In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- How to tell whether you need to hire an assistant
- Why it’s worth it to hold out for the right hire, even if you’re pressed for help
- Job titles can be a distraction when trying to find the right assistant
Support For All Seasons
Jess has over 16 years’ experience as an executive assistant. From handling 50k emails per day to booking travel, speaking engagements and book launches, Jess knows what it takes to provide proper support to executives in need.
She makes a point to develop a relationship with the executives with whom she works. It’s important that there is a good connection — this allows assistants to feel comfortable enough to make suggestions, share their opinion and give advice when it seems executives may be spreading themselves too thin.
Determine If You Need Support
Jess believes assistants aren’t just for big corporate CEOs. Even solopreneurs can benefit from hiring help.
“You really have to be clear about what it is that you need for your business when you decide if you need a virtual assistant, a personal assistant [or] an executive assistant.”
In order to know what kind of help you need, Jess says to start by making a list of everything you do. Then, ask yourself:
- What do I do that others could do for me?
- What things need to be done regularly? Could someone else do those?
- Do the tasks I do make sense financially?
- Is personally handling administrative tasks serving my business goals?
Make a list of pain points, then a list of what you can offload. If you have trouble thinking of pain points, ask your team, spouse or kids — they’ll remember difficulties you’ve expressed in passing.
Know what your executive and communication styles are and be honest about them with your assistant. You want to work with someone who is compatible with your leadership.
It can be hard to let someone else take some of your responsibilities. It can be even harder to trust that someone else is going to do that work in a way which meets your standards. But if you want your business to level-up, delegation and task-sharing is a must.
Hiring The Right Assistant
Jess urges not to get hung up on looking for someone with a specific job title when hiring an assistant. Titles can be distracting and don’t guarantee a good fit.
“Really focus on finding the right person for the role. Find somebody that you like. Find somebody that you trust.”
When looking for that right person, look everywhere. Jess says anyone from your barista to stay-at-home parents to actors looking for a side-gig could be your perfect fit.
Jess recommends hiring slowly and firing quickly. Give your new assistant only a few hours a week or a limited term to test the waters. You can learn a lot about someone by giving them a five-hour project.
“Don’t just pick a person. Get the right person.”