3 Signs You Need a Personal Assistant (and How to Hire One)


At work, you probably have help with some of your more tedious tasks. An executive assistant, for example, organizes the conference room timetable and schedules required business travel. You can’t pile your personal to-dos onto their already full plate, though.

That’s where a personal assistant comes in. You’ll have to hire someone on your own, of course, but the role could be hugely beneficial to all areas in your life. That’s because you’d have someone to look after your day-to-day to-dos, the ones that fall by the wayside when you’re busy or otherwise overwhelmed. Having that weight off your shoulders could just be worth paying for the service.

Do you think a personal assistant could be right for you? Here’s how to confirm you’re making the right call — and how to find the right person when you’re ready.

Signs You Need an Assistant

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the reasons or hints you might need a little bit of help at home or at the office. But they represent problems the busiest of people might have — and, if you regularly find yourself falling into similar situations, read on to find out how you can go about hiring your assistant.

But, first, here are some telltale signs you need help with your day-to-day tasks.

You’re Regularly Double-Booked or Unaware of Events

Keeping up with your calendar has become difficult. You’ve found you’re regularly double-booking yourself to attend meetings, or you’re failing to log events properly, so you end up missing them entirely. Clearly, this isn’t a professional way of handling your dealings.

A personal assistant can take charge of your calendar to ensure, for starters, you’re only responsible for one thing at a time. They can knock on your door to remind you of your next appointment, so you’re not going over time. And, they can call you with morning or evening briefs, so you’re always ready for the day ahead.

Your To-Do List Is Never-Ending

Even if your calendar’s in OK shape, your to-do list might sprawl with tasks both large and small. The frustration of not being able to tackle it all on your own adds up, and you could lose track of important items in the confusion.

Bringing on a personal assistant can be the answer to solving this constant problem. Your assistant doesn’t just have to be responsible for the books — they can take on the simpler tasks in your agenda, so you can tackle what’s most important.

You Have No Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is vital to your mental health. With a line between your professional and personal lives, you give yourself the chance to recharge, build a social life and partake in other activities that clear your mind. It goes without saying you’ll be fatigued otherwise.

If you’re constantly feeling stressed, like you’re always working or if you don’t have time to do anything outside the office, you might need an assistant on your side.

How to Hire Help

If you feel as though a personal assistant could help you with the above issues — or with similar stressors you face — it’s time to find the right person. Here’s how to take the next steps and find the perfect right-hand man or woman.

1. Outline the Job Requirements and Salary

The most practical step comes first. You need to figure out what you’ll need from your personal assistant so you can hire someone whose skills match the tasks at hand. Delineate everything for which your hire will be responsible — then, write it out, so potential employees can easily understand what will be expected of them.

On top of that, they’ll want to know what the pay rate is. Choose a fair figure, and don’t be shy to shell out the money for help — think of it as an investment in your company, since you’ll be better at your job with an assistant at your side.

2. Invest Time in the Search-and-Interview Process

There’s a fine art to pairing yourself with the perfect PA. You can’t complete the process without giving yourself ample time to post the ad, screen candidates to see if they fit your initial checklist and interview them all at least once.

Of course, the hiring process doesn’t end there. You should call their references and see how they worked in similar roles in the past. You might even want to assign a sample task, so they can show you how well they’d handle their daily to-dos. As a side note, you’ll want to dedicate plenty of time to training your new assistant, too. That way, they can fall into the role and succeed just as you’ve envisioned throughout the hiring process.

3. Consider the Candidates’ Qualities

As you begin meeting the people who’ve responded to your ad, you’ll have to narrow down the field by considering the qualities they have that make them right — or wrong — for the job.

Most personal assistants share a similar list of traits. They’re proven to be reliable and loyal to their boss, but they’re also well-organized and tech-savvy enough to handle the tasks you’ve got on deck. Most importantly, though, make sure your personalities gel. You’ll have to work closely together, and you want to make sure your assistant is someone you enjoy being around.

4. Ask the Rest of the Team

If your personal assistant will be working with other members of your family or your work team, they might want to be part of the hiring process, too. So, conduct a group interview near the end of the hiring process so they can weigh in. That will give you a chance to see if everyone clicks — and, if they do, you know you’ve found someone who will fit right in, much to everyone’s pleasure.

You know the value of having help and, now, you know how to find the right candidate. All there’s left to do is hire your new PA and see just how much better your work or personal life becomes with extra hands on deck.


About the Author

Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks, a career and happiness blog. As a freelance writer, Sarah enjoys writing about a variety of topics from career and business to healthy living. Catch her on Twitter @SarahLandrum for more great advice.


One comment

  1. Love this article. I think a lot of people underestimate the value of hiring a PA, even if it is just for a few hours a week.
    A useful way to find a PA who is experienced and has proven themselves to be capable is through an agency. For example, A Virtual is an agent who has over 60 PAs- https://avirtual.co.uk
    They match each client carefully with a PA who has the required skillset and time available.

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