An executive assistant is a highly valued member of staff in any organisation. However, if you’re planning on extending your team, it’s essential to understand the top executive assistant qualities and skills that they can deliver. A top-notch executive assistant working in a fast-paced environment is more than a basic administrative assistant. Ultimately, they offer a wealth of expertise that can aid the success of an executive and their business. With that in mind, here we discuss the high level skillset that an executive assistant may possess alongside their overall work duties.
What Does an Executive Assistant Do?
So, what duties does an executive assistant perform? Here are some of the key duties that their job incorporates.
- Scheduling meetings
- Supervising staff
- Handling various kinds of communications
- Preparing reports
- Booking travel and accommodation
- Handling phone calls
- Speaking to clients
- Preparing presentations
- Maintaining databases
Check out our EA job description template here.
Top Executive Assistant Skills
What key skills for executive assistants should you look for? Here are the best skills for executive assistants that will enhance your company
Excellent communication skills are a must. Executive assistants need to be able to write and speak clearly to represent the company in a positive manner. Additionally, being able to write with good spelling and grammar is necessary, particularly as they’ll be drafting emails, letters, documents, preparing presentations and taking minutes for meetings. An assistant also has to work alongside other team members and deal with clients, meaning an understanding of what good customer service is will be an asset to the business.
Organisation skills are essential in any type of admin role. Executive assistants need to be able to prioritise tasks as there may be deadlines to meet. Duties, such as booking travel arrangements and organising meetings should be performed in an efficient manner. Speed is important. However, if an assistant can implement processes to effectively ensure all tasks are completed thoroughly it’s a major advantage to any company.
Good Time Management
Being organised often goes hand in hand with good time management skills. When duties need to be performed quickly and efficiently, knowing how to manage the time during a workday, and being able to perform tasks with confidence, are essential if you want your business to excel.
From finding a hotel room when the city’s booked up to tracking down red hot concert tickets; having a network of people to make things happen is an excellent skill to have. Good connections can go a long way and it takes a confident and proficient assistant to have these relationships at their disposal.
Information Technology Skills
Executive assistants should be tech-savvy, especially as they need to be using information technology daily. One of the top technical skills for executive assistants is proficiency in Microsoft Office.
One of the top executive assistant skills to have is multi-tasking. Assistants will often be required to perform more than one duty at once, whether that’s updating databases, handling phone calls or checking emails. However, it’s still important to pay attention to detail.
Willingness to Learn
An EA should go the extra mile to help an executive reach their professional goals and beyond. Having a willingness to learn and keep up with tech developments will make a candidate stand out from the crowd.
Being A Team Player
A highly experienced EA should be excellent at working within a team. They should consider themselves as partners to their executives, working with them to achieve their goals, objectives and results. The best executive assistant for your company will be able to put forward great ideas in a clear and concise way to produce outstanding achievements.
Works Well Under Pressure
Executives have demanding, high-pressured jobs and there may be times when their assistants will need to work well under pressure, especially when there are deadlines to be met. Keeping calm even when things don’t go to plan is a good skill to have. If an assistant can find solutions to problems in the heat of the moment, even better.
Being able to interact with people from all levels of an organisation in a polite and professional manner is imperative. An executive assistant is often the first person from the business that a client comes into contact with. Therefore, they’re representing the business. Having a warm and friendly demeanour instantly provides a good impression so clients or customers are likely to keep coming back. Naturally, it goes without saying that confidentiality is a must-have trait for any EA to possess too.
Are You Searching for Your Next Executive Assistant? Oriel Partners Can Help!
Trying to search for the perfect executive assistant can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a candidate with exceptional executive assistant skills, Oriel Partners can assist you. We’re a boutique recruitment agency in London who can help you to find a highly experienced professional to strengthen your business. Get in touch today to find out more about our services.