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Personal assistants, personal secretaries, PAs, administrative assistants – regardless of the title you’re used to, you hire them with one major goal in mind: to make your life easier. The issue with most content that tells you how to find the perfect PA is that it fails to recognize just how varied the requirements can be from one position to the next. Two CEOs may want a personal assistant, but where one has critical need of someone who is on call 24-hours a day and has significant experience in travel coordination, the other may only require their candidate for a few hours a week to handle basic liaising with clients and other members of staff.

As a result, skills that may put one PA applicant at an advantage may not affect whether another can secure an opening. This fundamental understanding is one of several that Park Cities uses to find your best placement once you’ve submitted your application. If you’ve ever wanted a closer look at what goes into a thorough selection process for a PA match, this article can serve as your ultimate guide.

Step 1 – Pin down exactly what you’re looking for
While it’s relatively simple to determine the technical skills or qualifications you want your personal assistant to have, finding someone who meshes well with you on an interpersonal level may be a little more challenging. Say, for example, that you determine you want someone good at following instructions. This alone isn’t very clear. Do your instructions tend to be detailed, or would they require some initiative and creative thinking on the part of your assistant to execute? Are you open to feedback or alternative suggestions, or are you completely confident in your methods?
When creating a listing, jot down the technical requirements first, then take the time to envision your ideal candidate. Here are some basic questions that can help:
• What personality traits and philosophies should your personal assistant have?
• How much of your personal and professional life will you need assistance with?
• What are your boundaries? What can you not tolerate in a hire?

Step 2 – Begin your search
There are countless ways to find personal assistants, though some methods might be more suitable for you than others. Due to the tediousness of resume collection, shortlisting, background and reference checks, and interviews, many persons forego this process entirely, choosing instead to use trusted agencies like Park Cities. Some other avenues include:
• Job boards/websites
• Job fairs
• Social media
• Temp agencies
• Referrals
• Networking events

Step 3 – The selection process
Remember your list from Step 1? Keep it close and refer to it frequently as you take the final steps to choose and trial your winning candidate. Just as a great personal assistant is an invaluable asset, a bad personal assistant can damage your business and reputation. Trust your gut, and don’t ignore warning signs. Your ideal match is just around the corner.
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