With over 200 nationalities, the UAE is a melting pot of cultures, experiences and people. Emiratis make up roughly 20% of the population, while expats from Europe, Asia and Africa consist of the other 80%, emigrating for career progression, an improved quality of life and the chance to increase their earnings. The booming expat population
Recruitment of any kind presents a fantastic opportunity to refresh a team, job function or business culture. That being said, it’s not uncommon to feel some trepidation at the start of your recruitment journey. The process can take time and in a candidate-short market, you may need to shortlist multiple times before securing a suitable candidate.
PA recruitment, particularly, is unique as the cultural fit plays such a significant role in ensuring a candidate’s success. A personal assistant works so closely with their managers and team that it’s crucial to get the personality mix right. This is crucially relevant to permanent recruitment, while a temp PA will generally be recruited quickly to fulfil the short-term functional requirements of the role.
With this in mind, we’ve put together our top five tips to ensure you hire a personal assistant who lasts the distance.
1. Personality fit
When it comes to hiring a personal assistant, the secret is getting the cultural alignment right. It’s not uncommon for us to see the majority of new employees hired based on their skillset, but within 12 months those same employees leave the business due to misaligned cultural fit. Hiring with this in mind isn’t easy: it’s not something that can be measured! If in doubt, we recommend you go with your gut feeling.
2. Previous experience is a predictor of future behaviour
When you’re interviewing your next super PA, ask them to tell the story of their career to date, with a particular focus on how long they stayed at each job and why they left. If a candidate has previously jumped around from one role to the next, it generally does mean there’s a higher likelihood they’ll do the same again. Similarly, their reasons for leaving will often paint a more colourful picture about what they’re really looking for now.
3. Interview at least three candidates
When looking for a PA, it’s essential to secure a robust shortlist to get an accurate overview of the market and available candidates. If you have a particularly strong shortlist, this may make the decision-making process quite difficult! However, it will allow you to refine your priorities for the position requirements as well as give you assurance that you have found the very best person.
4. Manage expectations and be responsive
While it is important to have a process in place and ensure you’re leaving no stone unturned, it’s equally important to be responsive to the market. In our current market, speed is of the essence, especially with recruiting for PAs and EAs. We’ve seen hundreds of employers miss out on fantastic candidates by being unavailable or inflexible to interview or delaying feedback. Being unresponsive will be especially detrimental to you finding the best person for the job. As such, it’s also important to manage expectations, communicating the hiring process to both your recruiter and candidate. This way, they are less likely to look elsewhere, as they understand the timelines and required procedures.
5. Trust your recruiter
We wholeheartedly understand that no one knows your business like you do. But we do know the recruitment market, specifically the PA recruitment market. If we send you a CV and recommend a meeting, trust us! We’ve found the most successful placements have occurred with the most open-minded employers. Cultural fit is not something that can be taught. Skills can. So if the CV doesn’t look quite right but we tell you they’re worth meeting, take our word for it!
Do you need to refresh the job description for your next personal assistant? Click on our PA job description template to help you on your way.
If you’re thinking about hiring a new permanent or temporary PA, contact us today.