Executive Assistant

Professional and efficient support for high-level executives and their busy schedules

What is an Executive Assistant?

An executive assistant is a trained professional who provides administrative support to high-level executives, CEOs, or other similar positions. They can be considered the right hand to their executive. Executive assistants often carry expertise and experience in business, marketing, and management, allowing them to understand the nitty-gritty of your work. Their duties range from curating inquiries and requests to managing correspondence and other similar logistical support.

They can be trusted to maintain confidentiality and handle matters discreetly. They can also be a tie-up between your department and other departments or executives. They may manage the executive’s schedule, make travel arrangements, prioritize the executive’s emails, and sometimes act as a receptionist or gatekeepers.

Executives can often work management jobs, supervising divisions and junior employees and creating assessment reports. They can be integral in managing the executive team’s time and responsibilities. They are often detail oriented and can work in high-pressure situations.

Carrying high social and interpersonal skills along with problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities is important for this role. They can anticipate the executive’s needs and potential issues and plan to resolve them. They are well-versed in company policy and strategy along with the legal aspects of the business, reserving the foresight to handle such matters on short notice or prevent them from presenting themselves.

Benefits of Having an Executive Assistant

Having an executive assistant can benefit both the executive and the organization. For the executive, an EA can manage and free up their time, allowing them to focus on larger tasks. They can curate irrelevant communications, allowing the executive to focus on what is important. Executives can prioritize strategic duties such as business plan development and implementation, networking, and client relationships. For the organization, they can massively increase company productivity and efficiency. They do this by handling crucial communications and helping with logistical organization.

An Executive Assistant can allow the company to appear more professional through the representation of its executives. Having an EA can help executives and the organization function seamlessly by decreasing the workload for their employers and aiding them in staying focused on the bigger picture, improving company image and general administration. They can help organizations and departments meet their goals by ensuring tasks are handed to relevant parties who can swiftly handle them. The following is a list of benefits of having an executive assistant.

Frees up more time

The primary task of an executive assistant can be managing your time. They do this by gatekeeping what information you receive. Having someone curate what matters make their way to the executives means not having to deal with company issues that can be handled at a lower level or do not require their attention. Shifting through where your attention and effort need to be focused can be time-consuming and often leave you exhausted without getting any work done. Executive assistants can take your calls, schedule your meetings, and manage your time while you can direct attention to what is necessary.

More focus on bigger tasks

One of the main problems that can plague executives' efficiency is the sheer amount of information and inquiries coming their way. Having to deal with multiple matters simultaneously can hurt productivity and divert attention from pending matters which require decisive and quick action. They filter what information makes its way to the executive and leave them to work on critical and strategic tasks while they handle or postpone less pressing matters themselves. EAs with expertise in the work matter can also share the workload with the executives by preparing material, taking calls and researching for upcoming conference meetings, and facilitating decision-making.

More organization

Administrative and logistical duties can take time and effort. Having to deal with such minute aspects of the business while working on the high-end aspects simultaneously can leave both ends lacking. Executive Assistants are trained in the management and can concentrate their skills to create a smooth and free-flowing work environment. The inability to organize a business or company can be detrimental to getting work done on time, meeting deadlines, and making decisions. An organized office can also prove attractive to investors and shareholders. Investing in having an organized work environment can bear fruit for the company in unforeseen ways.

Enhances the customer experience

Executive assistants can help enhance customer experience with various factors. They can serve as a liaison between customers and company departments, ensuring customer demands and concerns are fulfilled. They can work on gathering customer feedback and take their concerns and complaints to the top echelons of company management, bypassing the lines of command. This can result in problems being solved before they become major and systemic. Additionally, executive assistants can also assist in organizing events, sending follow-up emails, or ensuring that customer complaints are handled professionally and on time. This can help build trust and brand loyalty, ultimately benefiting businesses.

Better communication with all employees/external parties

One of the key skills executive assistants come equipped with is communication and social skills. Communication skills are the key to good information sharing in an organization. They help better communications with employees and external parties by promptly addressing their concerns and arranging for further fruitful and relevant discussions. They work to bridge the gaps between employees or external parties with executives. They can take up concerns on the one hand, explain their needs, and prepare accordingly for the future with their executives. They can solve the problem of executives needing help by setting up and working communication lines and even solving minor concerns without back and forth.

Duties of an Executive Assistant

Executive assistants are experts in their fields and can handle multiple duties simultaneously. Executives are well trained and educated, capable of working ranging from menial correspondence to complex tasks such as policy review and business plan analysis. While their duties can vary depending on their specific role and the organization they work for, some common roles they fulfill, among others, are management of executive schedules and calendars, screening of calls, emails, and visitors, organizing and maintaining executive files and documents, prepare materials for meetings and events and act as liaisons between executives and other departments.

Their primary function is to free up time by filtering requests and contacts made and creating efficiency for their executives while maintaining a certain standard in company administration. All duties they fulfill are mostly with the primary function of reaching this goal. Below is a detailed dive into the duties executive assistants are expected to fulfill.

  • Manage executive’s schedule and calendar
  • Screen calls, emails, and visitors
  • Organize and maintain executive files and documents
  • Prepare materials for meetings and events
  • Act as liaison between the executive and other departments

Steps to Hiring an Executive Assistant

  1. Build a Job Description
  2. Matching with a Candidate
  3. Scheduling an Interview
  4. Hiring a Candidate

Cost of an Executive Assistant

An executive assistant can cost anywhere between $35 to $60 per hour based on their experience, expertise, workload, and type of organization.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most important function of an Executive Assistant?

The most important job an executive assistant does is to help executives get their work done. Their primary purpose is to ensure the executive’s time is not wasted on menial matters and that their work division is well organized. They will plan your calendar by what is of high priority for the executives and allow for high coherence at work. They usually declutter work by delegating or working on aspects that do not require the executive’s attention. They will allow executives to appear professional in intercompany and client communication by preparing meeting materials.

Why does a CEO need an Executive Assistant?

A CEO needs an executive assistant to provide a wide range of support to them, allowing them to focus on high-level tasks and decision-making. Executive assistants are vital in handling scheduling and calendar management, travel arrangements, communications with employers and executives, delegating duties, and various day-to-day administrative tasks. They can also filter out unnecessary interruptions and ensure that important matters are brought to the CEO’s attention. They can further help manage the CEO’s time and workload, ensuring they can focus on the most critical tasks. They can help the CEO’s image seem appealing to partners, investors, and board members.

What does an Executive Assistant do all day?

An executive assistant typically handles many daily administrative tasks. Their day starts before yours. Their work is to plan your time to ensure unimportant details and issues do not bog you down. Executive Assistants will take your call and respond to your email. They will often plan your travel and accommodation for you. They will also screen your calls, meetings, and requests to ensure effectiveness. Additionally, EAs will aid your work by categorically organizing your information and matter files, allowing you access whenever needed. They will also prepare documents for you for meetings and reports and to uphold legal compliance.

How does an Executive Assistant differ from other admin roles?

The major difference between an administrative officer and an executive assistant lies in their complexity. Administrators often lack the extensive educational backgrounds expected of executive assistants. Many executive assistants will graduate in business, law, or finance. While admins and executive assistants need to be well-versed in communication and organizational skills, they must hone these skills to a more advanced level to perform in high-stakes situations. Executive assistants also have more work experience and expertise while charging higher compensation for their services. They are often responsible for tasks such as managing complex projects and handling sensitive information from multiple sources.