This is a great time to hire an assistant or add an assistant because you can get some great quality people that have been laid off by an insurance company or securities firm. Here are the steps:
1. You write out a description of what you want:
Expanding financial planning firm needs service assistant with 2 years experience in an investment or insurance sales environment. You need to know how to read investment and insurance statements and handle incoming client service inquiries. Must have pleasant phone manner and good phone voice to set client appointments. Must be super-organized. Must have very good knowledge of MS Office and facility working with PCs (you will take a short quiz). Please email resume with salary history to [email protected]
Place this advertisement in your main daily newspaper, in Craigslist at www.craigslist.com (if it operates in your area) or other local on-line job board.
2. If the assistant will be doing a lot of phone work, don’t ask them to just send a resume. In addition, in the advertisement say “call this number.” The number is a voice mail line and here’s the message you record:
“Thank you for calling about the assistant position at our firm. It’s a great atmosphere with great benefits. At the tone, please leave the following information:
a. What work you are doing now
b. Why you are making a change
c. Any personal goals you want to accomplish in the next 3 years
Then, please email your resume to [email protected]”
By having your prospects call a voice mail, you get to hear how they sound on the phone and call back only those with good phone presence. You’ll be shocked at how many people call and hang up when they are asked to speak spontaneously. And this saves you a ton of time because you spend time interviewing 3 people instead of 12.
3. Next, you call firms where this person may already work.
For example, if you are an insurance professional, you call each of the large insurance companies that have offices in your area. When the receptionist answers you say “Hi, who is this? Are you the regular receptionist there? Great. I am an independent insurance agent and I am looking to hire a top-notch assistant and pay them well. Is there anyone in your office that has been thinking of leaving?”
If they say “no” or “I don’t know”, you then say, “Great. Does the issue of changing jobs ever come up among the people who are supporting the agents there? Would you take my name and number and if someone mentions they are looking, would you pass it along to them?” If you are in the securities business, you call the large securities firms and ask the same question.
There are plenty of people at large firms unhappy with the advancement potential or the bureaucracy or working for 4 professionals pulling them in different directions. They would love to have one boss in a small firm where they get respect and a decent salary.
Rent, Then Hire
Call the temp agencies in your town. Tell them what you are seeking. They can often get someone for you under the following arrangement:
1 You will pay $25 an hour for this person. If you want to hire them full time within 90 days, you pay the temp agency $3,000 and that person is yours.
2 If you rent this person for the entire 90 days, you can often hire them with no payment to the temp firm
This arrangement might be great for you because they have already screened people; you can check someone out for a week or two and get rid of them if they are not great or hire them if they are great.
Outsource Your Assistant
Instead of employees, you may want to outsource the support you need. Visit www.msvas.com or www.totaloffice.cc . These sites allow you to find independent contractors that work on their own so you don’t need to manage employees. Many work for other financial advisors and insurance agents so they know and understand the business. If you need occasional work done, you can get projects done by listing your project at elance.com or guru.com.
No matter which of the alternatives you choose, stop doing clerical work when your time is worth so much more.
This article contributed by Bob Richards, the marketing director at Brokerville.