You’re scrolling through your social media feed. Among the stories of labor shortages and hiring challenges, you see articles about the trend towards relying on executive assistants to fill key business functions. They’re changing how we do business, they’re helping companies adapt to difficult times, they’re the new future…
…and most of them seem to be working at Fortune 500 companies for CEOs and senior execs.
You run a small business. While you’d love to get access to that caliber of talent, it seems unlikely to happen. Hiring right now may already feel impossible, and getting a Fortune-500 trained executive assistant is a little out of your ballpark. It seems like too much to ask.
Except it really isn’t.
You actually do have access to those kinds of talent levels, someone who will make your life easier, and they are absolutely within your budget. All you have to do is rethink how you hire an executive assistant.
What You Want In An Executive Assistant
Before we dive too deep into how top-shelf talent is within your reach, we need to show you why you shouldn’t settle for anything less than the best. An executive assistant is one of those make-or-break roles that can make your life easier if you get it right.
They must be trustworthy.
Trust is probably the most important quality when you hire an executive assistant. It’s a trust that extends across every reach of the work you’ll do together. You’ll need to trust them in:
- Honest and ethical. Your executive assistant will be in your email and even financial records. You need to have complete trust that they will be discrete, honest, and confidential.
- Brand reflection. Executive assistants work with clients as well as others on the team. What they say and do must accurately and positively reflect the brand and culture.
- Work quality. If you have to keep redoing or checking on the work your executive assistant is doing, they aren’t helping you out at all. Your executive assistant should make you more productive—at least 8% more—not less.
This is about finding someone who is not only competent and experienced, but cares about you and the work enough for you to leave it to them to do it as well or better than you could do it. Anything less is not an assist at all.
They must anticipate what you need.
When you hire an executive assistant, it’s tough to judge how well they’ll anticipate what work needs to be done. To understand how well a potential hire might anticipate what’s needed, look at:
- Experience. Learning to anticipate is a skill best acquired through experience and exposure to many different types of industries and working styles.
- References. Talk to their references. Ask them how well they were able to anticipate and act on what was needed, or if they needed to be told what to do every time.
- Interview. During the hiring interview, ask open-ended questions that give them a chance to theoretically respond to scenarios that allow you to see how well they grasp the nuances and needs of a situation. Do they offer suggestions that would work?
It’s more than just anticipating what you want, which can be learned by observation. It’s about anticipating what you need.
That’s about having an understanding of your business, where it’s going, where you want it to go, and what needs to happen to get it there. The best executive assistant might be able to suggest something you hadn’t thought of because you were distracted by what you wanted and weren’t able to see what you needed.
They must have the skills.
This is probably the most obvious of all things to look for. Potential hires list their skills on their applications. It comes up in interviews.
But what skills should a great executive assistant actually have?
Executive assistants aren’t just answering phones or making copies. They have top-level responsibilities that require diversified skills. An executive assistant should have at least a handful of the following skills:
- Administration at a C-level, helping you run your business efficiently.
- Personal support for executives, handling everything from travel arrangements to buying gifts or arranging events.
- Marketing and social media implementation, assisting in building your brand.
- Project and team management, making sure projects run smoothly from start to finish.
- Customer service, working directly with clients to make sure they are satisfied.
- Book keeping abilities, handling or assisting with payroll, accounts payable and receivable, or data entry, all with a discrete penchant for detail.
- Multilingual services, helping you expand your business in other countries or to work with clients in other countries.
That’s not a minor list of skill sets. You might not think you need someone who has these skills.
“I have an accountant to handle my finances,” you might think. “I don’t need someone with that expertise.”
But when your executive assistant has that skill set, they can better spot anomalies, suggest improvements in projects, and better anticipate what’s necessary in the future. When you ask them to contact your accountant with a question, they can do it with actual understanding during the conversation.
The more skills and experience your executive assistant has, the better they can respond to what you haven’t even thought about in the future. This is where we get to that Fortune-500 part, because that’s the caliber of talent we’re talking about.
Why Hiring An Executive Assistant Is Within Your Grasp
We know that this exhaustive list of must-haves for an executive assistant is…exhausting.
If what we’ve gone over has made you a bit anxious about hiring, no worries. You only have to do one simple thing: rethink how you hire.
Imagine if you could walk into a building and ask for an employee who fulfills everything we’ve described here, with a deep bench of talent, walking out a little bit later with just such a person added to your team. Totally different way of hiring, right? Skip the hassle and get right to a great end result.
In a virtual way, you can do that.
As a remote staffing company specializing in top-flight executive assistants we receive thousands of applications each month from highly experienced executive assistants who want to work remotely, and want the ability to choose the businesses they support.
Instead of making you become the hiring expert, we took that on ourselves and opened the door to you, making it easy for you to find a remote executive assistant across a wide talent pool from around the country. And best of all, you don’t have to employ them directly. With our subscription staffing model you get all the typical advantages of a long-term staff member with the ease and simplicity of a monthly subscription.
We’ve gotten 30K+ applications and carefully sifted through them keeping in mind everything we’ve said here, and more. We focused on finding people who are the best of the best, making sure to check off every box that counts.
Experience at the Fortune-500 C-suite level, across a broad range of industries? Check.
Plugged into an incredible culture that empowers them to bring their best to you? Check.
Compliance with all employment laws at both a state and federal level? Check.
No-fuss hiring, with fast results? Check.
Subscription staffing options to fit any budget? Check.
Reliability, longevity, and assurance of a good work and personality match with your new executive assistant? Check.
An executive assistant is the role to get right when it comes to hiring.
Being a small business owner doesn’t mean you should be excluded from accessing the best talent. Contact us today and find out how you can get a great executive assistant that fits your budget and what you need, without all of the hiring hassle.