As we match entrepreneurs with virtual personal assistant and bookkeeping teams, we ask a lot of questions about hopes and dreams. That might read a little strange for a business focused company, but stay with us.
While we do our best to give the business owners we work with exactly what they ask for, sometimes we create personal assistant teams based on our own experience and intuition - what we THINK you truly need. You may be surprised to find out that your original ‘must-haves’ turn out to be less important than you thought. Or even, what you would have assumed was unnecessary or even detrimental, is actually the thing you never knew you wanted.
Here are some of the ‘must-haves’ we hear about, and some alternatives we’d love you to consider:
I only need one person - it’s not even a full-time job
Yes, your ideal assistant may, in fact, be two people (or more!). Why? Because humans are not just a collection of hours. Each individual person has skills, talents, and capacity that differs from their neighbour. Often, we find that one slayer may be absolute magic at scheduling, but not that great at working with excel spreadsheets. Another slayer is whip-smart when it comes to social media management, but shakes at the knees when they look at your calendar. Still another is a grammar queen like no one else, but has a hard time coming up with that tweet that attracts new customers to your business.
Even if two slayers have the same skill set, eventually one or the other goes on (gasp!) holiday. Or gets sick. Your business doesn’t have a lot of down time, which means even when a person is away for a very good reason, you need the machine to keep on running.
Having a team means you don’t have to search far and wide for that one person who just so happens to have every single administrative skill your business needs.
I need someone who knows my industry
While it may be easier to get up and running with someone who recognizes the lingo and the software, your ideal personal assistant for the long term is someone who has the capacity to learn and grow with you. We like the idea of separating the job from the industry. What skills and personality are truly needed? Someone who has worked in logistics or real estate may have just the organizational, customer service, and problem solving skills that you need on your financial services team.
I need someone who can work full-time, Monday to Friday, 9 to 5
Your ideal personal assistant may not choose (or may not be able) to work standard full-time hours. You’d be amazed - as we have been - at how many extremely talented people are underemployed because they have to pick their kids up from school or care for an aging parent one day a week. The traditional business world loses out on these incredibly skilled and educated people because they are inflexible - and their loss is your gain.
I need someone who is ‘young and hungry’ or ‘mature and experienced’
Your ideal personal assistant may be older or younger than you envisioned. We’ve had some incredibly energetic slayers well over age 50 and some surprisingly capable slayers with 3 years or less experience. It’s easier for all of us to categorize people based on things like age, experience, and even education, but when we take the time to explore, we often find some brilliant gems hiding in plain sight. It takes time and energy to mine for gems, but time and time again, it pays off in a big way.
I need someone just like me
Your ideal personal assistant may be very, very different from you. In fact, that might be a good thing. You need someone to do the jobs that you don’t like doing and aren’t great at. Someone just like you probably won’t like them and won’t be great at them either. We love creating teams with complementary skill sets and often use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator for insights into both client and slayer personalities.
I need an early bird, because I’m an early bird
Your ideal personal assistant may have a chronotype that’s different than yours. Matching a night owl with an early bird is often great - when you arrive in the morning, your night owl has completed the tasks you walked away from at the end of your previous day. Matching an early bird with a night owl works just the same way. The work gets done while you’re sleeping, and everyone is prepared with the tools and resources they need to run their day. It’s all about clarifying expectations, and finding a schedule that works for everyone.
I need someone in my own time zone
For the same reasons as the chronotype differences, a personal assistant who is in a different time zone than you could be really amazing. Again, your tasks are done before you wake. One of our clients in BC has a slayer team in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia - every morning, nearly everything is done long before our very early bird of a client logs on.
At Admin Slayer, we are focused on getting you the team you didn’t know you always needed, in addition to the team that you definitely knew you wanted. Bear with us as we ask you more questions than you thought necessary - we’re in this for the long run.
P.S. Want more? Read these 6 Common Hiring Mistakes