The next time you’re thinking about hiring an assistant, don’t be afraid to ask yourself: what are you really looking for?
And don’t fall into the trap of being too picky, says Ravi Kumar, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and author of the book The Art of the Job.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Kumar said he likes to hire assistants that are intelligent enough to work with a broad range of different projects.
But he also thinks there’s a point where it makes sense to hire someone who can help with more specific tasks.
“You want a person who’s really going to be able to work in different situations, but they’re not going to go to the extremes to be super smart, and you don’t want a lot of cognitive processing.
You want a human being that can be super flexible,” Kumar said.
When he hired an AI specialist to work for him in New York, he found that he didn’t want the person to be overly focused on specific tasks, but could get more out of his work by being more open to helping people work with their data.
“They were great at making sense of what we were doing, and then they could do more interesting things, and that was a big part of the reason I hired them,” Kumar told The Associated Press.