Before You Hire An Assistant, Read This

Is good help hard to find?
Not if you know what to look for…

For business owners who are trying to take their businesses to the next level, an administrative assistant is a necessary step in that growth. And once you find the right one, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them! A good assistant can help boost your productivity, but a great assistant becomes a partner.

But what makes a successful assistant? Well, with 23 years of experience helping over 2,000 companies to start and grow, we decided to ask the experts – our own C3Workplace staff!

1. PROFESSIONALISM

“Your assistant is often the first impression of the company when a client arrives into the office. And they are usually the point of contact for many of your clients. Make sure the first impression is a good one!” -Tasha Torres, Receptionist & Client Support Rep


WHAT TO L
OOK FOR WHEN INTERVIEWING:
  • Professional demeanor
  • Friendly
  • Clean & Professional appearance
  • Maintains good eye-contact
  • Clear & Articulate when speaking
2. TRUSTWORTHINESS

An assistant will be around for much more than just the filing. And they may even be tasked with some confidential tasks for your business or even your personal life. Though the trust will take some time to establish, it’s important to see if your potential new assistant has had experience and a close relationship with prior employers and understands what goes into that kind of working relationship.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN INTERVIEWING:
  • Ask him/her to explain the scope of their prior experience clearly to see if it’s a fit for your needs.
3. COMMUNICATION SKILLS

“Good communication skills are crucial as an administrative assistant. You are usually the link between clients, customers, vendors, and even in-house communications. You can’t let things slip through the cracks or leave anyone feeling confused.” Kerry Kilborn, Client Support Rep & Bookkeeper


WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN INTERVIEWING:
  • Uses minimal “filler” words – “um, like, uh, okay, you know”
  • Establishes clear understanding of questions during interview
  • Asks clear, concise, & well-thought out questions
  • Answers question thoroughly without rambling
4. TECH SAVVY

Assistants make your life easier, and technology makes their lives easier. Being up on the newest tech (and being proficient in classic programs) will make your business run smoothly and professionally. They should be able to take your tasks and learn your processes with a minimal learning curve, or help you to implement new (and better) processes.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN INTERVIEWING:
  • Find out their technology proficiencies (don’t ignore what they’ve listed out on resumes!)
  • Implement tech tests during your interviewing process. There are plenty of programs that offer this service.
5. ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS

A successful admin needs to be organized so she/he can multi-task.” -Terri Goldman, Client Support Rep & Bookkeeper

 

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN INTERVIEWING:
  • Ease of interaction when scheduling
  • Can easily discuss personal organization habits with clear examples
  • Ask for past examples of when organizational skills helped prior bosses – they should have plenty!
6. TIME MANAGEMENT

“It’s important to be able to think two steps ahead. If you’re working on a task but an obstacle comes in the way, it’s a great skill to be able to think around it or have a plan B.” -Derya Teke, Client Support Rep

 


WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN INTERVIEWING:
  • Require examples of past times when they’re had to adjust priorities to meet changing demands in thee workplace
7. CUSTOMER/CLIENT SERVICE ORIENTATION 

“Staying in tune with what your boss has on their plate in both their personal and professional life is very important. Refining that skill helps you to help them prioritize their tasks and also allows you to know how to communicate and when to communicate with them in a way that is sensitive to where they’re at throughout the day.” -Jessie Denos, Client Support Rep

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN INTERVIEWING:
  • Much like #2, inquire about prior working relationships and how closely they’ve had to interact with clients and management in the past – again, they should have plenty of examples to offer up.
8. INDUSTRY INSIDER

If the potential assistant is new to your industry, becoming industry savvy this won’t happen overnight. But the best litmus test is how much effort they put into learning the business. What kind of questions do they ask? Have they picked up on the lingo? Though this is not always necessary, it’s extremely helpful when your assistant “gets” your business. They’ll learn to do their jobs better to suit the industry needs, while also paying better attention and truly understanding what’s going on around them.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN INTERVIEWING:
  • If they claim to have prior experience in your industry, don’t be afraid to use the lingo and dig!
  • Check their references and do your research into their past experience
9. INTUITION 

“Someone who listens to their gut – when no one is around to help – they are able to move forward with a situation.” Barbara Ruiz, Client Support Specialist

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN INTERVIEWING:
  • This one’s hard to gauge at first, but just like the topic insinuates, make sure to use your OWN intuition when meeting your potential new assistant

You may not find your ideal assistant right away, but the important part of the search is knowing what to look for. There are a lot of great candidates out there, but not all of them will be great for you.

Before even considering hiring, have a clear view of what it is you need exactly. Don’t gloss over the responsibilities and be prepared for the new hire. Hiring takes time and it takes effort, and if you’re not prepared for that kind of work – seek help. We’ve helped take the burden of screening candidates off many of our clients’ shoulders. See if this might be something to benefit your business.

If you’re interested in learning more about our remote executive assistants, click here.

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