A lot of people don’t appreciate the executive assistants, thinking that they have an easy job, and everyone is able to adapt to that position. But, the truth is that this person has a lot of responsibilities and a full daily schedule of activities. Sometimes, they have a lot of tasks to complete during the day, so we can say they are constantly under pressure to enhance their performance, and be as more efficient as their boss requires. The truth is, these employees have complex duties, that require a lot of managing skills. For example, they need to complete the administrative documents, schedule meetings, answering to phone calls, forwarding the emails to those who need to receive them, and being a point of contact between the clients and the executives.
In this article, we will try to cover everything that you need to know about this job position, so you can easily check if you are competitive with it. On the other hand, we hope that the content will also be useful for those who need to hire an executive assistant, so they can recognize the qualities, qualifications, and values the person should have to be suitable for the position. So, let’s start from the beginning:
What are the duties?
In most cases, we can’t define a default set of duties for this position, because it all depends on the company’s requirements. When the candidate shows up for the interview, the HR expert or the manager should tell her/him the basic duties, and how they can vary depending on the needs. But, we can say that this position covers:
-Scheduling important appointments between the managers and employees, clients and responsible employees, on different systematization levels
-Providing administrative support when the co-workers from different departments need it
-Answering the phone, and responding and forwarding the emails
-Prepare and manage the corporative documents and files
-Manage corporate travels that the company covers
-Handling the contacts and communications
-Being point of contact between the clients and executives
-Writing reports, as required from the managers
-Improving the company’s managing systems from different aspects
These are not the only duties, and depending on the education, skills, and ability to adapt, there can be less or more than the listed.
What qualifications and skills should the candidate have?
The basic required skills are working on computers, most of the time the Microsoft Office package, but also the other programs and software needed. These people are also the company’s representatives since they are the initial point of contact. At the same time, they need to:
-Be able to multitask
-To decide which task is a priority
-Manage their time
-Optimize the needed time to complete a task
-Pay attention to every detail
-Be great orators
-Be good at writing and explaining
-Have great organizational abilities
-Maintain professional discretion and not sharing working details with anyone else
How To Find Quality Executive Assistants?
We all know that it’s always a nice idea to give a chance to beginners and inexperienced professionals, but sometimes, the nature of the job doesn’t let us do that. As a boss or manager, you probably have some expectations from the person who will get the job, but at the same time, you must be aware that they are also human beings, and you can’t expect that they will know everything if they are not provided with the needed details on time. You can also click here and see the whole story from the other side, from the perspective of an experienced executive assistant, and make your expectations and requirements more realistic.
If you want to find the best fit for your position, it’s always a nice idea to place a call for employment, internal vacancy, or even look for a hiring agency, that will help you find the right professional for your open job.
Special requirements for this position
In general, the employees require a high-school certificate so the candidate can be eligible for the position. Sometimes, a bachelor’s education degree is required, depending on what type of business is the company dedicated to. In most cases, these professionals have natural talents, some training, and a lot of managing skills, and that’s what most of the companies need. Also, many companies prefer experience over formal education.
When it comes to training, they give enough time to the new executive assistant to adapt to the new workplace and their special requirements and learn the basic way of working they want. After that, they are completely ready to embrace the challenge and start working just as it’s expected (or even better).
We shouldn’t forget that we are talking about high-level professionals who can adapt to every possible task, from making coffee to completing detailed documentation for every employee in the company. Sadly, the general opinion is that these people are not much important, and they are underpaid most of the time. But, as time goes by, many company owners learn that they need to appreciate these people even more.
Executive assistants usually work in an office, having a separate desk, computer, and phone line. They have constant communication with other employees and executives. At the same time, they have contacts with all the people who collaborate with the company, plan events, schedule meetings, and complete the specific required tasks.
Is it a nice career change?
We can’t have the exact answer to this question, because it all depends on your aspirations for the future, and how you want to develop professionally. On the other hand, there will always be at least one active open job position for an executive assistant, no matter the type of company. In general, we can say that it opens a lot of “doors” because with every new day, you gain more experience, but also increase the number of your relevant contacts, and people you get to know during the job.
So, if you have a wish, you have a lot of chances to have a great career in this field – it’s on you to decide.