It’s no secret that a great executive assistant can make or break your day – and your business. With the right person on your team, you can focus on the big picture and let them take care of the small details. But how do you find the right person for the job? And more importantly, how do you know they’re a good fit for your company? Here’s everything you need to know about finding and hiring the right executive assistant.
What is an Executive Assistant?
Many people hear the term “executive assistant” and think it’s just a fancy way of saying “secretary.” However, an EA is much more than that. While they do perform many of the same administrative tasks as a secretary, they also provide high-level support that goes well beyond simple secretarial work. An EA is often responsible for managing schedules, handling correspondence, and coordinating travel plans. They may also be asked to prepare reports and presentations or to serve as a liaison between their executive and other organization members. In short, an EA plays a vital role in keeping the wheels turning so that their executive can focus on the big picture.
What are the Duties of an Executive Assistant?
The duties of an executive assistant can vary depending on the size and needs of the organization they are working for. However, some common duties are typically associated with the role, such as:
- Scheduling and calendar management
- Preparing presentations
- Handling correspondence
- Maintaining records
- Making travel arrangements
- Providing support during meetings
- Coordinating projects
What Skills Does an Executive Assistant Need?
Executive assistants are often the unsung heroes of the business world, providing vital support to busy executives and helping to keep the wheels of commerce running smoothly. But what does it take to be a successful executive assistant?
In addition to strong administrative skills, executive assistants need to think on their feet, handle difficult situations with tact and diplomacy, and be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment. They must also have excellent written and verbal communication skills, as they will often be called upon to represent their boss in meetings or take dictation over the phone.
Perhaps most importantly, executive assistants need to anticipate their boss’s needs and proactively take care of problems before they arise.
How to Hire an Executive Assistant
When hiring an executive assistant, it’s important to take the time to find the right person for the job. With so much riding on their shoulders, finding someone with the skills and personality that will fit well into your organization is crucial.
Determine what you need from an EA
The first step is to determine what you need from an EA. Do you simply need someone to handle the administrative tasks, or do you need someone who can also take on more strategic roles? Once you understand what the job will entail, you can start to define the job responsibilities.
Define the Job Responsibilities
Next, you will need to define the job responsibilities. These will vary depending on the size and needs of your organization, but some common tasks include managing schedules, handling correspondence, coordinating travel plans, preparing reports and presentations, and serving as a liaison between the executive and other members of the organization. It’s important to be as specific as possible when defining the job responsibilities. This will help you find a candidate who is a good fit for the position.
Write the Job Description
A well-written job description will help you attract qualified candidates and ensure that everyone involved knows what is expected of them. When writing a job description, first consider what the job entails. What are the responsibilities? What skills and qualifications are required? Once you have a good understanding of what is needed, you can start drafting the description. Be sure to list both hard skills, such as experience with scheduling software, and soft skills such as excellent communication and organizational abilities.
Post the Job Description
There are various ways to post a job description, such as on your company website, job boards, or social media sites. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the one that will work best for your needs. For example, posting on your company website will help to ensure that only qualified candidates see the job listing, but it may not reach as many people as a job board. Social media sites can provide a wider reach, but you may be unable to control who sees the listing. Regardless of which method you choose, posting the job description is an important step in finding the right candidate for the position
Pre-screening candidates aims to narrow down the pool of applicants so that you can focus your time and energy on the most qualified candidates. There are a few different ways to pre-screen candidates. One way is to conduct a phone screening. This is a brief conversation, usually about 15-20 minutes, where you ask the candidate questions about their qualifications and experience. Another way to pre-screen candidates is to conduct an in-person interview. This is a more in-depth conversation, lasting 30-60 minutes, where you can ask the candidate questions about their qualifications and experience and get a sense of their personality and fit for the position.
Conduct Reference Checks
When it comes to hiring a new executive assistant, reference checks can be incredibly informative. By speaking with past employers, colleagues, and clients, you can better understand a candidate’s work ethic and abilities. However, it’s important to conduct reference checks the right way. First, ensure that you are only speaking with people who know firsthand the candidate’s work. Secondly, avoid asking leading questions that could bias the responses. Finally, take the time to listen to what the references have to say, even if it’s not what you want to hear. By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that your reference checks are productive and informative.
Making the Final Decision
The final decision of who to hire as your executive assistant is important. There are many qualified candidates out there, but not all of them will be a good fit for your organization. When making your decision, it’s important to consider both the qualifications of the EA candidate and whether or not they will be a good fit for your organization. Take the time to interview each candidate and get to know them on a personal level. This will help you to determine if they would be a good fit for your company’s culture and values. Once you have made your decision, be confident in it and trust that you have chosen the right person for the job.
Hiring the right executive assistant can make a world of difference for your business. The right assistant will help keep you organized, on schedule, and productive. They’ll also be a resource for ideas, help with difficult tasks, and moral support. With so much on the line, it’s important to take the time to find an assistant who is the right fit for you and your business. Consider what you need from an assistant, and look for someone who has the skills and personality to fulfill those needs. With the right person by your side, you’ll be able to accomplish anything.
Virtual Assistant Canada can help you find the perfect executive assistant for your business. With our extensive database of pre-screened and qualified candidates, we can help you find the right person for the job. Contact us today for a free consultation.