What to look for in a PA

By chantelharris, 17 December, 2015

Personal Assistants aren’t given the necessary credit that they deserve. Many may think that all they do all day long is sit on the phone and type out a couple of documents everyday.  This is normally not the case as they have a lot of pressure to deal with. You need the right person for the job that won’t crack under the pressure of a disgruntled client or any kind of workforce pressure.

Establish whether you need a PA

A personal assistant comes in handy when you can’t get to all your daily tasks and may need the help of another individual who is competent enough to take over  any given task. They aren’t there to do your job, but have the skills to assist where needed in the odd task. Many employers have lost good PA’s because of their crude treatment. A PA is not your slave, they are there to assist in office tasks that include typing and copying dictations, organising files, running errands, answering phone calls and making appointments.

Look for the right qualities

The personal you hire may require some kind of formal training that could be beneficial to the company. Look out for applicants who have attended some type of course or the other that is in direct relation to their role as a PA and the overall business requirement. If business finance allows, and the person has what it takes, but no training then send them on a course at no cost to them. Doing this will only be stronger motivation to show how good of an employer you are.

Ensure they have the right skills

Administrative work can get rather technical and it’s best that the person you hire have these skills.

Other that a certificate as evidence, make sure you find someone who is computer literate and comfortable with all the relevant programs. Organising skills are one of the top priorities as this is a good indication that they are on top of their game. Don’t hire someone who is not organised - it’s best to hire those who already have the skill, rather than to teach it. Not being organised can  have serious consequences for any business.

They should fit into the business

A PA who who isn’t able to communicate well, in person or by phone, be sensitive to interpersonal dynamics, and be able to manage conflict efficiently. This could be said for anyone in business, but give it some thought and see how useful such a skill can be. Remember that first impressions count, and to a large extent your PA might be responsible for that. Think of the impression you’d have of someone or their business if they had a person who couldn’t be bothered to greet you in a friendly manner, has no personal interaction skills or chewed bubblegum while they spoke to clients. This is not what a business needs. A business needs an efficient individual who can handle any task given to them.



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