To say that being a personal assistant to a private individual is demanding would be an absolute understatement! As an exclusive household staffing agency, we understand that supporting a principal in their private life can mean that you’re on call at all hours of the day and must sometimes do the impossible. If you want
Hiring for personality fit is one of the most important elements of the recruitment process for a private household PA. The duties of the role can often be over and above ‘normal’ PA responsibilities, so try to view the task as a matchmaking mission! As the candidate may be privy to intimate details of the principal’s life, it’s integral that both parties are comfortable with each other and have a great connection. The relationship may take up a lot of time and energy, so you need a one-in-a-million candidate to fill the position. Here are our tips to help you find the perfect person.
Have a clear brief
Don’t waste your time and energy trying to follow a typical PA job description, as the responsibilities in this role are sure to be unique. It is assumed that any experienced PA will be able to put together a travel schedule and organise meetings, so there’s no need to place a lot of emphasis on these points in the brief.
However, when it comes to tasks and duties specific to working with your principal, bullet point everything, no matter how big or small. Whether it’s writing down how often this person will be expected to run errands, manage projects, or carry out personal shopping, don’t skimp on the details. Be very clear on the level of flexibility the candidate will need to adequately fulfil the position. If your principal wants to take the PA away with them on holiday, this will be important for the candidate to know up front.
Think about chemistry
We’ve already covered that the chemistry between a private PA and their principal is paramount, but this may also extend to the wider family network. If the private PA is going to be working for your principal’s family, make sure they meet before they are hired.
Another way to ensure chemistry fit is, at the discretion of your principal and the permission of the candidate, to talk to the candidate’s previous employers. It will give you an accurate idea of exactly how this person works, as well as their manner and personality.
Put them to the test
The best way to know if a candidate works the way you’d like them to is to put them to the test! Including a couple of tasks in the interview process like asking them to create an itinerary for a weekend away, or a put together a gift suggestion for your principal’s wedding anniversary, can be an easy was to gauge how they work. If they ask insightful questions and customise their answer accordingly, then it’s likely they will be able to deliver for your principal.
Tiger Private can help you find the best private PA in London and further afield, so please get in touch today to discuss your requirements.