Many people have heard of the term executive assistant, but you may still be left wondering what they are and do. They are highly sought after in the corporate world, and great attention is taken to bringing the right one because once you do, it can increase your production by upwards of 60% if used properly.
With that said, we will look at the aspects of the highly sought after corporate executive assistant, their role, and how they can add value to your team, even if you are a startup or growing small business.
Let’s get started!
What Is An Executive Assistant?
An executive assistant (EA) performs various administrative tasks, including scheduling meetings, making travel arrangements, and managing projects.
Typically an EA is positioned to serve C-level executives at large corporations, but as times change, EAs are now available for startup companies and smaller growing businesses.
What Does An Executive Assistant Do?
An executive assistant is a strategic partner to C-level executives and founders and often is the incredible right-hand that makes an organization be able to run smoothly. From project management to handling executive-level communication, they are a trusted member of the executive team and earn respect for their ability to hold a team together and provide support.
It is almost impossible to list everything an executive assistant can do simply because every organization will have different goals, tasks and duties. With that said, here are some of the top tasks that EAs will perform for executives:
Creating Spreadsheets that can help with OKRs and roadmaps
Making Travel Arrangements
Email Inbox management
Handles Sensitive and Confidential Information
Creating data rooms and SharePoint systems for extensive file management
Preparing presentation materials for meetings and creating agendas
Process expense reports for team leaders
Support Start-Ups in Fundraising Initiatives
Organization of Team Retreats, Town Halls, & Get Togethers
The above list is the most commonly known task, but many EAs will perform all of the above and everything in between!
Related Links: 5 Things To Consider When Hiring an Executive Assistant
What Skills Does An Executive Assistant Need?
An executive assistant’s job is extremely crucial to a functioning management team and it requires an immense amount of skills, and personality traits to be successful. Not everyone is cut out to do well in this role. With that said, let’s take a look at what it takes to be a thriving EA.
Ability to Communicate
Attention To Detail
As you can see from the list above, there are very specific skills that are required to be successful at this job. There are University and College level programs or certificates recently created, that help individuals grow to be a Career EA. And you can expect it to take anywhere from five plus years to gain the necessary experience that you need to be a great EA that can help move companies and startups forward and be successful strategic partners.
How To Become An Executive Assistant?
If you want to become an EA, you need to make sure you first get yourself a college education and then focus on getting experience in a professional assistant position.
During your education process, focus on gaining a leg up over your competition by taking courses on project management and computer skills courses like how to use Excel, Microsoft, Gmail, Outlook, etc.
You may also want to become certified as a Certified Administrative Professional (CAP). This will greatly help you to rise to the top and gain the necessary skills to get moving in the right direction.
How Can An Executive Assistant Improve Your Organization?
There are tremendous benefits to hiring an executive assistant for an organization. Firstly and simply, an EA will free up time for your C-level executive team member and founders to do more things.
Secondly, their extreme organization skills will help streamline operations and projects to create the greatest efficiency within your team.
Thirdly, being fantastic communicators and having great people skills, they will be able to help with day-to-day tasks of managing emails, event coordination, planning and day-to-day organization management, arranging meetings, and much more, which ultimately increases the productivity of an executive.
The fourth way an EA can improve your organization is by becoming the “face” of your brand to the outside. An EA will add an extra layer of professionalism and create a greater sense of cohesiveness within your company.
Altogether, an executive assistant is a vital part of the upper management team that can help produce the best results for the people they support.
How To Hire An Executive Assistant For Your Startup or Small Business
You may be thinking that executive assistants are just for large corporations. This could not be further from the truth. In today’s ever-changing marketplace, learning how to successfully hire an EA for your startup or small business can greatly improve your company’s operations and bottom line.
Here are a few tips to look for when hiring an executive assistant for your business:
Use executive assistant fractional companies to find the best executive assistant for you and your team. This will save you a lot of time and effort that you more than likely don’t have.
Use social media channels such as LinkedIn to find the most qualified candidates.
Screen for candidates that will fit your company culture.
Make sure the candidate you choose works well under pressure and can take the initiative during these times.
Find out what the candidate’s greatest successes and failures are so that you understand what makes them “tick”.
Make sure to get references so that you can hear what other people have to say about the person you are considering hiring.
Make sure you have a strong onboarding process to make your new executive assistant feel comfortable in his or her new role.
Again, if this all seems a little too much, contact Take It Easy Group so they can help you find the right executive assistant for your business.
As you can see, executive assistants have a tremendous amount of work and responsibility in their positions. If you think you have what it takes to be an EA to top-level executives, the job can be gratifying and fulfilling and provide a great income for you and your family.
On the other side of the coin, if you need to hire an executive assistant, Take It Easy Group can help find the right person for you and your team.