Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of daily tasks? Do you spend too much valuable time on activities that you could be delegating? Is your business just starting to take off, and you can’t do it all yourself? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be a good time to hire a personal assistant.
When we start a business, our goal is to be successful in the long run. However, many times we need to find the right help to enhance our business. If you must recognize that you can no longer do it all by yourself, you’re in the right place.
- Hiring the ideal personal assistant can be a determining element in expanding the potential of your business.
- You will be able to serve more clients and make more and better business deals. With the help of an assistant, you can manage your calendar, appointments, emails and phone calls.
- We will see everything you need to know to hire an ideal personal assistant to make efficient use of your time and be more productive,
6 easy steps to hire a personal assistant
You may be thinking that hiring an assistant is a very complicated task. However, it doesn’t have to be, and here we’ll show you that it can be done simply. By following these 6 simple steps, you will be able to determine what type of assistant is right for you, how much to pay, and where to find good candidates, among other important aspects.
Step 1: Identify the areas you need help with
To hire an assistant, the first thing you will do is think about what areas you need help in. This way you can make sure that the hiring is justified and that it is money well invested. To do this, you will need to make a thorough and conscientious analysis of your business tasks and the time they take you daily.
Make a list of your daily activities
Once you have decided to hire a person to be your assistant, your first task will be to record everything you do every day for a week. Ideally, you should distinguish between personal and business activities in this list and specify how much time each activity takes.
Try to make a detailed list, because small repetitive tasks are the ones that take away a large percentage of productive time. These activities may be stealing part of your time that you could be using to create, sell, contact new clients, or rest.
Determine which of these activities can be delegated
Now, it’s time to determine which of these activities can be delegated, and which cannot. Although this is a decision that only you can make, some of the tasks that are usually delegated to the personal assistant are:
- Dealing with the phone.
- Attending to email.
- Manage the agenda.
- Organize appointments.
- Prepare meeting materials.
- Manage social networks.
- Search for suppliers and quotations, among others.
Step 2: Choose what type of assistant you need
There are several types of personal assistants, and there is no one type of assistant that is better than another. Instead, there is one that best suits your situation, your needs and the size of your company.
At this point, it is very important to determine which type of assistant is best for you and your business.
Also called executive personal assistant. Their job is to support you in everything you need, not only related to your business, but also in more personal tasks. Often a personal assistant:
- Schedules appointments, meetings and telephone communication.
- Organizes meetings and makes notes during meetings.
- Answers phone calls and emails.
- Organizes travel itineraries and books flights and accommodations.
- Runs personal errands, such as buying groceries or making restaurant reservations for a non-business appointment.
This is the most common type of assistant. Their job is to walk alongside you and be a trusted and supportive person. If your company is small, they can provide support to other managers, if needed.
The executive assistant’s responsibilities are similar to those of a personal assistant, but he or she does not handle non-business tasks. In addition to the duties of a personal assistant, an executive assistant:
- Handles some budgetary matters related to the managers he/she assists.
- Performs other administrative duties as deemed appropriate by your manager.
The administrative assistant has the task of providing office support for the entire company or department. Consequently, such an assistant will not concentrate on supporting you, or the management exclusively.
The role of the administrative assistant is to support other employees and maintain business communication. Depending on the size of the company, they may report to you or some other executive. An administrative assistant:
- Orders stationery supplies.
- Deals with suppliers and other employees.
- Schedules events and client meetings.
- Receives clients.
- Answers telephone calls.
- Handles some files.
Assistant to the director
An assistant to the executive director or chief of staff can help you manage smaller responsibilities. This type of assistant is more common in larger companies, and almost always works alongside the CEO, performing some administrative and leadership tasks that facilitate your work and decision-making. Also:
- Substitutes for his or her boss in some meetings.
- Directs the implementation of strategic operations.
- Provides relevant information to other executives.
- Cooperates with the management team to determine how to address business issues.
- Provides suggestions to department managers.
Step 3: Determine your personal assistant’s salary
Now that you have identified which type of assistant best suits your needs. It’s time to set their salary. This is an important step – after all, hiring an assistant is an expense for the company, but you’ll also want to offer fair and competitive compensation.
Decide on the terms of employment
Before setting your assistant’s salary, you need to decide whether you will have a full-time or part-time assistant. This aspect plays an important role in establishing how much you will pay your personal assistant for his or her work. There are some important differences to consider:
Another very common model, nowadays, is hiring a freelancer, who performs the tasks of a personal assistant. The main difference is that the freelancer is not part of the company’s payroll. For this reason, he/she does not follow fixed schedules, nor does he/she receive compensation for overtime, among other contractual aspects.
Finally, you should consider whether you need your assistant in person or if he/she could do the job remotely. The latter will depend a lot on your needs and preferences, but it is important to take them into account.
Establish a salary
Your personal assistant’s salary is going to depend largely on whether they work full-time or part-time. But it can also vary according to their responsibilities and previous experience.
To calculate your full-time assistant’s salary, you can base it on other employees in your company with similar tasks and schedules. If you don’t have a reference within your company, you can compare salaries in online job banks.
Step 4: Create the job description
So far you’ve gone a long way in the process of hiring your personal assistant. The next step is to create the job description that will be used for recruiting candidates.
At this point, you will probably need the list of activities to delegate that you made in the first step. A good description should contain the following information:
- Name of position available. It is important that the person knows what his or her position will be in the company.
- Tasks and responsibilities associated with the position.
- Required and desirable skills.
- Personal characteristics (required and desirable).
- Conditions of employment (Company, full-time or part-time, salary).
Creating a good job description is important because it is the first contact potential candidates have with your company. It is also the opportunity to attract the best-qualified people as part of your team. Additionally, it positions you as a good employer, which will attract talent for future recruitments.
Step 5. Post the job description
The job posting is essential. It will determine the number of people who see it and, therefore, the number of candidates who apply.
Different ways to post a job
To advertise the job offer, you can:
- Promote the job within your company. If your company is large, you could promote a lower-level employee to be your assistant. The advantage of this is that you already know that person and have a working relationship with them.
- Post your job opening online. There are multiple platforms where you can post the job and attract many well-qualified candidates.
Where can you post your job offer online?
Due to the variety of alternatives for posting a job offer online, this option has become popular when it comes to finding the ideal personal assistant. However, since there are so many options, it can sometimes become a bit overwhelming.
Step 6. Select and hire your personal assistant
By now, you will have a good number of candidates applying to be your personal assistant. Now, it’s time to choose the right person for the profile you created earlier:
Select the best candidates
Since you will not be able to interview all the applicants, it is very important to filter the information provided through their resumes. The idea is to shorten the list, to make it easier to conduct the interviews.
Conduct the interviews
Once you have selected the best candidates to be your personal assistant, it is time to meet them face to face. Interviews are essential and provide decisive information for the hiring of your personal assistant.
Now that you have the ideal candidate to be your personal assistant, it’s time to formalize the hiring process. If your company is small, or it is your first time hiring an employee, it is vital to have advice regarding labour law. Every employment relationship has a legal framework, and in Spain, the main one is the Workers’ Statute (1).
Hire a company to take care of finding your ideal personal assistant
More and more people are opting to use staffing or companies that take care of recruiting and hiring personnel. That means, if for some reason you can’t take care of hiring your assistant, you can hire a company to do it for you.
Advantages and disadvantages
Hiring a company to take care of finding your personal assistant can represent some advantages and disadvantages that we will see below (3):
- Costs are reduced.
- The recruitment process is carried out by specialists in the area.
- The administrative structure is kept simple.
- There is the possibility of terminating the contract.
- The contracted company itself controls its activities.
- The contracting process is out of your control.
- Communication with the contracted company can be a challenge.
- The risk of hiring a poorly qualified company.
Companies that provide recruitment and hiring services
There are many companies that provide human resources consulting services. They can help you search and find the ideal human capital that will be your personal assistant. The following is a selection of the main companies of this type with a presence in Spain:
Recruitment, selection and hiring of talent
It is a Human Resources company founded in 1996. Originally from Switzerland, today it is present in more than 60 countries.
It offers recruitment, selection and hiring of talent, outsourcing services, training and HR management consulting.
Founded in the Netherlands in 1960, today Randstad Group is present in 38 countries through more than 4,700 offices.
They provide multiple HR services, including recruitment and selection of personnel, consulting, and talent attraction, among others. They have a digital office where you can calculate the budget for the service you are looking for.
Specialized recruitment by sector
It is a Human Resources company founded in England in 1976 and now present in more than 36 countries.
Their main service is specialized recruitment by sector. They also select executives, offer outsourcing services and consultancy in human talent management.
Hiring your personal assistant can take your business to the next level, allowing you to optimize the use of your time. You can hire your ideal personal assistant by following these simple steps.
However, you can also choose to hire a company to do it for you. In that case, we have provided you with some excellent options that can facilitate your search for a serious company to take care of the process.
1. Ayensa Esparza, A. M. (2018). Gestión de recursos humanos. Ediciones Paraninfo SA. 
2. Agencia Estatal Boletín Oficial del Estado, Estatuto de los Trabajadores (2022). 
3. Martínez Costa, Carme, Mas-Machuca, Marta, Olivella Nadal, Jordi, Staffing policies of leading consulting firms. A case study. Universia Business Review [Internet]. 2015; (48):152-189.