Personal assistant agencies are employment agencies that specialize in matching personal assistants with clients. Most agencies of this type have specific requirements that must be met before any individual can be considered for placement. While a personal assistant agency may offer employment opportunities for any type of personal assistant or PA position, there are those that focus on specific types of recruitment, such as assistants for celebrities.
In general, a personal assistant agency will require the same type of information that any employment agency must have on file before attempting to place an applicant with a client. This includes copies of documents that establish the identity of the applicant, as well as education and employment histories. The agency will often need proof that the individual can legally seek employment, and a listing of special skills and abilities that may be of interest to prospective clients.
It is not unusual for a personal assistant agency to conduct extensive background checks on all applicants. This can be especially important if the PA position requires that the assistant have access to the client’s bank accounts, or will be privy to proprietary information connected with the client. Many agencies of this type also require that the applicant be bondable as part of their efforts to protect the privacy and best interests of the client.
A personal assistant agency monitors the placement process closely. Such factors as general temperament are often just as important as the job skills that a prospective assistant possesses. Since the PA will spend a great deal of time with the client, in some cases even living on the same premises as the employer, it is important to make sure the client and assistant can work together. This includes making sure that the PA is capable of efficiently handling all tasks assigned, understands the commitment required for placement with a given client, and that the placement is rewarding for everyone concerned.
There are a number of different types of assistants that may be sought and placed by a given personal assistant agency. A business personal assistant often has the task of managing schedules, arranging travel itineraries, and running personal errands for a client. A remote personal assistant may handle the personal correspondence of the client, including fielding telephone calls and emails. Celebrity personal assistants may handle everything from making sure there is food in the kitchen to answering fan mail to picking up the dry cleaning for his or her employer.