview.
Did they bring their resume, cover letter, and references? Do they have a list of questions prepared? Did they bring a notebook with notes in it?
How candidates present themselves during interviews suggests how they’ll act on the job.
Long-Term Career Goals
Few people want to make a career out of being an executive personal assistant. Many candidates become one to either grow their skills or get their foot in the door.
Regardless, you should be aware of your potential personal assistants’ motivations for wanting the job. Personal growth and interest in the company are two positive motivations.
Be aware of candidates who seem disinterested in the duties or only want a job. Typically this kind of employee performs poorly and leaves the company as soon as another offer pops up.
Additional Steps to Finding “The Right Fit”
Finding the right personal assistant doesn’t start and end with the candidates.
You must make a contribution to the process as well.
Make Sure the Description Is Accurate
Prior to posting the job, ensure the description is accurate.
Review the list of responsibilities and requirements for all desired items. Additionally, proofread the items to make sure you haven’t included a “do” where you need a “do not.”
Moreover, consider the relevance of each item. Is this item something that the personal assistant must do? Does the personal assistant absolutely need that skill or experience?
Ensuring the job description matches the actual job is vital. Candidates want to know about a position prior to accepting an offer. If the position doesn’t match what was discussed, they’ll quit at the first opportunity.
Ask for a Second Opinion
If you’re stuck between two great candidates, ask a trusted employee for their advice.
Employees know the company. More importantly, they’re aware of your work demands.
They’ll have an idea what you’re looking for in your executive personal assistant.
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