Chief executive officers have several duties to accomplish every day. To fulfill their vital role in the company, CEOs rely on support from their senior partners and executive assistants.
An article published online by Inc. mentioned Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and other CEOs on their level have a secret weapon in operating a successful business–world-class assistants.
What Does An Executive Assistant To A CEO Do?
Executive assistants handle all facets of a leader’s day-to-day life, from scheduling meetings and business trips to planning lunch breaks and wake-up times, according to a report. An executive assistant takes many important tasks off an executive’s plate, freeing them up to put their full energy toward their business goals.
Executive assistants to CEOs were once underappreciated but now they are known as the gatekeepers charged with keeping the Big Woman or Man on task.
Job Description Of An EA
An article published online by Forbes indicated the role of an executive assistant is important to the success of the executive and, as a result, the company.
Mainly, an executive assistant helps the CEO or an executive for whom they work with tasks such as planning work and personal appointments; systematizing the executive’s schedule; making travel arrangements; reviewing, prioritizing, and responding to emails; answering and returning phone calls; organizing files and documents; maintaining records; overseeing other employees; taking notes at meetings and any other administrative tasks that help the executive perform their job.
Essential Executive Assistant Skills
- Administrative Support
An executive assistant must excel at providing comprehensive administrative support, including data entry, answering phone calls, managing filing systems, and setting up procedures to improve efficiency in a fast-paced environment.
An online report mentioned that administrative tasks are at the core of what great executive assistants do so this key skill is almost always included in job listings for the role of an EA.
- Organizational Skills
Organizational skills are the abilities to manage time effectively, prioritize tasks, set goals, and develop systems for achieving those goals, according to Jobscan.
An executive assistant with strong organizational skills can juggle multiple tasks and process large quantities of information. Moreover, with little to no supervision, they can maintain an orderly workspace, execute file management tasks, and meet deadlines.
- Excellent Communication Skills
According to a blog, executive assistants are required to speak and submit documents with high-level clients, business partners, and executives. For this reason, they should possess exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
An executive assistant who can communicate effectively can accomplish tasks like drafting emails, presenting complex information to diverse audiences, and serving as the primary point of contact for internal and external stakeholders.
- Time Management
EAs juggle multiple assignments and sometimes time-sensitive tasks. In order to achieve success in the workplace, an executive and personal assistant should possess time management skills.
A competent EA has an awareness of which tasks to prioritize and how much time to devote to each. Good time-management skills also help prevent burnout, as reduced stress and smooth operations are benefits of effective time management, as mentioned in a report.
- Calendar Management
Executive assistants are responsible for creating a system and establishing an ideal week framework for both them and their executives. They should have the skills to coherently schedule meetings, and ensure that there are no scheduling conflicts.
CEOs and other executives commonly rely on EAs to manage their day-to-day engagements and travel arrangements which is why calendar management skills are valuable.
- Attention To Detail
Attention to detail is one of the soft skills essential for executive assistants to possess. It is the ability to complete tasks while demonstrating a thorough concern for all the areas involved, no matter how small.
Developing strong attention to detail makes an executive assistant more effective in the workplace, increasing productivity and reducing the likelihood of error, according to Indeed.
Having this soft skill can entitle an EA to other roles and duties like project management, and supervising other personal assistants at the office.
- Interpersonal Skills
Often called people skills, interpersonal skills are the abilities to communicate and build relationships with others. In a work environment, strong interpersonal skills are an asset that can help an individual navigate complexity, change, and day-to-day tasks.
Here are some characteristics and traits considered as interpersonal skills:
- Active listening
- Technical Skills
Executive assistants should possess several other specific skills to perform specific tasks. Coursera posted a blog indicating technical talents are crucial skills that require specific education, online courses, and training to acquire.
Some examples of key skills that make an executive assistant outstanding are mastery of another language, advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office and other programs, basic finance skills like budgeting and bookkeeping, and familiarity with office equipment technology as they belong to the IT Department.
Top executive assistant skills include several other capacities and hard skills like being tech savvy, utilizing office software that helps productivity, developing a filing system, and maintaining confidentiality, especially for sensitive information.
Benefits Of Hiring An Executive Assistant
Executive assistants are important because of their ability to take on often tedious yet valuable administrative and organizational assignments that allow leaders to focus their minds on major decisions, build relationships, and think creatively about solutions to problems.
One of the most important skills for executive assistants is resourcefulness. CEOs often encounter challenges in the course of running the business. To address challenges without sacrificing significant time allotted for other tasks, executives commonly hire executive assistants to perform on their behalf.
Being resourceful suggests that an EA has a positive mentality and has confidence in their abilities to make anything happen. With a resourceful executive assistant, a CEO avoids burnout in confronting challenges because they can rely on a highly skilled EA.
Forbes enumerated several other benefits of hiring an executive assistant:
- Reduce time spent on emails
- EAs screen and handle phone calls
- They can attend meetings in place of the executive
- Properly managed executive’s schedule
- Provide freedom for executives to handle priorities
Can An Executive Assistant Work Remotely?
Generally speaking, executive assistants work closely with CEOs and other executives. However, the recent years have brought drastic changes in the work landscape.
The spread of COVID-19 has forced a majority of office workers to fulfill their duties at home. The productivity observed on the offsite setup has paved the way for more virtual job opportunities.
One vital office role that became available for working remotely is the executive assistant to the CEO. Individuals with skills required to accomplish specific tasks for an executive have been providing their services virtually.
The availability of technology and advanced platforms has helped provide effective communication between a virtual executive assistant and the CEO.
How To Hire A Virtual Assistant To The CEO
Are you looking for a talented and skilled executive assistant? Contact Remote Raven now and they will connect you with qualified candidates. The agency provides workforce solutions by taking care of the hiring process and eventually placing a competent individual to fill in a job opening.
Remote Raven has access to professional virtual executive assistants who can deliver exemplary work to a CEO or any executive. The agency has Filipino Recruitment Specialists who assess and perform background checks on all candidates. With the thorough talent acquisition process, you are assured that you will hire an individual who can self-manage, maintain confidentiality, possess essential executive assistant skills, and be eager to learn new skills.