Why Executive Assistants Aren’t Just for the CEO

— Feb 24, 2020 —

C-level executives and managers take on a lot of responsibility. While your company may presently only employ an executive assistant to the CEO, many busy executives could benefit from the expert assistance an experienced executive assistant can offer. From the jet setting CFO who is spread too thin to the Vice President of Sales who needs to focus on client growth rather than administrative management, many executives and the companies they work for would benefit greatly from an executive assistant.

How Do I Know if I Need an Executive Assistant?

The key to knowing whether hiring an executive assistant makes sense is asking yourself one question — could a great executive assistant free up my time so that I could focus on more high-level, profitable tasks and become more productive? If the answer is yes, then it is time to start considering hiring an executive assistant. Of course, you need to consider how much time would be freed up. But when you take a step back and really look at how your time is currently being spent,  you may realize that a qualified right-hand person is exactly what you need.

What Do Executive Assistants Do?

An executive assistant differs from an administrative assistant in that they have more decision-making power. While executive assistant duties will often overlap with administrative assistant or personal assistant duties, depending on what other employees you have, an executive assistant also has the ability to make important decisions on behalf of their boss. Whether those responsibilities involve scheduling, managing other assistants, or even acting in their boss’s stead when they are out of town, an executive assistant is bestowed a higher level of trust by their employer.

Just as is the case with an executive assistant to the CEO, what an executive assistant for any manager or executive will do really depends on what is needed. An executive assistant to the CFO of a large company, for instance, will have different responsibilities from the executive assistant to the owner of a small, growing business. But in any case, a great executive assistant is your right-hand person and can step up and fulfill whatever responsibilities you require.

It is important to know what exactly you are going to need from your executive assistant so that you can find someone who is ready and excited to fill such a role. Some executive assistants perform primarily administrative tasks, while others have the managerial acumen and poise to fill in and make presentations at board meetings in your absence, so the range of potential responsibilities is quite broad.

Some of the myriad tasks that may be performed by an executive assistant include:

  • Managing Calendar
  • Answering Phone and Email Messages
  • Creating (and sometimes presenting) PowerPoint Presentations
  • Booking Domestic and International Travel
  • Project Management
  • Bookkeeping
  • Managing Administrative Staff
  • Coordinating with Personal Assistant or Household Staff
  • Making Daily Decisions in Your Stead
  • Acting as a Gatekeeper
  • Planning Meetings
  • Planning Events and/or Coordinating with Event Planners

What Qualifications Does My Executive Assistant Need?

Any busy executive can likely make a list a mile long of what he or she does during any given week. The qualifications your executive assistant will need depends on which of these duties you are able to delegate. If you do not have any support staff, you may require someone with finely  honed administrative skills. However, if you have great administrative support but need help balancing your personal and work life, you will need someone who is great at managing relationships and scheduling.

While all executive assistants should have certain traits, such as organizational aptitude and being a self-starter,  finding someone perfectly suited to support you takes a bit more fine tuning. This is one reason that working with a great executive assistant recruitment firm is essential when trying to pinpoint not only a great executive assistant, but the perfect executive assistant for you.

Finding the Best Fit

The most important thing, first and foremost, is identifying  someone who fits with you — your management style, your personality, and the way you work. Be honest with yourself when assessing your strengths and weaknesses, and decide what qualities you need in someone who will support you. You may decide that you need someone who is regimented and organized to balance out your more laid-back approach, or you may need someone whose personality is close to yours. Make this decision carefully, as there are many executive assistants out there who can effectively manage your schedule and book your travel, but you need someone who will seamlessly fit into your day-to-day work life.

Outside of personality and work-style fit, there are some basics that you should expect from any executive assistant. Most executive assistants have college degrees, and if not, they should have a long and impressive work history. You should expect glowing references from former employers. Past administrative jobs with increasing responsibility indicate that this is your potential employee’s chosen career path and that they will be dedicated to the role. If you are looking for someone who will also manage a great deal of your personal life, you might look for someone who has experience as a personal assistant, but also has the leadership skills to work in an executive assistant capacity.

When looking to fill executive assistant jobs in NYC and beyond, your first call should be C-Suite Assistants. We specialize in executive assistant staffing nationwide, and have a massive pool of both active and passive applicants to choose from. Because of our close personal relationships with many exceptional executive assistants, we can look beyond the resume to make sure you find the perfect match for not only the job, but for you and the culture of your company. Contact us today to begin the search for your perfect executive assistant.

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