Tricia Welte is the Director of Executive Assistant Services at eaHELP. Recently, I asked her to step away from her busy desk and climb up in the crow’s nest for this blog post. She interviews scores of people weekly for eaHELP. She’s learned a lot … and hopefully you’ll get the benefit.
I’ve learned a couple things along the way: It is easy to be swayed by (1) a great personality and (2) an impressive resume. Some people just “interview well” – you know exactly what I mean, right? We have all been in the place where we misjudged someone because we did not have enough information or our overall perception was clouded by one or two impressive qualities.
One particular situation changed the way we hire. I interviewed a candidate who had these 2 great things going for her (the impressive resume and the charming personality). I thought she was the next BEST thing! I bought what she was selling. I hired her and we placed her with a Client. You see where this is going?
Well, when it came time for her to actually perform … she failed, and miserably! And it was all on me. Her failure was my failure. I misjudged her because I did not have enough information. I bought what she was selling without KNOWING it to be the truth. It’s like buying a new car without the test drive – how could you really KNOW with certainty? All I knew was, I would not be making this mistake again. It was time to think about what HAD to be in place going forward with our EA candidates.
The Top 5 List
Our EAs needed to meet a list of criteria, a pre-determined list … and I could not settle for less. So I developed the TOP 5 List below. My Top 5 requirements (of course there are many more, but these top) …
1) Responsiveness – Attentiveness, takes the ball and runs with it, “I’ll do it now” attitude. After all, these EAs are the front line to their clients. Your EA is a reflection of you, and they needs to seem “ever-present”.
2) Attitude – Proactive, forward thinking, eager, upbeat, positive attitude. A willingness to learn. Servant minded, results & solutions oriented.
3) Prior Relevant PROVEN Experience – An EA who has been in the shoes I plan to ask them to wear in some way or another. Anyone can SAY they can do something. I want to KNOW they already have. We want to see sustainability on a resume. This isn’t just another job … this is a calling, a lifestyle choice, a career. And we want RAVING ex-employers – YES, I actually check references!
4) Professionalism and ALL its Details – Proper professional etiquette and formatting. Well spoken and well written. Includes and pays attention to details. Organized thought process and written word.
5) Tech Savvy – An EA who knows and loves technology and is not afraid of it. And what they don’t know, they jump in and figure out. On the forefront of technology. We are a Virtual Company after all.
At eaHELP, we strive for the best! I’m grateful to be part of the team … and, as we grow … we can also learn. Thank God for experiences!