City Cruises

A memo from Seema Kavi

Seema Kavi from Quivira Capital explains how PAs can get involved in recruitment

Seema Kavi, Director of Quivira Capital outlines the vital role many PAs play in their company’s recruitment process

Finding the perfect new hire for a fast-growing team can be challenging, and with business leaders battling full diaries, they are placing even more dependence on their PAs. A 2013 survey revealed that 16% of bosses take their recommendations on business decisions from their PAs, with another 17% revealing that they stand in for the manager at meetings monthly.

Most of the time bosses will not have enough time in the day to finish all the tasks on their list, let alone help other members of staff with theirs. As a result, it often falls to the PA to be the one who kickstarts the process of looking for a new team member. So how can they get involved?

Writing a job description
The first port of call in any recruitment process is writing the job description, and if you’re not careful the phrasing of a description can deter a good applicant.

A great way for a PA to be involved is by assisting with the drafting of the description and sharing it across the relevant platforms. A key aspect of any job advert is showing your company’s voice and it is an opportunity to speak directly to the person you hope to hire there’s no-one better to do so than a PA.

Organising schedules
After the initial stage of sifting through CVs and deciding which candidates to bring through to the interview round, it falls to the PA to get in contact with those individuals. The first impression a potential recruit gets of your company is the first person they speak to, which is often the director’s PA. It is so important to have the right person in that role, as they need to be warm and welcoming, but also professional and competent.

Making the decision
Another important factor to consider is that some applicants are unaware of the level of trust that exists between PAs and directors. I have cancelled an interview with a previously shortlisted candidate because of the way my PA was spoken to by this individual. How a potential recruit treats members of staff at any level is a very useful insight into their character and whether they will fit into a company’s culture, with the PA acting as a sounding board for the directors if they are sitting on the fence. With that said, however, it is a two-way street, as the PA is the first impression a candidate gets of a company, so it is important to ensure that they are professional and fully briefed on what the role is.

Teaching the recruit
Once you have settled on a candidate, it often falls to the PA to show them the ropes. Assistants are the heart and soul of the office and should have their fingers on the pulse, putting them in the perfect position to show the new team member around.

More often than not, a PA is the member of staff new recruits find most approachable to answer questions or voice concerns they may not be comfortable speaking to a director about. The PA needs to be the one who implicitly teaches the new recruit the ways and means of the director’s habits and likings. For example, whether the boss prefers to be contacted by phone or by email, or when the best time of day is to pop into their office, etc.

A PA’s role within the recruitment process should not be overlooked. From drafting the initial job description to welcoming the new recruit into the office, PAs and executive assistants are vital to the hiring process.

Seema is Director of Quivira Capital. After making the decision to join Quivira in 2014, she discovered an entrepreneurial spirit within herself. Working with her husband Rajiv, who founded Quivira, Seema has grown the company, with profit increasing fivefold every year for the last three years and has been responsible for hiring for their fast-growing team. Twitter: @Quiviracapital