Recruitment of any kind presents a fantastic opportunity to refresh a team, job function or business culture. That being said, it’s not uncommon at the start to feel some trepidation. The process can take time and in a candidate-short market, you may need to shortlist multiple times before securing a suitable candidate.
PA recruitment particularly, is unique as the cultural fit plays such a significant role in ensuring a candidate’s success. A Personal Assistant works so closely with their managers and team that it’s crucial to get the personality mix right. This is crucially relevant to permanent recruitment, while a temp PA will generally be recruited quickly to fulfil the short-term functional requirements of the role.
With this in mind, we’ve put together our Top Five Tips to ensure you hire an exceptional Personal Assistant who lasts the distance!
1. Cultural fit
We can’t emphasise this enough. When it comes to hiring the perfect Personal Assistant, the secret is getting the cultural alignment right. It’s not uncommon for us to see the majority of new employees hired based on their skillset; but within 12 months those same employees leave the business due to misaligned cultural fit. Hiring with this in mind isn’t easy: It’s not something that can be measured! If in doubt, we recommend you go with your gut feel.
2. Previous experience is a predictor of future behaviour
When you’re interviewing your next super PA, ask them to tell the story of their career to date. Particularly, find out how long they stayed with the businesses in which they were employed and why they left. If a candidate has previously jumped around from one role to the next, that does mean there’s a higher likelihood they’ll do the same again. Similarly, their reasons for leaving will often paint a more colourful picture about what they’re really looking for now.
3. Interview at least three candidates
When it comes to interviewing, ensure you secure a robust shortlist to get an accurate overview of the market and available candidates. If you have a particularly strong shortlist, this may make the decision-making process quite difficult! However, it will allow you to refine your priorities for the position requirements as well as give you assurance that you have found the very best person.
4. Be responsive
While it is of course important to have a process in place and ensure you’re leaving no stone unturned, it’s equally important to be responsive to the market. We’ve seen hundreds of employers miss out on fantastic candidates by being unavailable or inflexible to interview, or delaying feedback. In an increasingly candidate-short market, being unresponsive will be especially detrimental to you finding the best person for the job.
5. Trust your recruiter!
We wholeheartedly understand that no one knows your business like you do. But we do know the recruitment market, specifically the PA recruitment market. If we send you a CV and recommend a meeting, trust us! We’ve found the most successful placements have occurred with the most open-minded employers. Cultural fit is not something that can be taught. Skills can. So if the CV doesn’t look quite right but we tell you they’re worth meeting, trust us!
If you’re thinking about hiring a new permanent or temporary office support staff member, contact us today.