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How can an Executive Assistant add value? Man and woman working together

How can an Executive Assistant add value? 

Throughout my career, it has always amazed me how the role of a secretary/Personal Assistant/Executive Assistant can be so misunderstood by those who have them.

In this blog I aim to show how good the relationship between a boss and their assistant can be, if utilized properly and how an Executive Assistant can add value.

In years gone by, the more important the boss, the more qualified the secretary. Often called, “private secretary”, they were often admired by other secretaries and other managers wished they could have their support as their position in the company didn’t warrant a secretary of such a calibre. Today, this role would be the equivalent to an Executive Assistant and almost every Executive, no matter their position has one.

Whilst the role may be common, the level of experience and responsibility can be very different. Why? Because very few bosses really understand what a strong and effective resource their assistant can be. By taking some time to think about what is needed in an assistant before appointing will not only save time in the long run, but also maximise productivity and effectiveness.

So how do you find your perfect assistant?

Your assistant should complement your work style and work habits.

Taking time to think about how you work, your work habits and your expectations will help you to work out the non-negotiables. Think not only about the skills and traits you are looking for but also the type of working relationship you prefer.

Remember your assistant is a reflection of yourself

Very often your assistant will be the first point of contact on your behalf. Their manner, interpersonal and social skills should present a perception of you as an executive. Their level of professionalism will set a standard for others, send a positive message and make the all important first impression.

Don’t assume you know what the job requires

Whilst HR departments manage recruitment, they do not always have the best understanding of the real requirements of the role. Job descriptions focus on skills and general characteristics but do not incorporate work style and habits.

Ensure that your assistant has the relevant professional experience for the role.

If you do not hire an assistant with the relevant experience it will result in inefficiency for everyone. Be clear what experience you are looking for and do not deviate from the plan. Look for previous experience where they have had to take responsibility with minimum supervision. For example, experience in event planning and project management will show they can meet deadlines and goals.

There is an Executive Assistant out there for every Executive. That unique individual who can help organise and balance your life. Find them and you will not regret it.

If you need any help in this process or would like to explore this more, please get in touch and I would be glad to have a chat.