Diana Anderson22 May 2019
  • Advice
  • Insight

The Secret To Finding, And Keeping, Good Staff

The secret behind a successful individual? A Private PA that is well managed, expertly selected and flawless in their role execution. And no one understands how to find that elusive person better than Diana Anderson, founder of Anderson Hoare, Chelsea’s most exclusive Private PA finder.

Di has been placing Private PAs into the homes of the most exacting individuals for over 30 years, she knows what it takes to find a PA that intuitively gels with you and your family and also how to manage your Private PA to ensure they are able to perform their job to the best of their ability. Ultimately, ensuring you get their full worth and they stay with you for many years to come.

Thinking about hiring a Private PA? Below, Di reveals 5 industry secrets to finding, and keeping, the best Private PA.

Consider the working environment

In most situations a Private PA works with you at your home, working hours that suit your family schedule and traveling anywhere in the world that you require. This is part of the job and what an experienced Private PA will expect, however it’s important to remember that they are there to do a job and need a space in which to do that most effectively. Make an effort to create a good working environment, any perks like off street parking, flexible hours or opportunities to work from home can make a huge difference to their efficiency and general work ethic. A competitive salary and bonus are also extremely important, Private PAs are often available 24/7, this goes with the role, but the best ones will be in demand and expect to be financially compensated for this flexibility.

Show appreciation

With time, a Private PA can become like a member of the family, someone you would trust with your life and who understands every intricate detail of your lifestyle. Confidentiality is key in this role; a good Private PA will be extremely loyal and keep everything you say totally confidential. However, don’t take advantage or presume your Private PA will stick around no matter what. Show appreciation and give feedback, remember that although they know your life inside out, they aren’t psychic and can’t always predict your inner thoughts. Aim to have weekly 'plan ahead' meetings and regularly ask how things are going, ask if there is anything that could be improved to make the job better or if there is any training they would like to do? This really helps them to feel appreciated, even if you think your Private PA is wonderful, they won’t know this unless you tell them!

PAs love a plan

If at all possible, make a plan and try and stick with it! PAs are used to plans constantly changing and a good Private PA will always have a Plan B up their sleeve but try and avoid unnecessary changes. Even what might seem like a minor change can have a large impact on a tightly run schedule.

It helps to communicate; make sure diaries tally and be comfortable delegating and sharing contacts and information. A good Private PA will keep everything confidential but to avoid mistakes, it’s important to give clear instructions that can't be misinterpreted.

Avoid micromanaging

While it’s important to be clear in your instructions, it’s also important to ensure that you don’t micromanage. Allowing your Private PA to make their own decisions will not only help them intuitively understand what you want but also make them feel that they are really making a difference.

Work closely with your recruiter

Work closely with your recruiter, when you meet with them discuss the details of the role carefully and give clear feedback as you progress to meeting their candidates. A good recruiter will adapt quickly to make sure your time isn't wasted meeting unsuitable candidates, and they too will be keen to ensure a long-term placement.

Take our advice

At Anderson Hoare we’ve been finding Private PAs for some of London’s most demanding clients for over 30 years, we know the industry inside out and understand what makes a relationship work. For example, one of the most common reasons for a Private PA leaving is that they feel overqualified. A less experienced candidate might seem to be a risky hire, but chances are they won't outgrow the role and can be moulded to suit your work style. Be open minded with the shortlist of candidates we select, they will have all been carefully chosen based on different merits. Let us know if your brief changes along the way, it’s important we have as much information as possible and a good recruitment company will be able to adapt their search based on any changes to your specification.

Ultimately, you know best what you want, it’s our job to take your brief of your ideal Private PA (whatever it may be!) and make it a reality. Get in touch with us here if you’d like to enquire about starting a search. For more information about how we work, take a look at our Private PA Homepage here.

This blog was written in partnership with Almost Essential.