WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A RIGHT-HAND ASSISTANT
by Jennifer White,
author of Work Less, Make More
(Wiley & Sons, 1999)
Our web-site: www.worklessmakemore.com
- Hire for attitude and skill.
There's a saying going through management circles that you can hire for attitude and teach skill. In today's world, you have to hire with attitude and skill in mind. If you're like most people, you don't have the time to train your new assistant. So make sure you hire someone who can start running right away. This doesn't mean you won't have to train them. It just means your training time is cut in half if you hire someone with experience.
Make sure their strengths are your weaknesses but their values are your values.
It's true that we often hire someone who's just like us. And that often means that if you're bad with details but full of personality, you'll hire someone who's full of personality but horrible with details. That's not the assistant you want or need. Make sure you share the same values but hire a person who's brilliant at what you're terrible at.
Hire someone who wants to take care of you.
Conflicts are often created when you hire someone who believes they can step in and run the show. Always hire someone who understands that it's their job to keep you on track and help you create more results. In return, they'll get more benefits as your value increases in the marketplace. (Just be sure you reward them for helping you perform at higher levels.)
Work with someone who's willing to be flexible and experiment with what needs to get done.
If this is your first time hiring someone to work with you, take the time to test the waters. Each week for the first four weeks, identify one area where that assistant can make the most impact. Let them focus all their time and attention, and track the payoff you receive. This simple four-week exercise will help you determine what's truly important and what's not. And you won't be paying someone just to handle all the clutter in your office. (Yes, this is important but assistants can do so much more.
Hire a person who wants to grow with you.
I know, that's what everyone says. Just be sure this is true. How? By basing a percentage of their pay on performance, and watch what happens. If they're the right person, they'll work on growing your business or your career because they know they'll earn more. And you'll both be satisfied with the results.
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