So during our lifetime we will apply and see dozens of job adverts. But as someone who employs my own team of PAs there is another reason for an job advert and that’s recruiting!
It would be wrong of me to say that recruiting doesn’t bring it’s own list of challenges; deciding what to look for, where to advertise and what to ask in the interview (just to name a few). But the recruiting part of having your own PA is probably one of the few times you will actually feel like an employer. Other than that PAs (well mine at least) feel like friends or family. So when you think about just how much time you will spend with a PA, it’s important to pick the right one.
STEP 1. Decide what role or hours you are advertising.
There is nothing worse than not knowing what hours you want a PA to work. It doesn’t have to be strict, set times like “Mondays between 9-5” but at the very least put how many they will needed to work, like “20 hours per week.” That will allow the person to see if the job will provide them with enough hours – after all everyone needs to earn.
And on that note, it’s important to say in this step to list the hourly pay within the job description.
Always remember that the word flexible and even more so, the phrase “work times by mutual agreement” are your best friend. These will allow you to play around with shifts if needed and also doesn’t mean you have to get up in the morning if you’ve had it rough the night before (it happens to us all!)
STEP 2. Decide what kind of person you want.*
This will be the first time you will have to think about this. The job description for your PA won’t really differ from all the other job descriptions out there. List what skills and attributes you wish the PA to have. Think about the usual keywords like reliable, hardworking, flexible, trustworthy etc.
As well as the usual characteristics that make for any good employee think about the type of person you want as a PA. Personally, I like to have a good relationship with my PAs so to have common interests or similar sense of humor is key. It all depends on how involved you want the PAs to be in your life – but either way, they will spend a lot of time with you so you want to get on.
Think about age and life experiences. Obviously you can’t discriminate too much on the age front (there are laws against it after all) but bear in mind the activities you might be doing. Will the newbie fit into concert going? Nights in the pub? or having a pamper evening? General past experiences have taught me that I prefer to stick with people who are a little on the younger side shall we say as I can find others ‘mumsy’ but you will learn this at interviews – who has the rapport and who doesn’t. (that’s the beauty of an interview!)
*This step can be applied to both the initial job advertising and the interview, deciding who you want can be a two step operation. I tend to filter out using the responses and the CVs that I get in from the job advert. If the CV or response (sometimes it can be lucky if you even get a CV) is poorly written – I mean using letters instead of words like “U” instead of “you”, that’s a big no for me! Another thing is past employment, you may find that some people who apply are after clerical work. Unless they state they are looking for a career change, they probably are expecting a total different role!
TOP TIP: I often state Personal Care Assistant as the job title as this eliminates confusion.
STEP 3: Advertise the job
Ok, so I’ve sort of spoken about what the ad can look like but, as well as the ad containing the right information, choosing where it’s advertised is equally as important. Personally I use the internet, it is an absolute godsend. Here is a list of my top 3 websites to use when advertising for a PA.
PA noticeboard (www.portsmouthpan.co.uk)
The PA noticeboard is brilliant. It’s a free service especially for recruiting a PA (what more can you ask for?) You simply register, fill in a small form and complete the questions about the role – the times needed to work, whether they are a car driver etc. Unlike other sites, if you need any support there are always friendly people to help and support you in the process. They will also help you find a room for an interview (if that is want you want!) Also probably one of the most useful things I’ve seen on a recruitment site is the fact you can search for PAs who are looking for work. This allows you to see relevant CVs (no confusion with the job role) and invite them to interview.
The service that the PA noticeboard provides is nothing short of excellence. With all the additional support they provide it is definitely a good starting place for recruiting a PA.
This job advertising site is probably one of the most used by job hunters. Advertising PA jobs on indeed.com has been a bit hit and miss for me. I have used it twice – the first time was so simple and, like the PA noticeboard, you can search for CVs but the second time was a different story. I advertised my role and a few days later I realised I’d had no responses. I logged on and couldn’t find my ad and when I contacted customer services they said they needed my company information. I’ve explained the situation, but as yet I have had no response and thus been unable to advertise or search for CVs.
So all in all, indeed.com is brilliant if you get good customer service, as many job seekers go to indeed to find a job but if not, well it’s a bit of a stale mate!
Gumtree isn’t a specialised job site but it is a good place to advertise. I’ve had fair success on Gumtree. Posting the ad is easy, simple and free, but you can also pay a fee to have it advertised on the main page of the site. When you receive interest or a reply it’s sent through a secure email from Gumtree so that you don’t need to make your own contact details public. Gumtree is quick and simple way to advertise and I have had a lot of success on the site.
So that’s my top tips for advertising the job role for a PA, Next post I will tell you all I know about what to do when someone applies for the job!
Until next time