Your Personal Assistant: the most professional daily contact you'll make! Click To TweetMost celebrities will have a full team of staff around them, sometimes 24/7 to make sure everything in their lives runs smoothly. It can be argued that the PA is the one closest to this person, the first point of contact and also the person who will know and protect their privacy. Therefore finding the right person is extremely important.
Knowing what a celebrity PA can do, and what their traits should be, can help you in selecting the right person for the job.
Duties of a Celebrity PA
- Diary Management: Anything from booking appointments, scheduling much needed breaks and sorting out travel.
- Schedule Management: Goes hand in hand with the above, but more practical day-to-day, making sure if appointments run over to inform following appointments of the delay, taking care of travel in between jobs, and overall making sure the principal will get everywhere in time.
- Manage Household Staff: Although the PA is most likely to travel with the principal, the PA can manage the staff in the house, sorting payroll, rota’s and holidays, and making sure everyone is where they should be. This can also include recruitment of new staff.
- Private Admin: Takes care of answering emails, phone calls, sorting out bills, insurance and any other personal affairs.
- Promotion/press: They can vary between booking in/connecting with promoters and press appointments, to managing paparazzi and maintaining privacy.
- Running errands: Sorting out anything that comes up, from shopping trips, sorting out last minute childcare, to booking a last minute flight or hairdressers appointment. Things can change instantly and the PA will be there to make sure things get done.
Traits of a Celebrity PA
- Discreteness: Extremely important when being a celebrity PA. You will most likely be closer to this person than anyone else, and you should be able and willing to guard their secrets and maintain their privacy from the public eye, as well as being trustworthy in handling confidential matters.
- Organisation: Any PA should be super organised but, being a celebrity PA, things will move at a faster speed, so you need to be able to keep pace and hold tasks together.
- Stamina: As above, your workplace will be a lot more unpredictable than in an office job, likely with longer working hours and potential late nights. You must be able to keep up with the lifestyle of your principal.
- Understand Personality: You should not need to have a similar personality, but you should understand your principal’s behaviour so you can match your tasks accordingly.
- Flexibility and Working Under Pressure: Things will change instantly, no matter how organised you will be. You should be able to bring calm and flexibility to the madness, jumping from one task to another as days, appointments and schedules change.
- Hands On Approach: No day will be the same and you should be willing and able to jump in with anything, whether it is running to the dry cleaners, cleaning shoes, standing in as a nanny to help with the children, becoming a party planner or hunting for houses. You cannot be a specialist in everything, but you should be happy to help out or at least find the right person to complete the job.
How to find and hire a Celebrity PA
There are several different ways to find your new PA, and it is good to consider all options!
With self-hiring a celebrity PA you are completely responsible for the full process of finding a PA– from getting a job spec sent out to selecting and vetting candidates, checking references and verifying qualifications, even setting up interviews. It definitely is a lot of work – but you definitely do not want to miss out on any of these steps.
It is important to remember that you are inviting someone into your life, and especially as a celebrity, you want to be mindful of whom you let in. It’s important to make sure they are safe and qualified for the job. Unfortunately, there will always be people sending fake or incorrect CVs, making up references and lying about qualifications, so attention to detail and persistence are key in separating the right people from the crowd.
To start the recruitment process, you can create a detailed job specification and post this on websites like Gumtree. From there, you will have to go through all applications, making sure you select the right candidates to potentially take further for interviews and selection.
We always advise speaking to candidates and references. If candidates are overseas, a good option is to set up some Skype/video pre-interviews, to get more of a feel of the candidate and how they present themselves.
Find A celebrity PA via your network
Another option for hiring a PA is reaching out to your close network. You can use social media like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter to find out if people know of any good quality PAs; candidates may also find your post and get in touch with you directly.
When dealing with referrals, they most likely will be of higher quality leads than from Gumtree, however we would advise to still go through the self-hire steps outlined above in the self-hire section.
Recruit via an agency
Your third option for hiring a celebrity PA would be to work with a recruitment agency. An agency will take the hard work and pre-selection away from you, saving you a considerable amount of time and effort. Agencies will sift through the many applications for the job, and a good agency would use an extensive and detailed vetting process to ensure that only the best matched and suitable candidates reach you.
While using a professional recruiter will save you time and stress, there are still a few things to consider.
Avoid PA recruitment agencies charging a registration or other form of upfront fees. This tends to be a technique employed by agents trying to make a quick bit of money before they start the work, without you knowing if the agency is actually going to provide you with the proper service.
Always read the agency contract or terms and conditions, and understand them clearly before you sign. Once you enter into the legally binding contract it will be difficult to debate this later if you are not happy with the service.
Value personal contact with your recruitment agency. It’s critical that you can convey your PA requirements to your recruiter and filling out a form online might not be enough. You’ll be working closely with the agent to find the right fit so it’s important that they understand your search and requirements.
At Polo & Tweed we have worked with many (celebrity) clients finding them the right PA. Why not give our recruitment team a call on +44 (0) 203 858 0233 to find out how we can help you! And if you are interested in becoming a PA, or are looking for your new job, we would love to hear from you too!