November 16

196 FIFM How to Find the Best Executive Assistant for Your Small Business

Hey! This is Dean Soto, founder of FreedomInFiveMinutes.com and ProSulum.com. We're here again with another Freedom In Five Minutes Podcast episode. I have clients who run really big businesses and they want to hire their own Executive Assistant. If you don't know what an Executive Assistant is, I will explain.

Virtual Systems Architects at Pro Sulum are trained to create systems and processes for you. You create process videos and the VSAs will turn it into a step-by-step process document for you.

A lot of people have heard about virtual assistants. But there are executives — people at a high level. And in my opinion, every small business owner is at their high level. There is something called an Executive Assistant—a different breed of professionals for these high level people.

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Now, I highly suggest that your Executive Assistant have the same skillset of a Virtual Systems Architect. This is extremely important even though Executive Assistants are a totally different breed.

Going back to this client, he needed somebody who could be his right-hand person.

This client needed someone who could manage their schedule, manage and filter through emails. All these different things that executives do not have time to do. Executives don’t have the time to comb through dozens of emails a day.

The most important thing for a small business owner is to go out there and make more deals. They would want to be with friends or family during their free time. So, this client asked us if there is someone who fits the description who can help him with the pain point he has now.

The answer to his question is, “It is totally possible.”

So, I wanted to do this podcast episode on how to find the perfect Executive Assistant.

Overview & Episode Content

  • What is an Executive Assistant?
  • A Balance Between Being Detail-Oriented and Strategic
  • Exponentially Scale Up with an Executive Assistant
  • An Executive Assistant is an Excellent Communicator
  • The Significance of Personality Tests in Choosing Your Executive Assistant
  • Who are the Right Candidates to be Your Executive Assistant?
  • Be as Picky as Possible When Hiring an Executive Assistant
  • Your Executive Assistant is Your Right Hand in Business

What is an Executive Assistant?

First, let us take a look at how Executive Assistants contrast with Virtual Systems Architects or virtual assistants.

The Virtual Assistant are essentially employees. They are people who may have extremely valuable roles in your company. VAs are your day-to-day laborers no matter what. They do a variety of tasks in your business — and for the most part, they are working for specific departments.

On the flip side are the Executive Assistants who are usually working for a single person. Their main job is to be steps ahead of their boss. They are usually working for the Chief Executive Officer or the Business Owner — the person who’s at the top.

Executive Assistants are forward-thinking professionals dedicated to protecting the time of the boss they are working for. And that is what makes them so special and different. On top of that, they create enough space for their Executives to do what they do best — to execute on decisions.

By giving the Executive the right data and extra time, EA’s act as the  buffer between what goes on day-to-day. The best executive Assistants create enough space and time for their Executives. And that is their foremost responsibility during their day-to-day work.

A Balance Between Being Detail-Oriented and Strategic

Does an Executive Assistant need to be detail-oriented? Not necessarily, although it helps quite a bit.

There is a beautiful mix that an Executive Assistant has between ultra detailed and being strategic. VAs have to strategically think how to create the space that their Executive needs to do their job.

They must have the capabilities to see where the Executive is spending the majority of their time. Where is the Executive, perhaps, inefficient and disadvantaged? Executive Assistants must see these things and be able to communicate their ideas really well.

We will go through three things you need to be aware of with regards to hiring your next Executive Assistant.

The first thing to look for in an Executive Assistant is something we always talk about at Pro Sulum. Your Executive Assistant should be detail-oriented and systems-oriented. EAs must observe your current systems or situation and analyze what you, the Executive, are doing on a regular basis.

They have to observe the person they are working for and determine where they spend most of their time. The Executive Assistant then comes in and determines where they can help best. The ultimate responsibility is to look at what the boss is doing and suggest changes and improvements to the system.

Exponentially Scale Up with an Executive Assistant

We have realized that there can be no suggestions of something new if the person does not think in a systematic manner.

For our Virtual Systems Architects, we always find people who are extremely detail oriented. Those who can take what you show them through process videos and document what you show them into a step-by-step procedure.

Even if your Executive Assistant is not documenting things into a step-by-step process for you, the fact that they know how to do that shows that they are thinking systematically.

When you explain to them how you check your emails every day, they would be able to take that and turn that into a step-by-step process. Even if it is just for themselves. With that, they can do what you are doing right now as an Executive by filtering through your emails.

Because they can think systematically, they are creating more efficient systems that they can use — to answer and filter through your email, for example. The key is to have someone who thinks in terms of systems and processes.

Your goal is to work with people who can take what you are doing right now and scale it exponentially.

An Executive Assistant is an Excellent Communicator

For the second tip. Your Executive Assistant must be good at the phone and they have to be good at written email. Your Executive Assistant must communicate well through various mediums.

As someone in a leadership position, you might assign your assistants to contact people from the highest C-Level executives down to the minimum wage employees. Executive Assistants who can communicate with different people are extremely valuable. With that, you can offload so many tasks!

Some of the biggest help to a busy Executive is when someone can manage their calendar, schedules, and emails. You want an Executive Assistant who can talk to the clients on the phone, who can talk to employees on the phone, and through emails as well.

Finding an Executive Assistant with that skill set is extremely important. But how do you find people like that?

A good hiring process is to have applicants go through a series of tests. The first test might be answering a few questions on a Google Form. Another test might be writing about the first time they had to communicate with a c-level executive. Then, another might be recording a video where they explain the first time they felt embarrassed when talking to a c-level executive. And a final step might be letting them work for you on a trial basis.

The reason why our Virtual Systems Architects make excellent Executive Assistants is because of our hiring process. They all work for Pro Sulum after rigorous selection and training. On top of that, we have a 30-day no risk money back guarantee so that you can try out your very own Virtual Systems Architect as your Executive Assistant.

All that being said, have your applicants go through a meticulous process and test out their speaking and writing skills.

The Significance of Personality Tests in Choosing Your Executive Assistant

The next tip I give you is to have your applicants go through a personality test. If you have been following the podcast, then you know that I have talked about this several times in previous episodes.

We use TalentInsight.com for all our job applicants at Pro Sulum and it is great. Talent Insight gives you a really good picture of how the person usually thinks and how they usually prefer to communicate.

There are other personality tests to check out. You have DISC Profiles, Wealth Dynamics Test, Myers-Briggs, etc… It is vital that you have a picture of your employees’ personalities so you have an idea on where they might excel at. Give them a position where they can thrive and you will be surprised at the wonders they can do for you and your business.

With all of these tips, you have the power to find the perfect Executive Assistant who communicates well and has the fitting personality to become the reliable Executive Assistant that you need.

Who are the Right Candidates to Be Your Executive Assistant?

The final tip I have for you on finding your best Executive Assistant is to look for people who have your business in mind first. The business has to be one of their top priorities.

One of the reasons why I stress personality tests too much is because they give a good insight to how the person views themselves and their work. There is a huge difference between employees and Executive Assistants, which you might have noticed.

An employee will not think of you when they are clocked out. But an excellent Executive Assistant will continue to worry about you and your business whether they are on the clock or off the clock. They are constantly thinking about how to make your life and your business better and their own lives better.

You can find the right person to be your Executive Assistant through a meticulous hiring process, through good personality tests, and from you—the business owner. You have to be as picky as possible during the hiring process.

What do I mean by that? At Pro Sulum, we encourage clients to be as picky as possible when we endorse our Virtual Systems Architects to them. The clients must want to connect with their Virtual Systems Architects so much and have such a good feeling in their gut.

The client must feel exactly like the VSA they pick is the right person for the right seat and for the right job. There must be absolutely no doubt with the client that they are extremely happy with their VSA.

Be as Picky as Possible when Hiring an Executive Assistant

More often than not, we tend to not trust our gut instincts when it comes to these important decisions. There is a great book out there by Malcolm Gladwell called Blink. In his book, Malcolm talks about how your subconscious intuition is right more times than it is wrong. Your gut instinct is correct, most of the time.

Blink is a great book, it is fantastic! Ever since I’ve taken to heart what the book says, I have trusted my gut instinct so much. It has helped me make moves on my business that have had absolutely positive effects.

One of those moves in my business is that I will not hire the person unless I have a very strong feeling that this person is a great fit for the job. So, if you are hiring an Executive Assistant and you have even the slightest bit of hesitation, do not hire that person.

This is why, with our Virtual Systems Architects, whether someone is hiring a Virtual Art Director or if someone is hiring an Administrator, or if they are hiring Executive Assistants, we tell every client we have, “Be as picky as you want.”

Just because we endorse someone doesn’t mean you have to take that person. If there is even the slightest bit of hesitation at all, go find someone else.

We want our clients to be blown away by their Executive Assistants—by the person who will guard your time, your schedule, and give you the space to become the ultimate Executive in your industry.

Conclusion

Who is going to be your right-hand person you can count on every single day of the week? I encourage you to trust your gut and be as picky as possible. Your Executive Assistant must have your business in mind first and at all times.

Don’t get me wrong, there are employees who are awesome when they are on the clock. They do their job well and crushing it when clocked in—they bring a lot of volume to your company. But at the same time, they are not the ones who are going to think about your company in the middle of the night and jump to their laptop to fix things immediately when they realize that something is wrong.

There is a place for these types of people who worry more about clocking in and out, and making the paycheck. But those who are absolutely 100% out to bring value to your business —the ones who put your business and your time first—are the people who might just be the perfect Executive Assistants for you.

Take the time to be as picky as possible when you are looking for that person who's going to be there as your assistant through all of this. An Executive Assistant is such a valuable asset in your organization that their hiring process is not something to be taken lightly.

The more you leverage these three tips, the faster you find someone who is absolutely perfect for you as your Executive Assistant. It might take you a lot of time, that's why we do what we do best at Pro Sulum. In fact, we are happy to find the perfect Virtual Systems Architect / Executive Assistant for you!

Resources and Links

If you’d like to have that Executive Assistant, go to www.ProSulum.com and sign up for a strategic discovery call.

We will gladly help you find that person who can make your life better so you can stop answering emails all day and you can go spend all the time doing what it is that you originally wanted to do in your business in the first place.

Rediscover the freedom to choose and do what you want while becoming more profitable. So go check us out www.ProSulum.com.

If you are interested in our master class, visit us at www.FreedomInFiveMinutes.com.

It is crucial that you take your time to find your Executive Assistant because he/she is an important person in your team. It is crucial that you take your time and be very deliberate about it. At the same time, be extremely picky so that you find someone who aligns with you and stays with you for a very long time. It will be a win-win situation for everybody.

Do that and I will see you in the next Freedom In Five Minutes podcast episode.


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