No single formula exists for hiring an assistant. Each female entrepreneur is unique and therefore must hire an assistant who meets her unique needs and those of her business. However, all woman business owners must consider these several important
topics during the hiring process to ensure an excellent relationship that paves the way to a strong, efficient team in the future.
1. Personality: just like any relationship, that between a female entrepreneur and her assistant should be complementary so each balances the other’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, Jane Dough business owners often move quickly and can come across as if they don’t have time to talk. It would be beneficial to Jane Dough, then, to hire an assistant who can get Jane Dough to slow down for a moment if he or she has a question or concern. Tenacity Jane business owners are often visionary, so hiring a down-to-earth assistant may be beneficial.
2. Work skills: certain types of female entrepreneurs enjoy certain aspects of running their businesses more than others; therefore, hiring an assistant whose skills complement a business owner’s favorite tasks is essential. For example, Merry Jane business owners often use their companies as creative outlets. So hiring an assistant with experience handling the financial aspects of a business provides the perfect balance. Some Tenacity
Jane business owners excel in their craft or skill, but lack business knowledge. Hiring an assistant with experience in business or finance would benefit both Tenacity Jane and her company.
3. Communication style: because an assistant will often act as the liaison between a female entrepreneur and her clients and team members, his or her communication style must not only fit the business owner’s, but also must be effective on a larger scale. For example, Go Jane Go business owners may find delegation difficult and may also feel concerned about each team member’s performance. Her assistant, then, should be able to communicate the business owner’s desires to the team members and then report the team members’ progress back to Go Jane Go so Go Jane Go keeps a firm grasp on the happenings of her business. On the other hand, Jane Dough finds it difficult to communicate her vision to her team and probably will not want to know the specifics of what’s going on at ground-level (she prefers working on strategy). Therefore, she’d benefit from an assistant who could communicate the vision to the team, and who would discuss the details only when necessary.
4. Employment needs: entrepreneurs running larger-scale businesses will be able to hire full-time assistants, whereas those running smaller businesses will not. Therefore, an entrepreneur must consider her own needs as well as those of her potential assistant before signing an employment contract. For example, Accidental Jane business owners relish their freedom from “traditional” work settings, and may not want to feel tied to an assistant, an office, or regular working hours. She would need an assistant, then, who could handle less-than-full-time work status, and who could work from a remote location. On the other hand, a Jane Dough or Go Jane Go business owner may require more than full-time work from her assistant.
Whatever a woman business owner’s situation, hiring the right assistant can prove beneficial in myriad ways. By considering the hiring process from several different angles, a woman business owner can ensure that the match is positive for both parties, and for the business.
Michele DeKinder-Smith is the founder of Jane out of the Box, an online resource dedicated to the women entrepreneur community. Discover more incredibly useful information for running a small business by taking the FREE Jane Types Assessment at Jane out of the Box. Offering networking and marketing opportunities, key resources and mentorship from successful women in business, Jane Out of the Box is online at www.janeoutofthebox.com