10 Rules Of Hiring The Best Assistant
A lot of times people call themselves an entrepreneur. You’re doing the paperwork, the calls to follow up, to email, the check in on the client, but that doesn’t make you an entrepreneur. You’re an independent contractor, maybe at best a salesperson. Today, I’m going to talk to you about four different types of assistance to higher, depending on the phase you’re at. As well as 10 things to know before you hired them, and five things you will never learn until you work with them.
There are four types of assistance you hire depending of the phase of your business you’re currently in. Meaning if you’re a startup, you just need somebody to be a runner for you. ‘Hey, can you go get that thing for me? Hey, can you send this email for me?’ It’s somebody that’s just freeing up your time so you can do what you want to do.
Next an admin, that you teach how to do the paperwork. You’re going to learn some basic stuff like financials, real estate, digital marketing, whatever you’re doing. They’re clear about writing emails, they know how to do Excel, they know how to run certain reports, they know a little bit more about Outlook.
Then you have an executive assistant. They are doing more than the usual. They are negotiating on your behalf. They are calling people and filtering them out. They know your wiring, they know what you like, they know what you don’t like. They know your time. They know what relationships you’re not going to be pursuing. They demand a higher pay.
Last but not least, your chief of staff. You may have a chief of staff that has three assistants, several runners and admins all reporting to them. Your chief of staff is telling everyone else what they should be doing so you don’t have to. They are handling your money. They are doing above and beyond negotiation deals. The chief of staff has the to make certain decisions that are at a higher pay grade than some other positions, like an executive assistant. So again, this isn’t just, hey, how do I get my own assistant? I don’t know how big your business is. I don’t know how many employees you have. I don’t know how many salespeople you have. I don’t know how big your board is. If you’re doing $100 million, you can’t just only get a runner. If you’re doing a half a million dollars, you can’t go get a chief of staff, yet. So that leads me 10 things to know.
10 Rules Of Hiring The Best Assistant
- The Higher the Pay, the Higher the Value, the Hire the Experience
You got to get clear on who you’re looking for and the criteria you put out there. You can’t say, I want a chief of staff for 15 bucks an hour, it just doesn’t go that way. If you are getting somebody that has more value, more experience, you’re going to have to pay more money. So you have to ask yourself, what can I afford today? What do we need today? Is this really the best investment for us to make today? If it is, then you’re clear on what exactly what you’re looking for.
2. Secretary = Secret
Now, obviously some people don’t like to be called secretary because it’s an outdated term, but the thing I like about the word secretary is the first five or six letters, secret. I would have my executive assistant, or an admin watched this video to know what the expectation is. If your position falls under one of the four mentioned, you’re going to be in meetings where you’re going to see stuff. The next project, the next investment, the next strategy, the next whatever it is that you work in. You will be part of secret conversations that nobody else will be, so you need to be able to keep secrets. If there’s hint of loose lips I fire them straight away, because in my business people in these positions are going to know my health. They know my doctor’s appointments, my financials, I am opening my life to you. If you become someone’s assistant or executive assistant, you will be doing secret work
3. Not Scared of You
When you’re hiring somebody, you don’t want somebody that’s scared of you because they will always be timid. They will never able to tell you, hey, I don’t know if this is somebody we should do business with. I didn’t get a good feeling about this person here. A person that’s scared will never tell you that. I want somebody to see the stuff that I’m not seeing. Maybe you have blind spots and this person is going to catch them. Being unafraid is very important.
4. Great on the Phones and a Pleasant Voice
Your employees are going to be talking to a lot of other people. If your employee acts as your handler, your appointment scheduler, and your sales negotiator; they need to have a pleasant voice. I’m always listening in interviews to their voice, to see if it’s pleasant to hear on the phone. There’re some people that are frightened of phones. This is not a position for somebody afraid of phones.
5. Protective and Proactive
You’re protecting the executive you are working for. You need to be very protective, yet proactive at the same time. Hey, I don’t know about this, but I noticed last week when you were doing this, do you want to go see the doc? Hey, your wedding anniversary is coming up. Hey, it’s your dad’s birthday. Proactive, protective, all both at the same time.
6. Negotiation for Me
If you work with me for a long time, if there’s one requirement I have for you, is that you must learn how to negotiate period. Especially if you want to move up more in the company. No one in our company will become a top executive if they don’t know how to negotiate. Let me tell you how I typically teach negotiation. You can run down a list of tips and have them internalize each point but the best way to teach negotiation is to actually negotiate. One of my best negotiators in a company that I have right now, somebody that’s about to be the chief of staff are soon and she has seen me negotiate a few hundred times and so she now does it. She understands what we need, what I want, and what we can’t do, and she sticks to those ideas no matter what the negotiation is, contracts, hiring, vendors, whatever. It is your job as the executive to teach them what you need from their negotiating skills so they can go out there and do it on your behalf.
7. Seek Every Outlet Possible to Find an Assistant
This is not just let me put a job application on ziprecruiter, jobs.com, or monster. Nope. All your contacts, all your associations, all your friends, all your coworkers, any board you’re sitting on, anybody you know, I am looking for an executive assistant. Scream it from the top of your lungs. “I am looking for an executive assistant.”
Matter of fact, I am always looking for an executive assistant. If you know somebody or if you yourself are somebody who has five years of experience as an executive assistant, send us a text to (747) 260-8461. Notice what I just did. I just told you I’m looking for an executive assistant. You do that all the time until you find a person you’re looking for. By the way, the reason why I’m looking for an executive assistant is because my executive assistant keeps getting promoted. Everybody that starts with me as an admin typically end up growing. One of my assistants is now about to become a chief of staff. That’s a whole different kind of a salary, and equity position. Make sure you tell everybody about the fact that you’re looking for an assistant.
8. Take Your Time and Hire in Twos
The bigger the company, the more important it is who you hire. Listen, I have a lot of assistance right now, but to hire the person I’m looking for is going to take a little bit more time and I’ll typically higher in twos. I’ll bring two people and I’ll see, okay, this person works in this area well but not here. I can’t learn that until I hired them and seen who can excel and who isn’t a right fit. Yes, for a few months I’m paying double the salary, but 60 to 90 days later I’m keeping the person that I’m more impressed with. The other one is fired.
9. Filter Through Your Executive Team
Whoever you’re hiring, let’s your executive team filtered them out. Have your executive team sit down and take 20 minutes to go one by one and filter the ones that don’t fit out. Your team who knows how you work, who works will with your personality, what your blind spots are, and these new hires will be working with your executive team as well representing your company. They know what to expect from a new hire.
10. Communicate Expectations
One of the biggest challenges is why an employee didn’t work out. The reason behind that challenge is because the expectations weren’t communicated clearly. The more you communicate expectations, the better you are doing. Retention goes higher because everybody knows what is expected of them. Grab a sheet of paper and write, ‘These are the things I need, period.” Express that to your team, then create the proper ad or poster and hang it up. Make sure everybody knows what your non-negotiables are.
Five things you will not know about them until you work with your new hire:
- Ego – How they deal with other people
- How to Handle and Perform Under Pressure
- Crisis Management
- People Skills
Those are five things to watch for once you hire new people because you won’t know these points for sure until they start working for you. So, having said that, there was a video I want you to watch, How to Pay Your Employees. It provides a nice summary and action plan on how to pay each level of employee in your business. If you want the pdf of today’s notes, text (747) 260-8461. If you’ve got any questions or thoughts, comment below, and don’t forget to subscribe.
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