In the last installment of our Creating Your Ideal Assistant series, we focused on identifying when and why it’s time to team up with an assistant.
Now, we’re zooming in on creating a personalized system for finding and hiring your ideal assistant. Before you set out to formulate a job description, you need to determine the precise responsibilities to delegate.
Let’s return to Kaneisha Grayson to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on how she figured out what tasks to assign her future assistant.
For two weeks, Kaneisha faithfully recorded on a spreadsheet every single task she was doing to run The Art of Applying. This might seem tedious and time-consuming, but as she points out, this system allowed her to get the most accurate sense of her day-to-day tasks. It helped her identify the activities that she was least passionate about or which would take her a long time to accomplish.
She quickly discovered that it was in her best interests to charge her assistant with the low-leverage task of creating the vocabulary lessons featured in her newsletter, which goes out to a number of clients whose first language is not English.
Kaneisha also noticed that she was easily distracted when she had to research the quotes she uses to engage her social media followers so that task also made its way onto the assistant’s list.
As she continued to record information and review her spreadsheet, Kaneisha’s job description for her ideal assistant started to emerge.
The next major step in the process involved sorting the overall task list into broader categories like Social Media, Writing & Research, and Marketing & PR. Once the tasks and categories were identified, it was easy for her to determine the skills she needed her assistant to have.
“I realize,” Kaneisha admits, “that I created a super detailed description, but I’ve learned that the more someone knows about the position they are applying for, the clearer picture they have of their daily assignments and the higher is the chance they would stay longer with you and be happier performing their tasks.”
Here is a copy of the job description Kaneisha put together. Feel free to use it as a source of inspiration.
However, creating a job description is just the first major step towards discovering and hiring your ideal assistant.
During our interview, Kaneisha emphasized another technique, one that she “cannot recommend enough.” She notes: “I asked the applicants to do a test project and present it to me the following day.”
As she explained, “When you have people do a 2-5 hour real project, which, of course, you pay them for, you see the person’s style, work ethics, and approach. Then YOU KNOW who is right for you. Plus you have something you needed to do yourself already done :-).”
Kaneisha achieved a great deal of success with this new system.
Her clarity about her assistant’s position and the skills she wanted the candidate to possess made it really easy for her to find the right match.
The woman who earned this position was hired on the spot after presenting the test project.
Here’s what Kaneisha has to say: “She is all I needed. I couldn’t be happier with her.”
Tune in next time to learn the all-important lesson of how to avoid micromanaging your assistant.