Hiring an Executive Assistant for Cultural Fit
When you are hiring for a new executive assistant for your team, you should be as concerned about finding a candidate that fits your company culture as finding one that has the skills you are looking for. Company culture is a vital component of any business. You have probably worked hard to foster and maintain a culture that you are proud of.
Finding a great cultural fit ensures you hire a productive executive assistant that will stick around for the long term. 58% of Americans have left a job or would consider leaving a job because of negative office culture. However, it’s not only the potential that a bad cultural fit will move on quickly. A poor fit could upset your team dynamics and encourage existing staff to leave as well.
The importance of finding a good cultural fit cannot be understated. In this article, we examine how to ensure a new hire has the personality to thrive in your organization.
Defining Your Company Culture
Before finding an executive assistant that fits with your company culture, you must first clearly understand what that culture is. A few questions to answer include:
- Do you have a list of core values, clearly stated in your job description and on your website?
- What are the expected outcomes and behaviors for your employees?
- Are you a casual workplace?
- Do you have a clearly defined hierarchy?
You also need to clearly understand the types of personalities of the leadership team that the executive assistant will be working with, and the colleagues they will interact with. A good match is essential.
Discuss Culture and Values During the Interview
A common fear is hiring an executive assistant and discovering within the first weeks that they are not a good fit for the company.
To avoid this situation, take the time to explain your company’s values during the interview stage. By the end of the interview you should know that the candidate has a good idea of what will be expected of them.
You might give them a tour of the office, with the chance to interact with other employees and other executive assistants. Allow your existing employees some time to get to know the candidate and ask questions later.
This strategy gives the candidate an opportunity to understand and absorb the company culture, how the team works, and what the business mission is. Equally important, you will get feedback from the people who will be working with your new hire.
Ask Cultural Fit Questions During the Interview
As well as discussing your company culture, ensure that you ask questions that test cultural fit.
As well as testing a candidate’s capability by asking skills-based questions, consider how you can probe to discover a candidate’s values and motivations. This should quickly help you determine if a candidate will fit well within your team. Examples of questions you can ask include:
- “Describe yourself – what do you like to do in your free time?”
- “What is one of the most positive attributes of your personality, and why do you think this is?”
- “What values are important to you?”
- “What types of teams do you work best in?”
- “Have you read our company values? Which one resonates the most with you?”
- “Why do you want to be an executive assistant at our company?”
Seek the Help of Hiring Professionals
Hiring a great executive assistant can be tough. Often, they take on a key role in helping emulate company culture – so it’s important to find a candidate that’s a great fit.
The time and resources necessary to find a top executive assistant can be demanding. However, there is the option to go with a specialist staffing agency that can give you access to a wider and deeper pool of qualified executive assistant candidates. They can assist in vetting candidates, for both skills and culture fit, saving you time and ensuring that your managers don’t need to wade through a sea of unsuitable applicants.
When hiring, it’s important to factor company culture into the screening process. You can do this through clearly defining your culture, explaining it to all candidates and asking the right questions during the interview to determine if a candidate is a good fit.
In short, hiring for company culture will help you find an executive assistant that will flourish in your business and stick around for the long term, enhancing team performance.