Should You Hire a Personal Assistant?
Should you hire a personal assistant? It depends.
Do you consistently have a lot of work on your plate? Do you find yourself perpetually juggling between multiple projects, sometimes to the point of dropping important responsibilities? Have you finally decided that you need to start delegating more?
If you have the resources to hire someone on a full or part-time basis, it could be time to find a personal assistant. Maybe you’ve been seriously considering hiring one for a while, but you haven’t been sure if it’s the right idea to go ahead and do it. Or maybe, you simply don’t know where to start.
At Magic, we’ve been hiring, training, and managing teams of excellent personal assistants for the last four years.
We’ve learned a heck of a lot in the process. We’d love to share with you some of what we’ve learned and the most common mistakes we’ve seen people make when they hire a personal assistant.
How do you find a good personal assistant?
“Finding a great assistant and
having them directly report to you is lot of work.”
The point of having a personal assistant is to save time. That being said, if you’re really busy all of the time, you’re going to be in for a rude awakening during the first few months, when the process of getting an assistant started actually takes more time than it saves.
Finding a great assistant and having them directly report to you is lot of work – and it’s one of the main reasons people use Magic instead.
You’ll need to do all of the following:
Interviewing personal assistants
Expect to interview anywhere from 5-15 candidates before finding someone who meets your criteria. Each interview should be about 30 minutes of your time if done over the phone and at least an hour if meeting in person. You also need to spend considerable time, energy, and money working with a recruiter or recruiting platform.
Hiring a personal assistant candidate
If you find an assistant that meets your criteria, you need to negotiate their compensation, responsibilities, and schedule. If they have a job already, they will need time to transition from their current job to working for you.
Onboarding your personal assistant
Your life is complex. In order for your assistant to dive in and seriously help you, you’re going to need to spend time successfully onboarding them. This involves giving your assistant access to your online life. You’ll need to give your assistant access to a password manager, or find a way to interface with their own accounts so that they can get work done, like responding to your emails and handling your scheduling for you.
Your assistant also needs time to learn the ropes about who is who and what is what in your life. There are serious privacy and security concerns you’ll need to consider if you’re going to have an assistant deeply integrated into your life.
Training your personal assistant
For most tasks, expect your assistant to take three to four times longer at getting things done than you would take. This is because your assistant doesn’t have the same access to and context about your life that you do.
Also, there are tasks you may want your assistant to do that they just don’t have any experience in handling. This is a downside to hiring a generalist. If, for example, your assistant is not a strong writer, and you suddenly need a lot of writing done, you either have to spend time training your assistant on clear, effective communication, you need to willingly accept sub-par results, or you need to hire someone else.
Managing your personal assistant
“You don’t want to be a negligent employer –
you’ll make someone less than happy about their job,
and you won’t get good results.”
Your assistant is your employee. You are responsible for handling their complaints, giving them a raise when they have been with you for a while, letting them know when they have underperformed, praising them when they have done a good job, etc. You must also fire them if they are repeatedly failing to hit the mark.
Do not underestimate the work involved here. You don’t want to be a negligent employer – you’ll make someone less than happy about their job, and you won’t get good results.
Replacing your personal assistant when they quit
Even if you find someone who is a perfect fit, they won’t stay with you forever. Among jobs started by workers with ages from 25 to 29, 87 percent had an average length of employment of fewer than five years. If you’re hiring part-time, it’s even more likely they will eventually leave and move out into a more permanent role elsewhere.
You can either develop a backup plan ahead of time, or hope they give you enough time when they decide to quit to help you transition into another assistant.
Is hiring a personal assistant still a good idea?
If you’re excited about handling all of these responsibilities yourself, then yes, it’s probably a good idea for you to hire your own assistant.
Having an assistant will allow you to nearly double the work you’re capable of performing. It can often be the best next step to accomplishing your goals, both personally and professionally.
We built Magic in order to offer the benefits of a personal assistant without the huge upfront cost in time and money. With Magic, you don’t pay a monthly salary. Since you access a shared team of personal assistants, you pay-as-you-go. You also don’t need to hire, train, or manage your assistant either. We handle all of that for you.
If you do decide to hire your own assistant, or if you use Magic instead, you’ll want to learn the principles of successful delegation. Your assistant is only as powerful as your ability to delegate.
Want to have a personal assistant but don’t have time to go through the hiring process? Try Magic and start practicing how to delegate.