Every company’s approach to hiring an executive assistant is different. An assistant must possess not simply a set of traditional professional skills but also the correct personality and work style for the executive with whom they are matched. If you know about the skills beforehand, you might find it easier to look for worthy candidates. Read further to learn about must-have skills in an executive assistant.
1. Time Management Skills
One of the most critical executive assistant skills is time management. The duties of assistants are usually time-sensitive. Staying focused and finishing work on time is essential for job success. Not to add, executive assistants are inundated with work and can quickly go behind if they do not stay on top of their responsibilities.
Good time management abilities ensure that activities run smoothly and that stress levels are kept to a minimum. Assistants must know which tasks to prioritize and how much time to devote to each one. When work takes longer than anticipated, effective assistants know when to seek assistance or transfer the assignment to a colleague.
In addition, capable assistants understand how to create effective procedures and establish boundaries. Executive assistants may find themselves working late or overworking if they do not cycle among assignments throughout the workday. To minimize burnout, the intelligent assistant remains focused throughout work hours and disconnects at the end of the day, only responding to emergencies after hours.
2. Communication Skills
An executive assistant must have excellent communication abilities. An administrative assistant frequently acts as a spokesperson for their boss. On behalf of their executive, they create and send emails, take and make phone calls, and even reply to internal inquiries and comments.
An excellent individual to bounce ideas off of or obtain a second view on a project is an executive assistant. A good communicator can convey their point of view, ask questions, and concisely summarise for you.
3. Event Organizing
Every EA will have to prepare an event at some point. Event planning is a crucial executive assistant talent, whether it’s for a small board meeting or a considerable business retreat. Event planning can be one of the more pleasurable jobs of an EA, from managing caterers to organizing entertainment.
Many businesses may not have the financial means to engage a full-time event planner. As a result, an experienced Executive Assistant might come in handy. When it comes to event planning, the devil is always in the details, and Executive Assistants live in the details!
4. Networking Skills
Executive assistants may also be expected to network effectively. An administrative assistant is frequently the team member who contacts existing clients to generate new leads. An executive assistant can also use their network to uncover investment opportunities, new product markets, and operational procedures.
An executive assistant rarely has the freedom to go at their own pace and focus on one mission at a time. Multitaskers are required of skilled assistants, who must pivot at a moment’s notice when an urgent requirement arises. When the crisis is over, they must return to their prior duties. This transition frequently occurs during the day. Some issues occur, and colleagues have queries. Phones ring and plans shift. Interruptions must be accepted and appropriately prioritized by savvy executive assistants.
It is always easier to hire a skillful executive assistant with the assistance of a recruiting agency. Visit C-Suite Assistants to find an exceptional administrative assistant for your needs.
6. Technical Knowledge
Some executives invest in the most up-to-date technology, while others rely on palm pilots from the 1990s. Some leaders hold virtual reality meetings, while others peck away at their keyboards. In any case, assistants must keep up with technology. If the bosses are behind the times in technology, it is critical for an assistant to be tech knowledgeable. His secretary will be the one on the phone with tech support when the boss has to obtain a password for an account tied to a phone number he hasn’t had in three years.
Personal assistants should have a basic understanding of Google Suite or Microsoft Office Suite. Assistants should type at least 70 words per minute, be quick to learn new software, and have experience with email and online research. It’s also a good idea to become acquainted with the boss’s phone and laptop operating system, as the assistant may be required to troubleshoot at some point.
Executive assistants work with sensitive information and circumstances. Thus discretion is essential. Assistants must retain discretion and tact when dealing with clients. They should not intentionally or unintentionally disclose information to other departments. Gossip will not be tolerated. Conversations in meetings should not spill over into the break room. Assistants should also be cautious about leaving confidential documents lying around or leaving their computer screens open without closing them.
Personal assistants are often privy to information concerning the boss’s personal life. The assistant may have a deeper relationship with the boss’s family than other employees, and they must recognize this as a privilege. Assistants should be aware of and respect their executive’s personal and professional limits.
Executive assistants’ tasks are rarely monotonous. The responsibilities go far beyond answering phones and filing documents. In truth, assistants tend to a wide range of demands and situations, many of which are outside the realm of standard job definitions.
Although the finest personal assistants are jacks-of-all-trades, there are a core set of talents that help people succeed in the position. If you have the qualities listed in this article, you might choose a career as an executive assistant. If not, don’t worry; you can learn and practice the skills you’ll need to become your company’s secret weapon.