When it comes to finding the ideal personal assistant, employers need to be realistic when it comes to their expectations. Of course there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get the most for your money, but there’s a fine line to walk when it comes to being too thrifty or unrealistic. Time and again, some high net worth and celebrity employers put themselves on an unofficial blacklist with candidates and recruiters alike.
Eccentric behavior is one of the most common causes when it comes to lack of interest. If you’ve been burning through candidates and are having trouble finding talent for your organization, then perhaps it’s time to evaluate the culture in your company. Even if you’re paying top-dollar for personal assistants and simply can’t attract or retain them, then it’s a sure-fire sign there’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
Bargain basement job offers are a death sentence when it comes to finding and keeping top-tier personal assistants. Even billionaires on the Forbes top 100 list are guilty of this no-no. Some employers put too much stock in “gaining valuable experience” and offer candidates ultra-low salaries in exchange for a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. Reality check: even if you’re a billionaire, it’s not a once in a lifetime opportunity because there are 1,500 other billionaires in the world offering the same opportunity.
Lightning in a bottle syndrome is all too common when searching for the “perfect” executive assistant. Employers should focus on quantifiable job skills instead of having a laundry list of expectations that have nothing to do with the position. If your checklist is too long, then essentially there will only be a handful of candidates in the world that will fit the bill and you won’t have any interest (even if you’re offering a phenomenal, above-average compensation package).
Looking for a supermodel instead of an assistant is the fastest way to get your company blacklisted in the EA/PA community. No matter how sly and sophisticated you go about it, world-class assistants know immediately when “looks” are too much of a consideration. Of course there’s nothing wrong with wanting a professional-looking candidate, but if it’s a “companion” you’re seeking, then there are agencies that specialize in obtaining one for you. Don’t use a legitimate headhunter to recruit a beauty queen.
Bad, immature or diva-like behavior: If you value your reputation, don’t let yourself get out of control. If you are condescending, abusive or throwing temper tantrums at work, then not only are you opening yourself up to lawsuits, but it will be impossible to attract top-tier personal assistants.
A bad job description: Even if you’re not guilty of any of the aforementioned situations, not having a good job description is a killer. An experienced executive assistant who has served celebrities and Forbes list billionaires isn’t going to leave a tenured position for your job if you don’t know what you want. Not having a thorough JD (or not having one at all) is often a sign that the VIP is actually looking for something else instead of an assistant.