Hiring an assistant can completely change an executive’s capacity to do the work necessary to take the company to the next level. Alternatively, an assistant who doesn’t know what they need to do is only marginally helpful.
In this article, we will discuss the five signs that you need an assistant – while also sharing what a high-leverage assistant can do to improve productivity and make your daily work easier.
Five Signs that you Need an Assistant
Here are five signs that you need to hire an executive assistant:
1. You want to do more, but you’re at capacity
There are only so many hours in the day. If you have reached capacity for your workload, you need someone to take help. That is where an assistant comes in.
2. You have delegated all that you can
We have discussed delegation in previous articles. If you’ve already delegated all work that isn’t necessary for you to do- but still have too much on your plate, you need an assistant.
3. You need extra support day-to-day
We handle email, social media messages, outreach, to-dos, and so much more every single day. If this type of work takes up hours of your valuable time each day, you need an assistant.
4. You want to stay on top of significant interactions but don’t have time to handle all of the moving parts
An executive assistant can do background research, take care of meeting arrangements, ensure you connect with VIP clients, and keep you in the loop on social interactions you should know about – but don’t have to handle personally. This keeps you focussed while ensuring you have the knowledge base necessary to stay in the loop.
5. Your to-do list is longer by the end of the day than it was at the beginning
If your to-do list never gets shorter, no matter how much work you do, then you need someone to help you.
What Can a High-Leverage Executive Assistant Do for You?
Most business owners and entrepreneurs could be doing more if they had additional help. When a business is scaling, and executives are busier than ever, they often make hiring decisions based on what the company needs overall. This is necessary, but they also need to take a step back and notice when they are at capacity.
Often, an executive will notice that they are at capacity and try to delegate more, only to find that everything on their plate needs to be attended to by them, personally. This is when an executive assistant comes in.
A high-leverage EA can:
– Create background briefs on prospects for the executive to utilize.
– Keep an eye on the most important contacts and relationships the executive wants to stay on top of.
– Ensure the executive has everything they need to interact with VIP clients successfully.
– Proactively identify new opportunities to take things off an executive’s plate.
– Provide email, calendar, and to-do list management.
– Provide project management and research.
– Understand and anticipate the executive’s needs.
– Follow up with clients and ensure the executive stays connected with them in non-salesy ways.
– Help the executive handle more traffic and higher levels of communication.
– Provide a daily brief to ensure the day’s appointments and documents can be found in one email.
– Ensure an executive is informed when projects are complete/closed so that they can take the task off of their mental load.
– Help an executive plan ahead.
These actions are vital, even when a business isn’t going through a growth spurt or actively seeking to scale. However, if you are scaling your company, a high-leverage executive assistant can help you stay on top of your tasks while also keeping in touch with everyone you value in your life and business.
Three Systems to Implement During Your Executive Assistant Search
The Business Success Consulting Group team is filled with business systems specialists. So, our article would not be complete without sharing some of the systems you can utilize as you search for and hire an executive assistant.
Here are three systems you should consider implementing to make your search easier:
1. Include testing as part of the hiring process.
Many companies use everything from personality tests to job-specific testing. This can be difficult to implement for an executive assistant, but it is not impossible. Work with your HR to devise a testing procedure for your potential assistant that would help to determine whether that person can rapidly understand material, follow explicit instructions, and creatively come up with solutions.
2. Create a system around a probationary period.
Typically, jobs have a probationary period when the employee will work out – or they won’t. It’s vital to have a system structured around this time to ensure that executive privacy is protected and share expectations with the assistant. Systematizing expectations, access, and the job performance rating system all creates consistency, which benefits everyone.
3. Systematize knowledge transfer.
Creating a knowledge transfer system not only helps when delegating tasks to other employees or departments, setting up knowledge transfer documents will help any executive planning to one day hire an assistant.
Additionally, if you already have an assistant, creating a culture of documenting knowledge now will help if your assistant moves on to another job – or if you have to hire another support person.
Being an executive is incredibly busy – and rewarding. If you need additional support, get in touch with the team at Business Success Consulting Group. We can help you systematize your business so that you and your executive assistant can work at optimal capacity.
Get in touch today!