Hiring an assistant to help you manage your business is one of the best ways to leverage your sales. When you hand over the day-to-day administrative tasks, you delegate the time-consuming, complicated and often frustrating part of your job to someone who may be better qualified than you to create office systems. When you hire the right person, you get to focus on what you do best – building relationships, generating leads, and closing sales. This is why it’s critical that you take the time to recruit a capable and competent person who is going to help you increase your productivity and ease your stress.
Here are 5 essential qualities you should look for in an assistant:
Excellent organizational skills. This is important if you want to spend less of your time sorting papers, organizing files and maintaining social media feeds. Look for this quality to keep the back end of your business in order. At the interview stage, be sure to ask questions that get candidates to talk about their experience with organizing office systems and how they have previously juggled multiple tasks under deadlines.
Excellent communication skills. Seek someone with natural verbal and written communication skills. As one of the faces of your business, your assistant should project an image of professionalism and customer service at all times. During the interview, ask scenario-based questions to uncover how they would respond to conflict with a client.
Attitude. One of the most important traits of a high performing assistant is a “can-do” attitude and passion for the job. With the right attitude, your assistant faces challenges with optimism and proactive problem solving. A friendly attitude makes a positive impression on your clientele and your business. During the interview, observe their enthusiasm about the job opportunity. Get them to share why they are truly excited about this particular job and what they can contribute to the position. They should be engaging and personable. Candidates who have this quality exude a feeling of aliveness that is contagious to their colleagues and clients.
Self-starter. When you have someone who is motivated and takes initiative, you can leave the office with confidence and peace of mind. Your assistant can take care of business without having to be micromanaged. In fact, they are not only doing the work but constantly thinking of what else they could be doing to promote your business. Get your candidates to describe jobs and accomplishments where they’ve worked independently and with minimal supervision.
Skill set. Of course, be sure to recruit someone who can do the core responsibilities of the job and meet the performance standards you expect. Good computer skills, familiarity of database systems, technological and social media savvy, and most importantly, a desire to learn and grow in the industry are all important core skills and attributes. While the resume will usually outline some of the core skills, be sure to ask for specific examples of how they have demonstrated the skills in previous jobs.