Appointment Setting – How a Great PA Can Help and Where To Find One?

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Published on February 28, 2018

Appointment setting is a snap with an assistant who knows you best! Click To TweetDid you know there are companies and individuals who have specific ‘appointment setters’ working for them? Their main task is, as the word says, making appointments – either for the sales team or for private households. This might work for some large firms, but if you have an amazing PA, they can do all of this for you, as well as their other PA related tasks!

It will save you money on outsourcing appointment setting, as you do not have to hire someone specifically for it. It also means less mistakes will be made. Because your PA already knows when appointments will fit in with your schedule, he or she can maintain organisation and efficiency without creating clashes.

So how does appointment setting and a great PA work to make a difference on your daily life?

Outsourcing appointment setting to your PA

Appointment setting, either by a dedicated employee or by a team, should be necessitated by the work environment. It is as relevant a job in a large corporate sales company as it is in a small private household. If you are currently spending extra money to outsource appointment setting, you might just need to consider incorporating this task into your regular PA duties – a great PA can indeed do it all!

Corporate setup

In corporate companies, appointment setters are there to generate new connections and leads that can bring in sales. However, a great PA will already have the requisite knowledge, and they are also likely to have a large network in the industry they are working in. A great and experienced PA will be able to connect to new, relevant networks, representing well the company they have experience with. They will also know which person to make the relevant appointments for.

Private household setup

It might not sound like a large job, but on average how many appointments do you have to make per week for you and your family, and your larger household? It is many more than you think! It goes from dental and doctors appointments, to meetings with contractors; out of house staff like cleaners and builders, and meetings with new schools for your children.

You might already have a family PA, or you should find a family PA and realise what a complete difference it can make to you and your family’s lives! The PA would be perfectly suited to take all of these tasks on – they will know your diary, your habits and needs and will be able to get you those appointments with new schools you have been thinking of, making sure that everyone gets their dental and health checks booked in on time, as well as arranging hairdressers, cosmetic and personal shopping appointments.

Connecting with contractors, estate agents, lawyers and brokers…the list goes on and on. You can rest assured your life and diary is kept completely organised, managed and up to date, ensuring you will not miss a thing.

How to find and hire a great PA who can stay on top of appointment setting, increase revenue and organisation

There are several different ways to find your new PA, and it is good to consider all options to see which one works best for you.

Self-hire

With self-hiring a PA you are fully in control of the whole process. This means from the start of the search, creating a job spec, sending this out so it reaches the right people, to going through all the CVs and applications, setting up interviews, reference checking, and creating job offers. Doing everything yourself definitely gives you complete control, however do not underestimate how time consuming this can be.  You also want to be extremely thorough and not miss out on anything.

It’s important to make sure that the candidate you end up hiring is suitable and qualified for the job. Unfortunately, there are people creating fake or incorrect CVs, lying about references and making up qualifications, so be very thorough when going through selection and make sure you check as much as you can.

To start the recruitment process, make sure you are very clear on what you need in a new PA, and put as much relevant information in a job spec as you can. You can post this on websites like Gumtree or on your own company website. From there, you will have to go through all applications, selecting the suitable candidates for you to meet and interview. You can choose to have short phone interviews first, and from there make a second selection for face to face interviews.

We always advise speaking to candidates and also to check their references. If candidates are not in the same country or town, or cannot attend a face to face interview for any other reason, a helpful way is to set up some Skype/video interviews, to get more of a feel of the candidate and how they present themselves.

When checking references make sure you are speaking to the person who actually employed the candidate previously, not a colleague or someone who was working under them. Written references are helpful too, but always try to get a direct email or phone confirmation confirming authenticity when dealing with written references. You cannot be thorough enough here, as references and previous employers can tell you a lot about your candidates.

Find a PA via your network

Your friends, family and colleagues can be a more valuable source of information and connections than you might think. It is definitely worth spreading the word through your network when you are recruiting to find out if someone can recommend any candidates. You can use social media like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter to find out if people know of any good quality PAs; candidates could also find your post and get in touch with you directly.

If you do decide to interview a candidate who came to you through a recommendation, we would still advise to complete the self-hire steps outlined above in the self-hire section. Although someone comes recommended, it does not automatically mean they are the right fit for you and you want to be completely sure.

Recruit via an agency

A final option to hire and find a new PA would be to use a Recruitment Agency. An agency will do many of the above tasks for you, from pre-selection to vetting and setting up interviews, which will save you a lot of time and effort. A recruitment agency will source and select suitable candidates matching your job description, and good agencies will have an extensive vetting process in place to make sure that only the right candidates are connected with you.

Although it will speed up your recruitment process, do consider the following things when using an agency.

We would recommend avoiding agencies who  charge any type of upfront fee, being a registration fee or a placement fee. This tends to be a technique employed by agents trying to make a quick bit of money before they start the work, and it doesn’t give you any security whether the agency can actually find you the right person – whilst you have already spent your money.

Make sure to clearly read and understand the agency contract or terms before you sign anything. It is good to be aware of the full process before you start the search and the contract or terms should explain what you can expect.

Have a personal connection with the agency. Although your time is precious, just some emails will probably not do. Take some time to have a phone conversation or two with the agents so that they will fully understand your setup, situation, and requirements. It makes it much easier for them too to match the right candidates with your job role!

At Polo & Tweed we have many outstanding PAs on our books, who are excellent appointment setters. Why not give our recruitment team a call on +44 (0) 203 858 0233 to find out how we can help you! 

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