All MD’s Need an iDawn
The decision to recruit a PA was not an easy one for me to make, because I had this feeling that the PA would be doing some of my work for me so I should just work harder. I also felt there was also an element of stigma attached to having a PA, but the facts were that I was drowning in my own paperwork, responses to messages were getting slower from me, and there was also so much do. It was an office celebration when I would come into the office early and spend a few hours churning through emails to get the outstanding list down to below 100 unread messages.
I had a conversation with the wife, she is great at disagreeing with all my ideas. This is a positive thing as she helps me to see things from many different angles, which means as I try to justify my decisions to her I investigate all avenues. If I win the discussion it means it happens. In this instant, and for the first time in as long as I can remember, she outright agreed with no discussion “Yes, you definitely need a PA!”. So after the shock wore off I contacted a good friend of mine, Julia Doherty from Ethos Recruitment, and we started the search for a PA to work with me. I was looking at offering an Ok salary for someone with half decent office administrative skills, but the people I interviewed just didn’t seem good enough. Then I had a chat with a lady I’ve known for a few years, who had previously ran her own recruitment business before selling it, and been a PA to a high level director who I have worked with in the past. I knew that she knew her stuff, and I had a hunch she wasn’t happy where she worked. So I invited her out for lunch for a chat.
When she mentioned the salary she would be looking for I nearly choked on my dinner, and thought “Heck and I’m paying for lunch too!”. Furthermore, Julia was also trying to head hunt her as well for a management role in her business. So to be fair, Dawn was in demand. Now I love a good challenge so I had a chat on the phone with Julia and we agreed business is business and we each put own on offers forward to Dawn. I’m pleased to say Dawn took my offer up and started working for me in June this year.
The past few months have been fantastic, and the moral of this story is that when it comes to staff as with anything in live you get what you pay for. I could have tried to save pennies here and there and recruited a less skilled and inexperienced PA, and I would have ended up having to spend more time training and supporting.
The benefit of paying someone with existing knowledge and experience is that she hit the ground running, as demonstrated on her first day. I was in the middle of just showing her where her desk was and welcoming her to the office, she’d been in the door less than an hour and the phone rang, she just picked it up and you’d think she’d been working her for ages. She had no idea what the caller was talking about, but you wouldn’t have known that and neither did the caller. She took the callers details and message, then passed to her new colleagues to deal with.
Since I purchased, sorry she purchased, my iPad she’s become known as a combination of my “Work Wife” and my iDawn. I could have recruited a lower salaried person but that would have been a false economy. The fact of the matter is that in business you need good staff to support your business, and more often than not good staff cost good money. These salaries must be considered an investment into your business. Not only that, but if you are a business owner and you find yourself chasing your tail and apologising to people for not responding sooner then you need a PA, so get a good one because they’re worth every penny. Everyone needs their own iDawn.