Jack Galloway freely admits it. When the Executive Vice President of Dave’s Business to Business Division first started more than a dozen years ago, he was pretty green—especially when it came to finding the perfect administrative assistant.
But through the years, he’s learned a lot of valuable lessons. And today, Jack has the reputation of screening assistants harder than any other people on his team. “It’s so important,” he says. “Not having the right person is frustrating, complicated and painful, but a great one is incredibly valuable.”
So how do you avoid hiring the wrong person for this important job? Jack recently shared a few of his top tips on how to find the ideal assistant.
Start With a List
Start by creating an exhaustive list of exactly what you’re looking for. Paint a word picture of your dream assistant, including key phrases they might say during the interview, their skills, how how they communicate—anything that comes to mind. Even include what you don’t want them to be. It’s for your eyes only, so get specific.
“Then when that person walks in your office and starts talking, you’ll know,” Jack says. “Bells will start going off in your head, and you’ll think, That’s them. That’s who I wrote down.”
Wait for “The One”
As with any hire, you need to wait for the absolute perfect fit for the job. And that is not someone who sees the opportunity as a steppingstone to another position. Jack always asks a candidate what they would like to be doing at the company two to three years from now.
“If they say sales or something like that, I know they don’t want to be an assistant,” he says. “The magic answer for me is: ‘I might want to be a higher-level assistant or have more responsibilities.’