Hiring an executive assistant is a big decision for any individual. There is a lot that goes into this process, and careful consideration should be given in regards to both yourself and your business before proceeding. Before you rush out to make your hire, it’s a good idea to consider all the pros and cons of hiring an assistant, and make sure that you are in fact ready for one.
What to consider before hiring an executive assistant
The first thing you should ask yourself is, “Will hiring an executive assistant move my business forward?” Many people become excited that their business is doing well enough that they can afford an assistant, and go out and hire one before thinking about how that hire will benefit the business. You should have a concrete plan in mind, knowing exactly how this hire will allow your business to grow. If you are unable to articulate it, chances are your business does not really need one at this time.
If you’ve reached the conclusion that hiring an executive assistant will directly impact your business in a positive way, the next thing you need to think about is whether or not you can afford it. You don’t want to hire someone only to find out that you can no longer afford them a few weeks later. You should be able to pay your new executive assistant for at least two months with your savings, before you need to dig into your paycheck. Also keep your business projections realistic – don’t rely on an overly rosy outlook to cover costs for your assistant.
Finally, you should know exactly what it is you want your executive assistant to do before you hire them. Thinking “they’ll just help me with day to day tasks” is not a solid plan, and you could find that your assistant ends up sitting around with nothing to do. You should have enough work to justify hiring an assistant for however many hours you plan on having them around each day.
The benefits of an executive assistant
When considering all of the above, it’s important to remember the benefits of an executive assistant in the back of your mind. The most obvious benefit is that giving your assistant some of your tasks will allow you to focus on more important matters. If your day is an endless amount of paperwork or phone calls, and you can’t spend your time focusing on bigger tasks, perhaps an assistant would be able to help.
The second reason people hire an assistant is to remove some stress. When you have so much to do each day, it becomes stressful. By handing some of these tasks off, you give yourself more time to get your other work done, and maybe even some time to relax. If you find yourself without enough hours in the day, and constantly bringing your work home with you, then hiring an assistant may be able to prevent this.
Making the most of your assistant
Finally, once you’ve decided that you are going to hire an assistant, you need to make sure you get the most out of them. The first step towards doing this is to ensure you have enough for them to do. Think about all of the tasks you are going to be giving your assistant, and see how much time this will reasonably fill out in the day. If you only need your assistant to help you out at the beginning or end of each day, perhaps you should only hire someone part time. In addition, once your assistant has gotten settled in, consider giving them more responsibility, and taking a few more things off of your own plate.
One final note, and that is to make sure you properly train your new assistant. Don’t assume that your new hire will know exactly how you want everything done as soon as they start, no matter how much experience they may have. Consider it an investment, and spend a few hours at the start of the hire to go over everything. It is much better to spend this time early, rather than correcting mistakes and re-teaching things over again for the next few months.
Is an executive assistant right for you?
An executive assistant can be a great benefit to an overworked executive, but only under the right circumstances. It’s important to think about whether or not this new assistant will in fact help your business, make your day easier, and if you can afford them before you go out and start the hiring process. Rushing into this sort of decision can result in creating more work for yourself, not less, defeating the purpose of the hire in the first place. That being said, if you’ve given it some careful consideration, you may find that an executive assistant is the best decision for both you and your business.