The purpose for your assistant is defined. In writing. Do not proceed to the next step until its written down. Seriously.
Okay, so now we can move on to the second step. Nope, we're not ready to advertise to the public or talk to our favorite contact. Step two involves more thinking. It's all about creating a job description or the key results that you want from the position. What are the daily skills, activities, and responsibilities needed to be successful? For example, you may want your assistant to handle processing sales contracts to turn in at the office. What's the proper procedure? What do they do if a form is missing? What is the deadline for turning the contract into the company admin? Ask and answer these detail questions to get your tasks and descriptions.
It's valuable to think in terms of measurement. How will you know when your assistant has been successful at a task? Define objective criteria that you will use so that both of you know whether the mark has been hit. Not only is it important to define each task, but let's admit it, you're picky. And a control freak. You think its better to do everything yourself rather than take the risk of delegate. Wrong. Delegation is a step to your maturity as a businessperson. Great business people don't do all the work. Get expanding results by working with and through others. So take the time to write down the task and how you want it done. Providing detail increases the probability of your hire succeeding.
Your written job description will soon be a powerful tool for your interviews. It is there to insure that you hire the right person for the job, not the person you like. There's a big difference between the two. Remember that your assistant is there to address some of your weaknesses and more than likely, she or he will not be like you in temperament.
Step 1: Define the purpose of the position
Step 2: Write a detailed job description that focuses on measurable tasks.
Our next post in the series involves talking to someone you may not have considered.