There are ample options when you look for online personal assistant. You can reach top-rated hiring platforms with a single click, but how would you know that the candidate you hire is the best fit for your business needs?
The commonly-found myth in most industries is that it solves most organizational problems once you hire a personal assistant. Business owners usually have set criteria when they want to hire remote personal assistants. They hire either based on experience or some preliminary tests.
Generally, people believe that a high-performing assistant is necessarily an asset to their business. However, they often overlook the importance of closely examining all the options and factors. Any working environment - remote, hybrid or physical - has its requirements and outline. On top of that, a growing business demands more and may require a personal assistant to go the extra mile with their duties. You must consider these aspects and have a thorough knowledge of many others before hiring online personal assistants.
Before You Hire a Personal Assistant
According to a report from Leveling Up, the ROI of hiring a personal assistant who does not align with your business requirements is -298%. You can only imagine the scale at which a wrong hiring decision can negatively impact your business. So, how do you ensure that this does not happen to you? Find out ahead.
Ask Yourself Why I Want To Hire A Personal Assistant?
First, you must analyze your pain points before stepping into the hiring process. There are no predetermined rules to work with a personal assistant because, as the term itself states - the assistance is unique.
- Do You Need A Personal Life Assistant?
Yes, there is a slight difference between a personal assistant and personal life assistant. Understand it with an example of someone who needs to travel for their business frequently. They can save the time spent on regular air and hotel bookings by hiring a personal assistant. The same professional can provide other organizational support such as managing meetings, data entry, purchasing products online, venue set up, etc.
On the other hand, a personal life assistant works more closely with you. They take care of minute things like your diet or medicine timings. If you think that work is taking a toll on your health or time with family, you need someone to assist you personally.
Often entrepreneurs need specialized assistance on short notice. It is usually a short-term requirement that lasts for a day or two. You can choose to hire a personal assistant for a day or short duration.
- You Mostly Feel Exhausted Or Drained As An Entrepreneur
If we believe the reports from Globe News Wire,
- 25% of individuals experience depression for the first time as entrepreneurs
- 20% go through anxiety as first-time entrepreneurs
- And 18% deal with chronic stress when they become entrepreneurs for the first time.
The lifestyle of startup owners revolves around work and the organization. In any case, stress is unavoidable, but getting the right help can make things easier.
You should also pay attention to another crucial and mostly inevitable point. As your business leaps forward, tasks and responsibilities also grow. As a result, you have to delegate the functions at some point; otherwise, a pool of tasks may line up, leaving you more anxious and less productive.
- How Does the Organization Function?
The personal assistant needs to fit the work style of the organization. Most of the small companies took the hybrid or fully-remote working route after the pandemic. Remote working style has its pros and cons. For instance, there is no “cubicle culture” as a constant reminder that someone is working in an office. A personal online assistant must have some experience working in such a style.
Similarly, hybrid and in-house working systems have their requirements. It will be beneficial to look into how well they can fit in your company before hiring a virtual personal assistant.
- Are You Looking To Hire A Personal Assistant Online To Build Customer Relations?
If you need someone to attend customer calls, the hiring process may have a few additional steps. Building customer relationships is essential, whether it is an established firm or an emerging business. You need a personal assistant, who has excellent communication skills, to handle such jobs. Talk to them as if you are a customer or give them an assignment with mock situations you go through.
Factors To Consider Before Shortlisting The Candidates
Now that you have developed a broad understanding of your requirements, there are other critical factors also that you should consider.
Have A Look At Their Previous Projects
How to hire a trustworthy professional who finely aligns with your business needs? You can begin by having a look at their portfolio. Before the direct interviews take place, you start with the background research. Work portfolio should be a part of research because it provides an idea of past experiences of the personal assistant.
Every individual thoughtfully prepares their portfolio to present only the best. The good part of this practice is that you get acquainted with the best side of the individual. However, this aspect has a flip side, as you may not know about the bad experiences that previous employees have had with the candidate.
Talk About Their Experience
You know the strengths of a potential candidate with the portfolio. To have a wholesome view of a candidate’s ability, discuss their past experiences with employers.
There are at least two rounds of interviews, so you can easily fit many questions about their experience. For example, you can ask about their learnings and what their day typically looks like?
Try To Find Out About Their Abilities
Working virtually also requires an individual to take the initiative. After all, what is a remote personal assistant if they cannot make working easy for you? That is why it is best if you know about the abilities of a virtual personal assistant.
You can lead the discussion by posing situations that they may face daily in your organization. It becomes even more significant when an individual is switching from a larger organization. Startups do not have the same access to the resources as big firms, so the candidate may not have the same resource leverages. An ideal personal assistant can come up with solutions and adjust in such circumstances.
Ask About Their Biggest Accomplishment
When you start a company, it is bound to have fewer resources, but you take it further from that stage only because you have the confidence to do so. Sooner or later, the organization becomes your most significant accomplishment. Therefore, when you want an individual to become a part of that organization, you must ask about their most significant accomplishment to know if they are worthy of it.
Keep A Check On Your Budget
When your business is at the liminal stage, every organization member is like an investment in your industry. Each member is or going to be your asset. So, it is ideal to pre-analyze the worth of their work accordingly. The pay scale should
- Meet the industry standards, so most ‘good candidates’ are attracted to your offer.
- Align with your finances
- Be balanced, according to the skills of the candidate.
When Finalizing Personal Assistant For Hire
Listing Things Down Is A Good Idea
Entrepreneurs often get confused about what should be their first step. You should always start noting things down to know what you need help with most of the time. At the same time, you should also have a general clue about things personal assistants do.
As Forbes reports, small business owners spend about 40% of their time in non-essential activities that do not directly benefit the business or their lives. Therefore, preparing a list of tasks is beneficial for screening purposes because you do not want to spend time and costs on non-valuable activities.
Prepare A Job Description Accordingly
When you have a list of things you need help with, it becomes convenient to form a job description. Then, carefully add the experience and skills you expect from an ideal personal assistant.
Do not forget to mention the perks and benefits to provide to the candidate. It is always good to be transparent and set the right expectations right from the start. Ultimately, it is a beneficial and effective way to find the right fit for your organization.
You can post the description online on LinkedIn and other networks like Upwork. However, even social media has come across as an effective way to hire people as it organically connects with suitable candidates.
Wrapping It Up
Oprah Winfrey asks the right question that every entrepreneur must ponder upon “Are we limiting our success by not mastering the art of delegation?” She also states that “it is simply a matter of preparation and meeting opportunity.”
Self-preparation and awareness are necessary before hiring a personal assistant, so you save on resources and time. Most importantly, the task does not finish at hiring. The final step is to ascertain that the personal assistant performs the duties in the most efficient way. When you tick all these boxes, you pave the way towards a successful organization.