When you begin thinking about how to identify the right person for the job, you may come up with a list of specific skills that your assistant will need. But it’s help- ful to review several general factors first.
Compatibility. The relationship between a supervisor and an assistant involves a lot of togetherness. Be sure you pick someone who you believe is worth the investment of time that it will take you to train—and someone you aren’t going to mind spending time with later on.
Ability. Your assistant will often have to handle your responsibilities alone. Choose someone who will be comfortable with those responsibilities and the authority that goes with them.
Teachability. The person who is going to fill this position must be willing to be taught. He or she must demonstrate loyalty to you and the organization (not the co-workers they hobnobbed with). Only if that person is willing to be a good follower will he or she eventually become a good leader that you can depend on in your absence.
Once you’ve narrowed down the list, you need to do some duties analysis, that is, the work you want your assistant to do. Then determine which skills and abilities are necessary. Once you’ve determined that, you will have a firm basis for deciding which of your finalists would be right for the job.