Read this before you hire your first admin.
So you’ve started your organization and things are really ramping up.
You might be hitting that limit of what you can give attention to. You might see that you have more on your plate than you can effectively organize. Maybe appointments and calls are slipping through the cracks. Maybe bank deposit aren’t being made or your books aren’t up to date.
You think “Maybe I should hire an admin assistant!”
That’s probably a great idea...but as with everything else, the old adage is true: failure to plan is planning to fail.
Many founders hire their first admin with no real idea of what that admin can or should do, and then waste valuable time and money figuring it out. You can’t hire an admin and then say “Ok, go do admin stuff” and have it all work out smoothly. I hate to break it to you... that's not how this works in a functional organization.
Let’s talk about the prep work you will need to put in before hiring your first admin so you are both set you both up for success.
1. Job description
Under no circumstances should you skip this step!
I know it sounds like a lot of work, but you can make it simple by starting with a 5-10 point bulleted list of the tasks you need the most help with. Then take each item and write the top 2 or 3 things that YOU would need to be done to get those items competed to your satisfaction. For example:
*Scheduling - 1) schedule team meetings 2)work with vendors to schedule calls 3)schedule regular stakeholder meetings twice a month
Once you have your bulleted list, flesh it out with as much detail as possible. Really imagine how you want to interact with this person and what you see them accomplishing. Then use that to add as much detail to the tasks as you can. You want to be specific and honest about the role you need filled so you can find the right fit.
2) Be realistic about hiring
When you are reviewing resumes, think about the fundamental skills you are looking for. Do you need serious help with your meeting and event planning? Don’t pass over candidates with tons of event experience just because they don’t have your industry experience. Look carefully at your candidate pool and be open to folks from different areas of work, because those candidates often bring some of the greatest skill sets and some very fresh perspectives!
3) Be realistic about the learning curve
Even the most seasoned admin professional can take up to 6 months to fully learn a role. This can be even more if it’s a new admin position that no one has occupied before! Be careful about having unrealistic expectations in those first few months.
4) WEEKLY Check-Ins (don’t skip them for 6 months!)
When you find your perfect fit...make time to be successful with them! I know you hired them because you’re super busy and need to take stuff off your plate. BUT don’t let that take you away from weekly check-ins! You can optimize your time by placing an editable calendar in the meeting invite and you can both add and prioritize items for the next meeting. Make at LEAST a half hour a week, UNINTERRUPTED to sit down, review tasks and expectations, and make yourself available to answer questions and give clarification. Make a point to do this IN PERSON as much as possible. So much more is accomplished in person! If you have to do a call, try to do a video call. Commit to not checking email or texts during these meetings. This 30 minutes will be a huge investment in the success of your admin, and consequently your own success.
Investing the time to plan for your needs and execute them thoughtfully when hiring your first admin will pay off big time.
Need help with your job descriptions or just plain stumped on your admin needs? Need a tutorial on what an admin can and cannot do for you? Email me or call me and we can schedule a tutorial meeting or call to help you get off on the right foot!