An executive assistant is defined as an administrative professional who supports the executive or another high-level administrator of an organization. A lot of people assume that executive assistants do little more than take dictation and make coffee all day at the office. However, this is far from true. It’s because most executive assistants serve as the right hand of executives in a company. They perform any and all tasks that are needed to keep the executive up-to-speed and able to do his job as smoothly as possible.
Today, with the fast advancement of technology, many Intelligent Personal Assistants or IPAs have been introduced. These are able to schedule meetings, organize emails, and a lot more. However, in spite of all the convenience that these devices and tools can bring, having a capable and reliable executive assistant still remains invaluable to senior executives who need them for support. This is why executive assistant hiring is still an important factor to consider when building a company or starting a business.
If you are thinking about starting a business and looking for reasons to hire an executive assistant, we’re here to provide you with more ideas. In this post, we are giving you the top reasons a great executive assistant is important to your business.
What Makes a Great Executive Assistant?
Before we go into the list of the reasons a great executive assistant is critical to a business, let us learn about what makes an executive assistant great. Below are some of the must-have qualities for a great executive assistant:
Exceptional Communication Skills
The ability to speak and write in a sharp, concise, and positive manner that can create a good image of the company and the executive is probably the greatest quality that an executive assistant should have. This is because one of the major parts of his or her job is to draft letters, write memos, and note the minutes of meetings. Therefore, they need to have a good grasp of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
In addition to that, they should also be able to furnace relationships with other executives and their support team while conducting business. They also need good communication skills when dealing with clients and customers. They need to have the ability to actively listen to concerns, ask questions, and properly share those concerns.
Another must-have quality of an executive assistant is professionalism. It’s because part of the job is interacting with all levels of an organization regularly. From support staff to the CEO to the cleaning crew, a great executive assistant needs to treat everyone in the business with respect. Executive assistants should not participate in organizational politics or gossip at work. Keep in mind that confidentiality is a non-negotiable trait that should be on top of the must-haves for the role.
Excellent Organizational Skills
An executive assistant is also responsible for organizing company operations and tasks that support company leaders. Speed is essential, but being able to multitask in an organized manner is more important. Executive assistants need to be responsive. They need to prioritize and complete tasks effectively. Some examples of these are tracking meetings, scheduling conferences, booking travel, and preparing reports or documents.
Brilliant Collaborative Skills
A great executive assistant is also an excellent team player. They need to see themselves as partners of the executives. This means that their boss’ accomplishments should also be considered their own. Meaning they are expected to work with them diligently to meet deadlines, attain objectives, and create results. A great executive assistant should be able to bring forward well-thought-out ideas that can make a big impact.
Will to Learn
Lastly, a great executive assistant should be willing to go the extra mile. They need to be among the tech-savvy people in your business. In addition to that, executive assistants should also be familiar with the mission statement of the company and work to promote it. A great executive assistant needs to be resourceful, updated with current events, and knowledgeable about industry trends.
Why Do You Need a Great Executive Assistant?
After learning about the qualities that a great executive assistant must-have, it’s time to answer why they are important in a business. While some businessmen use current software, tools, or devices to help with administrative tasks, nothing compares to the benefits that you can get from a skilled executive assistant. Here are the top reasons a great executive assistant is critical to your business:
A great executive assistant will be able to complement your weaknesses
Many businessmen out there prefer not to dwell on their weaknesses. However, being aware of the areas that may affect productivity and profitability can be an asset when hiring an executive assistant. For example, if you think you are not very strong when it comes to handling communications and emails or organizing documents, then hiring an executive assistant that is excellent in those areas can be a big help. By giving your assistant the information needed to handle those things, you will be able to have more time to address other things regarding your business.
Having an executive assistant can give you the prestige factor
If you answer your own phone calls and schedule your own appointments, you could be missing opportunities that were withheld due to the fact that a client was not willing to take you seriously. Referring clients to an executive assistant to schedule meetings and appointments can show your clients that you value their information and time enough to ensure that they are not forgotten amid the many other tasks that you need to accomplish about your business.
One of the unexpected benefits that you can get from a great executive assistant is that people will start to respect your time. If a client is willing to work through your assistant, it means that they feel their matter is important. Keep in mind that your executive assistant represents you. This means that the way they conduct themselves is a direct reflection of the executive and the business brand. Therefore, having a professional, friendly, and smart executive assistant will enhance the everyday function of your business and as well as add value to the image of your business.
A great executive assistant can help expand productivity
When you have a great executive assistant, you will be able to let go of the need to control everything, giving you time to do more important tasks. It is like finding an extension of yourself. While your assistant handles details of smaller but important tasks, you can focus on the bigger projects that have a huge impact on your business.
But keep in mind that you need to trust your executive assistant completely, and of course, see to it that the one you will hire has integrity. It’s because the role of an executive assistant requires access to your personal information, and he or she can also conduct business on your behalf. Therefore, if there is no mutual respect, it will not work. When you find a great executive assistant that you can trust, things will run smoothly in your business.
The organization will improve when you hire a skilled executive assistant
When an executive assistant is skillful, it means he or she can take on different roles at any given moment. A good executive assistant can handle emails, tasks, time management, reservations, and scheduling, among other things. When your executive assistant does the job properly, you will feel positive effects on your work. A great executive assistant can be the backbone of your business. They know everything, not just administrative work, but as well as the executive needs. When he or she does the job well, you will feel that he or she is an important member of your executive management team.
These are some of the reasons a great executive assistant is critical to a business. By having a great executive assistant, you no longer have to think about your schedules and meetings too much, and you can be sure that your business will be organized, enabling you to focus on bigger and more important things to make your business more successful.