PROFILE OF AN E.A.
Should have 3-5 years of experience as an assistant or secretary to the MD of a company. (but here we do not need a conventional E.A. we technically need one like Anna Hathaway in the movie – The Devil Wears Prada.)Having said that it is usually very difficult to find one like her, so we will find one as close to her as possible or will train her to be like that.
At times an office coordinator is also good, but who has steady experience in admin, coordinating.
- Should have graduated from a secretarial college.
Skill Set Required
- EXCELLENT FOLLOW UP SKILLS Most important requirement. Do not hire without this skill. All other skills we can train her into. Follow up skills she should have.
- Should have working knowledge of MS OFFICE especially EXCEL & Word.
Good command over English.
- Anywhere between Rs 15,000/- to 35.000/
- Married, preferably with kids.
- Staying 45 mins travelling time from your office
- There should be job stability, not someone who has been jumping jobs often.
- Should be honest.
- Should be open to doing personal tasks of boss.
We have to evaluate her on the following three areas:
Skill Set Questions
- Start questioning her from where she was born, her life journey till date.
- Where were you born
- Which school/s did you go to till 12th
- Which college did you go to and where. What were your co- curricular activities
- What did you do after that ( we have to keep a track of the timelines for gaps in between and if there are gaps what was she doing during them)
- What was your first job, When and why did you leave.
- And similarly the trail till her previous job.
- JOB RELATED QUESTIONS
What did you do, (in detail)
What were your deliverables,
What were the challenges you faced
How did you handle those challenges
Which was the best job you had and Why
- What does your family do- Father, Mother, Brother & Sister
- What does your Husband do, his Father & Mother
- Find out about her children (If she has kids)
Who will look after kids when she is working
If kids fall sick – How will she manage.
- This is essentially determined by the Reference/Background check that is carried out
- We take the following data from her for her last 2 companies
Who was she reporting to and his designation
Landline number of the company (if she does not have to landline no. locate it from the internet.)
- Always call the landline no (never the mobile no.) and find out if Mr…. is working with them and what is his designation, request to speak to him
- Establish a context of reference check and request a few minutes of his time and find out about her- this has to be done with specific questions, like
What were her strengths
What were her weaknesses
How was her integrity / Honesty
Was she reliable
Did she forget tasks given to her or could she keep track of most tasks given to her
How was her follow up
Was she proactive and did she take responsibility
Could she get work done from other employees
Why did she leave
If there is some bad blood between them, discount that as most often there might be, most probably he will have something not so good to say about her, focus on the answers to specific questions.
Skill Set Questions
- What are the skill sets that you have build up over the last 2-3 jobs
- In detail – what all were you doing in your last 2 jobs, what was the major part of your job?
- What were the other things you did?
- (Listen carefully, make a list and then start asking questions to determine how she handles real life situations)
How did you maintain a list of follow ups. ( this list keeps growing daily, how do you maintain it, how do you transfer it from day 1 to day 2 and so on)
What are the challenges in keeping track of all the tasks
How do you handle it
How do you work with employees who do not listen or act tough
Did you encounter EGO issues when you did follow up with senior employees
How did you handle them
Similarly you could ask her how she would handle other challenges which she will encounter in your company
- How well do you know Excel- what are the functions you can work with (Pivot Tables, linking sheets, VLOOKUP / HLOOKUP, etc)
- You could give her a few exercises to determine if she can handle data or get someone from your company who is good at EXCEL to test her.
- How good are you at Google Search? You could give her a few things to search on Google
- To check her written English, you could give her a dictation, make her draft an official letter and email.
- Let her know that she would be doing some personal tasks of yours too.
Basically her Integrity, her follow up skills and getting work done skills should be really good, rest we can train her, using You Tube.
INDUCTION OF THE E.A.
- Explain organization chart, roles and responsibilities of each team member.
- List all regular tasks you have and delegate to her in phased manner. Explain to her that this will include your personal tasks also and align her for it.
- Have her Outlook / Gmail configured with your primary email, she has to study your incoming mail and the responses you send out. She has to take over e-mailing in 15-30 days. Create a new e-mail id for yourself which will be with very limited people who will mail only in case of emergency. This can be configured on your phone.
- Explain the responses she has to give when you forward calls to her.
- Train all your contacts to give tasks directly to E.A. saying that in any case you are going to ask her to do it. So it will be done more powerfully if she will do it, as she will follow up for all aspects.
- For your clients – request them if you can have your EA to follow up with them. (usually we have a mindset that they will not like it, but first let us try, it will take a big load off us)
- Assign one runner boy to her who will do normal office work and all her/your work.
- Align team with secretary meeting:-
- Call your entire team (with whom you interact). Introduce her as your secretary.
- Explain that she has no personal accountability like sales, operations, finance etc. She is just your voice
- Establish a context for a secretary. That you are getting busy with expansion, suystems etc (which was established in the half day workshop). That she is just your voice i.e. she is going to do whatever you tell her to do. She has no other job.
- It is a humble request from your side, with folded hands that they all cooperate with her for all the tasks she gives to them. She is just asking the staff to do something because you have asked her to do it. She has no vested interest and it doesn’t help her personally. She will give the team tasks on your behalf and follow up on your behalf .If she says something it is you saying so and treat it like that.
- Share that initially there might be resistance as they were used to getting tasks from you know who is this new person.
- Establish very strongly that they are seniors but she is your voice. Please support her.
- Every day after your 8 to 9am thinking and planning you will give her the list of tasks she has to give out to everyone in the company on your behalf.
- While delegating she has to take a commitment by when the task will be finished (time and date).
- Her script should be:-
- “Sir has requested you to do this………… He has also asked by when this will get completed. What date and time should I commit on your behalf?”
- She then has to enter this is in Delegation Sheet and follow up on the committed date and time.
- For follow up her script should be:-
- “Sir you had committed that this task…..will be finished by now, Mr. MD is asking if the task is completed.” If the task is not done- “Ok Sir, by what time should I tell Mr. MD that the job will be done.”
- Everything she says, she has to include your name and ask you on your behalf.
- If at any time any employee is acting smart ask your E.A to report to you and call him to your cabin alone without the E.A, explain to him that what the EA says is important and you want answers and not her and she is just your voice.
- You can do this face to face or on the phone.
- Seniors always resist initially but gradually this they accept her.
- Give her all your research work on the net. Have her learn Google search effectively.
- Ask her to research, take print outs of all material and then you shortlist what has to be detailed and she will do established research on those sub topics on websites.
- In next 2 months you have to handover everything you do to her and she does everything except thinking and decision making.
- All your personal tasks or things you have to do also have to be done or coordinated by her. Eg. booking movie tickets, getting dinner booked, getting house repair work done, etc ANYTHING that you have to do now she will do or get done.
- The key is you have to now stop DOING and start GETTING THINGS DONE