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Hiring an Executive Assistant for the First Time


We’ve had clients come to us over the years for help hiring their first executive assistant. Usually, there are two scenarios:

  1. The client is an entrepreneur who has reached a tipping point after being in business for a few years and realizes they need help.OR
  2.   The client is a CEO who has been functioning without an assistant and is instead utilizing employees who have other full-time roles to manage travel, calendar, and meeting scheduling. These analysts, COOs, or marketing directors don’t have the time to do these things but will do them anyway.

A major stumbling block for many of our first-time clients is that they think they don’t have enough for a dedicated Executive Assistant to do. This mindset is based on the misconception that all an assistant does is take care of the calendar and phones.

In the New York Times Best Seller Buy Back Your Time Get Unstuck, Reclaim Your Freedom, and Build Your Empire, author Dan Martell describes in detail how Richard Branson’s assistant manages his life with a review every morning that might include:

  • Vetting inbox and responding to emails
  • Scheduling
  • Project Research
  • Cleaning up data
  • Sending gifts to colleagues
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Purchasing personal and business items
  • Publishing social media
  • Tracking important financial and billing issues

We can add a few more duties:

  • Getting status updates on projects from internal teams and executives
  • Being the eyes and ears of the CEO and keeping a finger on the morale of a company
  • Planning events – including team building events and activities
  • Researching executives in advance of meetings
  • Scheduling – knowing who you need to see ASAP and who can wait
  • Maintaining and updating KPIs
  • Entering data into CRM systems
  • Assisting on the personal side with restaurant reservations, appointments, and hiring vendors for the residence
  • Hiring and scheduling drivers

In his book, Dan Martell not only describes what an assistant can do, but he gives detailed instructions on how to work with your assistant. Delegating and maximizing your productivity by hiring an assistant is both an art and a science and a real concern for many executives. An executive assistant we recently met from Atlanta who was working at a large company realized many of the company executives didn’t know how to fully utilize their EAs. After interviewing 50 high-level assistants she created a presentation to address this gap. Over 350 senior executives attended her presentation.

Here are two examples of clients who hired their first-time executive assistant using C-Suite Assistants:

Executive Assistant to Entrepreneur, New York, NY

An entrepreneur with multiple businesses, including a Real Estate Investment Advisory and a Media firm, asked C-Suite Assistants to find him an Executive Assistant. He had not had an assistant before and his business and holdings had grown to the point where he realized he needed administrative support. With only three people in the New York City Office, the right personality/cultural fit was very important, as was a candidate who could learn his businesses and get to know the big picture. We did an intensive search and sent our top four candidates for the position. Within 10 days of our initial conversation with the Founder, he hired one of these four candidates, and it has been a great match. The successful hire had attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and had worked in both media and public relations.

Executive Assistant to CEO of Real Estate Investment Firm, Colorado Springs, CO

A family-owned real estate development firm in business for 50 years and one of the largest in Colorado, needed an executive assistant to the CEO. The CEO had never had a dedicated executive assistant and instead had used the Director of Operations and the Director of Marketing to help him with some assistant duties. After reading Buy Back Your Time, the CEO was full speed ahead on hiring a dedicated executive assistant and came to us to find the right one. Due to the small talent pool in the area, he was also open to a relocation candidate. Among the finalists for the role was an EA who had worked at Boeing in Seattle for nine years and was moving back to Colorado. In the end, however, we found and placed an executive assistant located in Colorado Springs who had worked for a real estate investment firm in California as well as an investment firm in Colorado. She was a great cultural fit for the firm and has made a significant difference in the professional life of the CEO.

When the time comes for you to hire an executive assistant, rest assured that C-Suite Assistants is here to meet your needs seamlessly. Feel free to connect with us to explore the details of the hiring process for your first executive assistant, our talent acquisition strategies, and much more.

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