Your company is in a rapid growth mode and things are starting to slip between the cracks. Maybe revenue growth has doubled or you’ve added additional product lines, locations, and people. 

When this kind of rapid growth occurs, we often see the administrative support system to the C-Suite stretched to its limits and two possible scenarios emerge. The Executive Assistant who was initially hired as the Office Manager and now supports the CEO, the CFO, and the COO resigns, tired of working 12-hour days and prioritizing between three busy executives. Or, the original EA continues to muddle along, supporting the CEO inadequately and sometimes making critical mistakes. 

In either scenario, it’s time to assess the situation and ask questions. Do you hire an Executive Assistant who is dedicated to the CEO or do you upgrade and replace the current assistant who is shared? The answer to this question depends partly on how large your company has grown, your industry, and your anticipated growth and funding situation. But, either way, taking a close look at the role of the Executive Assistant to the CEO and the ideal candidate profile, is an important first step in making sure you hire the right person.

What is the Role of an Executive Assistant to the CEO?

It’s important to understand how the position of Executive Assistant to the CEO differs from an Executive Assistant who supports a group of executives. While some of the day-to-day administrative tasks such as calendar management, travel arrangement, and meeting preparation are the same, the CEO Executive Assistant’s duties go beyond the lines of a job description; they are heavily nuanced in partnering with the CEO and acting on his/her behalf to increase the productivity of the office of the Chief Executive Officer.

When you hire a dedicated executive assistant for the CEO, enhancing the productivity of the CEO is the most critical part of the role. This is what distinguishes it from lower-level administrative positions or a position supporting the entire C-Suite. The EA supporting the CEO must have a high level of emotional intelligence and be able to “read the room” and understand the organization as well as the underlying needs of the people the CEO interacts with.

If the CEO has their own Executive Assistant, that person will exponentially increase their productivity. But, in order to do this, they must have the right skills and experience. At a minimum, they need special skill sets and personal qualities to be successful in this role. Some of these are detailed below.

Confidante to the CEO

The CEO’s Executive Assistant is frequently privy to confidential information and sensitive material and serves as a confidante to the boss. This requires an increased level of trust and the ability to handle and often analyze the information before drafting detailed responses. This position requires intelligence, integrity, diplomacy, common sense, and excellent writing skills.

Gatekeeper to the CEO

Get in line if you want to have a conversation or meeting with the CEO. The expert EA is the gatekeeper to all those who seek the company of the CEO. Whether it is a meeting or conversation, the right EA will know “the players” and be able to prioritize the CEO’s response to meeting requests and juggle the schedule accordingly.

When you hire an executive assistant, this person must be able to command the respect and cooperation of everyone dealing with the CEO. This saves valuable time and minimizes distractions.

Delegate to the CEO

An EA to the CEO acts as a liaison with others, internally and externally. Frequent interaction with internal department heads within the organization as well as the board of directors is part of the role. The executive assistant is often the first point of contact with investors and outside business partners. Acting as a delegate to the CEO, the EA often attends meetings, manages information flow, and organizes projects. This requires a great deal of poise, self-confidence, and once again a high level of emotional intelligence.

How to hire an Executive Assistant for the CEO

The process of hiring a dedicated EA for your chief executive officer can be challenging. There may be dozens of resumes to comb through and many candidates to consider. We recommend using an expert executive assistant staffing agency like ours to handle the task. 

The team at C-Suite Assistants is here to help our clients hire an executive assistant who fits the needs of their CEO and their organization. Our experienced recruiters match our talented candidates with clients who require exceptional support. We apply a highly disciplined approach and develop customized solutions. We tailor each search and have a track record of creating the perfect match. Contact our executive assistant staffing firm now.

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