What to look for when hiring a Personal Assistant

If you’ve come to find yourself in a position where you need to hire a personal assistant, you might find yourself asking what the secret is to make the relationship work and how to find the right person for the job. Coby Philips Recruitment Consultancy are experts in placing personal assistants into all types of organisations across London, and we want to share our top pieces of advice with you to ensure you find the right candidate in minimal time.

What would we say are some of the most important attributes when hiring a personal assistant? Strong organisational skills, flexibility, patience, and of course personality. It’s absolutely essential that both you and your personal assistant get on well with each other. You’ll be spending a lot of time together and you should see your personal assistant as your go-to person, your ‘right-hand man’ if you like. If you find that you have clashing personalities, this won’t be as easy.

Take a look at some of the attributes we would say are essentials when hiring your first personal assistant:

Proactive Approach

A personal assistant should be able to take control of their working day and make proactive steps to make sure everything gets done (without being micromanaged). A good personal assistant should be able to anticipate their boss’s needs, prioritise tasks and make sure to follow through on everything. It’s highly likely that decision making could be left down to the personal assistant when you’re not there, and you need to be sure that they’re going to make the right decisions on your behalf.

Strong Interpersonal Relationship Skills

As your personal assistant, this person will have to converse with many people across the business on a day-to-day basis, a lot of the time on behalf of yourself. You need to be sure that your personal assistant has the right attitude and personality to build relationships with co-workers and clients, as your personal assistant is a strong reflection of yourself.

Flexibility

A PA job is naturally busier than most. Not only do they have their own specific tasks to be dealing with, but generally managing your workload too. You must ensure that your personal assistant will be able to manage multiple tasks efficiently and effectively, as well as being able to take on ad-hoc tasks and manage last minute changes. If you’re working in a busy environment (and if you’re hiring a PA, you most likely are), it’s probable that there will be last minute changes with work tasks, and it’s important that your personal assistant is happy to deal with change.

Organisational Skills

Having a busy diary, it’s important that your personal assistant is the most organised person you know. Tasks will include scheduling appointments, handing calendars, answering phones, taking messages and many other activities. Being able to balance multiple tasks at once, while remaining focused is important for your day to run smoothly. When hiring a personal assistant, you might ask them times where they have had to deal with a large amount of pressure and how they coped, as this will be a good way to find out whether they’ll be able to deal with your busy workload or not on a day-to-day basis.

Reliability

Probably the most important aspect of a personal assistant, you want to make sure that they’re extremely reliable and that they’re working as your ‘right arm’. You want your personal assistant to not only be an asset to your team but to be someone who is indispensable. Arriving at work on time (or early) is just the start of reliability in this case. You should be looking for someone who is willing to constantly go the extra mile for their boss, and thinks of tasks and priorities before you’ve even thought of them yourself.

If you’re struggling to find a personal assistant suited to your needs, please get in touch with a member of our team today to find the best fit for you.

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