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How to Hire the Right Personal Assistant for Your Startup

Chris Christoff
Chris Christoff

A good job post and a thorough interview are key.

There is no secret formula for hiring the perfect assistant, but with enough research and evaluation, you can find one that’s right for you and your business goals. It's essential that you choose the right personal assistant because they can make or break whether or not your company runs smoothly.

If you own a business and have created a website for it, you know there's a lot of work that goes into it. It’s essential that you choose the right personal assistant, because they can make or break whether or not your company runs smoothly.

You want someone that understands what you need and can help you get where you want to be, but this is impossible without first doing a little research and scoping out your options. You don't want to go with the first candidate that seems like a good fit; instead, take the time to hire someone who has both the soft and hard skills you'd want any employee of yours to embody. Hiring the right person could result in increased user engagement, improved lead generation and more.

Here are a few tips to help you hire a personal assistant that’s right for you and your startup.

Determine your biggest time-wasters

Having a written list of all the tasks you spend too much time on and don’t add to your income's ROI can help you determine if you even require a personal assistant in the first place. It's worth it to take time to document how you spend your time on an average workday so you're aware of what time is being wasted and could be used more productively.

Depending on your startup, there could be several areas of your business you could choose to outsource, including:

  • Social media: Creating social media content, planning upcoming social campaigns, scheduling posts, etc.
  • Scheduling: Making schedules, confirming appointments, making outgoing calls, etc.
  • Content planning: Brainstorming topics for your blog, website copy, email marketing, product descriptions, etc.
  • Management: Taking over bigger tasks that directly deal with business, such as inventory and sales.
  • Customer service: Directly dealing with customers by answering emails, phone calls, and online inquiries; coming up with ways to appease customers, solve their problems and make them happy.
  • Research: Looking for new publications and blogs to pitch to, gathering data, analytic research, gathering statistics for blog content or new marketing strategies, etc.
  • Data entry: Organizing and keeping accurate data, bookkeeping, etc.

Write a detailed job posting

You want to leave out the guesswork when searching for your new assistant. This will eliminate a lot of confusion and make it clear to candidates what you expect from them, what the job entails, and other important information they need to know before they can decide to apply.

Write up a list of qualities and qualifications that are a must-have for your business. How much knowledge do you expect them to have prior to starting? What tasks do you expect them to complete? What behavior skills are you looking for? How often do you need these tasks finished and what deadlines do you want to be kept?

Once you have the answers to the important questions, it's time to draft a job posting that accurately represents what you're looking for. Don't beat around the bush when it comes to your expectations – you'll end up with the wrong candidate whose preconceived notion of the job is way different than what you need.

Conduct thorough interviews

Depending on the volume of applications you receive and how much time you have allotted to the hiring process, you might want to conduct more than one interview. Some companies believe just one is enough, and for some, this may work, but if you feel like you need more than one round of evaluations, then hold more than one.

Holding more than one interview per candidate has its benefits, the main of which is that you get to know the applicant better and have the opportunity to ask more detailed questions. You can find out more about their soft skills, for example, to gauge their behavior and their work ethic. It's also an opportunity to hear more about the positive things they've done for previous companies, such as boosting their ROI.

If you run a remote business and interviewing face-to-face isn't an option, it’s wise to use video chat rather than phone calls. Doing so allows you to gauge more about the person such as their nonverbal cues, body language, and overall behavior. It can help you notice qualities about them you otherwise wouldn't have if it was conducted over the phone.

Wrapping up

Scouting for the right personal assistant is tough work. It's impossible to find someone who has 100% of the qualities you're looking for, but with a little extra time and research, you can hire someone who's pretty close. It's important to be prepared for what's ahead, and always communicate what you need so that your startup runs smoothly and benefits monetarily, thanks to your newfound time and energy. How will you hire the right personal assistant?

Image Credit: Tyler Olsen/Shutterstock
Chris Christoff
Chris Christoff Member
Co-Founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.