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Hiring an Assistant

Tim Richardson

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My Question:

I'm interviewing for a part-time administrative person to handle booking and program details, office organization, and client correspondence. I want to make sure that it's a good fit for both of us and would appreciate any insights on:

  • interviewing tips and questions to ask
  • thoughts on job structure and design
  • mistakes that you have made with an administrative person
  • successes you have had

-- Nanette Miner

Use a Kelly-type service (I've only had to get two thru them though) because THEY do all the interviewing first. They've been right on the money both times. Yes, I pay more by paying the service instead of the person directly, but I don't want to become an employer and face all those taxes, forms, etc. so it's worth it to me to pay a little extra. Just tell the service it's a long-term position.

-- Kare Anderson

I have two part-time people . .find that sometimes some people are more detail/process oriented while others are more people (outbound calling and other prospect and client contact) . .it is important to know if your people feel and are both or more one than the other so they do not avoid doing what they do not fee good at doing . . .and in fact feel a passion for it . . . also, since trainign is time-consuming, ask their immediate and longer term goals for the job -- if it was their dream job . .when get down to finalists consider co-designingthe job as a progressive process, with the person(s) talking on more responsibility overtime for not only more pay, but for a bigger piece of each profit center in which they take more of a responsibility in co-creating .

-- Rebecca Morgan

When I hired my Adm.Asst. 3 years ago, I ran all interviewees through a typing test. They typed an adaptation of Barbara Sanfilippo's assistant's job description, using either a PC or Mac (their choice). I did the baseline and completed it in 35 minutes, including spell check.

Applicants who rated themselves a 8-10 on proficiency of Word, had only accomplished 1/2 the job in 35 minutes, or completed it w/many typos, even though they could use Spell check. We are so glad we had them do this. We let them know ahead of time that this was part of the job description. Computer competency is something that you need to see, not believe what they tell you

-- Unsigned

Since you want someone who is articulate and professional on the phone - interview folks by phone FIRST, then invite them to come in to meet you (or not).

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