In today’s dynamic business world, the impact of competent executive administrative support cannot be overstated. An efficient and reliable executive assistant serves as the backbone of any successful organization, ensuring that executives can focus on strategic decision-making, rather than getting sidetracked with day-to-day tasks. Traditionally, many companies have relied on temporary staffing for executive assistants or opted for a temp-to-perm approach when hiring a permanent executive assistant, when in reality, there are many advantages that make a permanent executive assistant a better choice from the start. At C-Suite, our top-tier executive assistant staffing services can help executives connect with permanent, highly competent executive assistants to meet the unique needs of their businesses. 

Temporary Staffing vs. Temp To Hire vs. Permanent Executive Assistants

Temporary staffing has long been a go-to solution for companies seeking quick and flexible administrative support. Organizations sometimes even take a Temp to Hire approach to filing an executive assistant role because they want to try out an executive assistant before committing to a more permanent relationship. While both of these approaches have their merits compared to an immediate permanent hire, it is crucial to weigh the pros and cons of relying on temporary staffing for an organization’s executive assistant roles. 

Pros of Temporary Staffing

  1. Flexibility: Temporary staff can be hired quickly and for short-term assignments during peak periods that necessitate additional support for business executives. This approach provides flexibility to accommodate the inevitable fluctuations in an executive’s workload as business needs ebb and flow.
  2. Cost Savings: Companies may find that assigning temporary staff is more cost-effective than hiring a permanent executive assistant, as benefits and long-term commitments that might outlast peak periods of heightened support needs are not required.
  3. Commitment and Start Up Time: Starting a candidate out as a temporary executive assistant through a staffing agency can often be done quickly and it is easier and less personal to change or terminate someone if they are not on your payroll. 

Cons of Temporary or Temp to Perm Staffing

  1. Limited Talent Pool: By taking a temporary or temp to hire approach, a company significantly narrows the talent pool to those EAs who are not currently employed. While there may be many excellent EAs currently not working, most high quality EAs are already employed. Very few executive assistants would consider leaving a permanent role for a temporary or temp to perm position. By its very nature, a temp to perm role feels riskier and, to a candidate, it implies less commitment from an employer. 
  2. Lack of Continuity: Constant turnover can hinder the development of a seamless workflow, as a temporary executive assistant does not have the background to fully understand the nuances of the business. The importance of the relationships between highly skilled executive assistants and the teams they support cannot be overstated, and these relationships take time to develop. 
  3. Training Investment: The frequent onboarding and training needed for a revolving door of temporary executive assistants can be time-consuming and counterproductive in the long run. For many busy executives, time is their most precious commodity. While it may seem to be a cost benefit to hire temporary staff during peak periods, the long-term costs of getting new hires up to speed on business needs and dynamics can quickly wipe out any savings of both time and money.
  4. Dedication and Loyalty: Temporary employees do not have the same incentive to be committed to the executive or to the company as permanent employees do. A worker who expects to move on to something new in one to six months simply does not have the same drive to ensure successful outcomes for the business.

The Benefits of Hiring a Permanent Executive Assistant

In contrast, hiring a permanent executive assistant offers a range of benefits that contribute to both the stability and the efficiency of an organization. 

  1. Wider, More Diverse, and Higher Quality Talent Pool: Especially for a senior executive support role, approaching the hire as a permanent hire from the beginning significantly increases the quality and number of candidates you can choose from. Most recruiting and staffing agencies provide a 90 day guarantee for permanent hires so if, for some reason, the candidate doesn’t measure up, you can get a replacement.
  2. Stability: A permanent executive assistant becomes an integral part of the team, providing both stability and consistency in support to the executive and to the organization as a whole. This allows for a smoother workflow and better collaboration within the organization. A tried-and-true executive assistant provides an executive with the peace of mind that when an unexpected need for additional support arises, competent assistance will be immediately available.
  3. Familiarity: Over time, a permanent executive assistant becomes deeply familiar with the intricacies of the business, the executive’s personality and preferences, and the specific workflows that characterize the functioning of the organization. This familiarity serves as an invaluable asset in streamlining current processes and anticipating future needs.
  4. Efficiency and Effectiveness: With a permanent executive assistant, there is no need for constant onboarding or explaining the inner workings of the organization anew with each new hire. This leads to an increase in efficiency, as the permanent executive assistant can seamlessly integrate into the daily operations of the business. When sudden periods with heightened needs for support arise, there is no lapse to cause a last-minute scramble and a hasty onboarding and training period that may lead to problems down the road.

The Power of Consistency

Consistency is a powerful force in the business world, and this is especially true when it comes to the support of an executive assistant. A permanent executive assistant offers continuity that is unmatched by temporary staff. This consistency extends far beyond the capacity for competent execution of tasks to the development of an understanding of the subtle nuances of how an executive operates.

Consider this scenario: a temporary executive assistant may efficiently handle uncomplicated day-to-day tasks, but they may lack insight into the executive’s preferences, decision-making style, and long-term goals. A highly competent permanent executive assistant, on the other hand, develops an intuitive understanding of these aspects of the executive’s needs, becoming a proactive partner, rather than merely a task executor.

This level of consistency not only saves time, but also contributes to a positive and cohesive work environment. When an executive and their assistant work together seamlessly, it fosters a sense of trust and reliability that is fundamental to the success of the executive, and to the business as a whole.

Cost Considerations and Long-Term ROI

While the upfront costs of hiring a permanent executive assistant may seem higher than those associated with engaging temporary staff in these roles, it is essential to consider the long-term return on investment (ROI).

  1. Training Investment Payoff: The initial training and onboarding investment for a permanent executive assistant pay off enormously in the long run. Through long-term employment, as they become more familiar with the business and the executive they support, their efficiency increases, and the need for frequent training on recurring tasks and the needs of the business diminishes. 
  2. Time Savings for Executives: Time is a precious resource for executives, and professional executive support is intended precisely to be a time saver. With a permanent executive assistant, executives spend less time explaining tasks and repeatedly demonstrating preferences, allowing them to focus on high-priority strategic initiatives of the business.
  3. Strategic Partnering: A permanent executive assistant can evolve into a strategic partner for the executive they support. Their deep understanding of the business allows them to contribute ideas, suggestions, and solutions, further enhancing the overall effectiveness of the executive team.

While temporary staffing has its time and place, the strategic advantages of having a permanent executive assistant are undeniable. The consistency, familiarity, and long-term ROI provided by a dedicated, long-term executive assistant contribute significantly to the success and efficiency of any organization. As you navigate the ever-changing landscape of administrative support, consider the enduring benefits of a permanent executive assistant – a true asset to your executive team and your organization as a whole.

Assessing Your Hiring Strategies with C-Suite Assistants

As you evaluate your current professional executive support model, consider the value of transitioning to a permanent executive assistant model with the assistance of C-Suite Assistants. The quality and selection of executive assistant talent we can find you for a permanent role will save you months of trying to find the right candidate. By making this strategic shift, you’re not just hiring a support staff member for immediate needs, you are investing in a long-term partnership that adds immeasurable value to your organization.

C-Suite Assistants specializes in matching skilled, professional executive assistants with businesses and individuals seeking dedicated and reliable support. Contact us today to learn how our thorough vetting process ensures that you receive candidates with the right skill set and cultural fit for your organization.

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