4 min read

Why Hire an Executive Assistant?

Featured Image

Hiring an Executive Assistant can have a multitude of benefits for you and your wider business. Executive Assistants hold a unique and privileged position within any organisation, whereby the nature of their role means that they have detailed knowledge of, and productive working relationships within, all areas of the business. As such, Executive Assistants are some of the most versatile and adaptable people within any company. The most indispensable EAs not only act as communication hubs across all levels of an organisation, but are those that fully understand the strategic objectives of their business, and proactively identify business needs and opportunities to ensure that those objectives are achieved.

Typically, the role is not viewed as a revenue-generating position and, whilst it can be difficult or challenging to quantify the value that an Executive Assistant adds to the bottom line, one way to view it is as a percentage of the time, and therefore the salary, of the executive or executive team that they support. Senior EAs can give executives up to 80% of their time back to focus on other imperatives to enhance the business – how much do those initiatives add to the bottom line, too?

In that sense, you could view the EA role not as a gatekeeper of people, but of time. Hiring an Executive Assistant can give you back your time and maximise your return on investment to the business. When you consider that executives spend, on average, 58% of their time on emails, a simple email triage system implemented by even the most junior of EAs can reduce the time spent on emails to circa 12%. Instantly, an executive has 46% of their time back, to add value elsewhere.

Facilitating business growth is, of course, just one element of the role, when you add in the cost savings that a commercially-astute EA can bring in terms of travel, events and leveraging technology to enhance and streamline processes and procedures, the financial benefit for the business grows exponentially.

"If you don't have an assistant, you are an assistant."

Jeff Hoffman, Founder of Priceline.com

Undoubtedly, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 catapulted the Executive Assistant function from a supporting role to a strategic one – a true business partner. More and more, executives are relying on their EAs for far more than administrative assistance, instead seeking strategic guidance, thought leadership and technical advice, not just for themselves and their leadership teams, but for the business as a whole.

Ever the chameleon, high-calibre Executive Assistants are expected to agilely focus their attention on building and maintaining company cultures, implementing employee recognition and wellbeing initiatives, driving internal communication, managing projects and conducting marketing research, with the same dexterity with which they execute their more traditional administrative functions, such as diary management, minute taking, event planning and logistical arrangements.

The successful strategic assistant’s objective is to make their executive more effective at every opportunity by ensuring that they, themselves, are fully aligned to the company’s strategy, acting as an extension of their executive and helping their business to achieve its goals.

The role of the EA has often been likened to the oil in the cogs of the working machine – making things run more smoothly and alleviating precise time pressure on executives and senior business leaders. The future EA is a leader, in their own right, adding vast quantities to the bottom line and making executive teams more effective, whilst being fully aligned to the business’s strategy and instrumental to organisations achieving their goals.

Far from a "luxury" position, the high-calibre EA is firmly established as imperative to the success of the executive team, and the wider business. It is unsurprising, then, given the role’s potential, that USA Today described the Executive Assistant as Silicon Valley’s “power job”, and reported that it is not uncommon for EAs there to pull in six-figure salaries, plus bonus and equity.

By investing in EAs, businesses gain a fully-fledged member of the executive team, capable of performing under incredible amounts of pressure and adept at ensuring that strategic objectives are achieved.

How to recruit an executive assistant?

If you're interested in hiring an Executive Assistant and would like to find out more or start the search, click here to book a call with a member of our experienced team.

We have also written a sample Executive Assistant job description to assist with hiring an Executive Assistant.