The typical image ingrained in our minds of a C-suite or executive assistant is that of Hollywood’s portrayal: a young woman stationed outside the executive’s office. She is answering call after call and is visibly stressed and busy making sure her boss is fed, caffeinated, and ready for whatever meetings and appointments they might have for that day.
What’s sad about this glamorized depiction is that it doesn’t cover what effective C-suite assistants actually do: they make the professional lives of senior management manageable and efficient. Executives can easily navigate tasks and priorities for maximum results through their expertise.
C-suite assistants, primarily known in layman terms as executive assistants, provide high-level support to executives by ironing out all potential bottlenecks and conflicts. They also go above and beyond scheduling—a practical C-suite assistant is more than capable of optimizing workflows to ensure boosted efficiency and all-over effectiveness of the executive they support.
That already sounds like a lot, right? But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
We deep dive into the many hats C-suite assistants wear. Also, where do you find them? How do you hire them? Read on to find out.
Going Above and Beyond: The High-Level Support
Although still prevalent, the glamorized portrayal of a C-suite assistant is no longer the norm.
Sure, they are still busy (and stressed), but their day-to-day tasks no longer revolve around jotting down meeting notes, scheduling conferences and appointments, and answering calls, emails, and messages for their boss.
An effective assistant provides high-level support—they are the powerhouse business partner who’s highly attuned to the executive’s current and future needs. And because they can anticipate whatever would be needed, C-suite assistants can prepare for it.
What do these preparations entail? Sometimes they analyze documents and organize reports to keep the senior management staff updated.
If the executive is too swamped and cannot attend an important meeting or two, executive assistants get to join and participate in discussions on their behalf. Being involved is the operative word: effective C-suite assistants do not just attend for the notes. They would most likely be asked to weigh and share their thoughts and opinions brought up during the meeting.
If the senior management staff employs clerical or administrative staff, the C-suite assistant most likely supervises them. The latter know the boss well, and it is their job to make sure everyone provides the support needed, so the executive is updated, prepared, and efficient.
The Qualities of an Ideal C-Suite Assistant
Because they ensure that the executive they are assisting is constantly prepared, an ideal executive assistant is also. However, being prepared is, in reality, the essential least. They must be proactive rather than reactive, and they must always be two steps ahead.
You would not believe the amount of work an executive has on their plate: mountains of documents to review, discuss, reject, strategize, and approve. But, because one misjudged move might negatively impact the firm, every decision must be well-informed.
Given the enormity of the task, executive assistants should also serve as project managers. Each endeavor, or in this case, “project,” requires meticulous planning and religious oversight. Therefore, the right C-suite assistant is critical to their boss’s success.
Executive assistants assess the current flow and implement strategies to improve it. In addition to being resourceful, technology increases productivity; thus, an ideal assistant should also be a techie.
Finally, having an assistant with excellent written and spoken communication abilities is a huge benefit.
The executive assistant becomes an extension of the senior staff because they are expected to represent the executive when they are unable to attend activities and meetings. Respect and positive perceptions of the person they represent are earned by a polite and articulate assistant.
Finding and Hiring the Dream C-Suite Assistant
Why should you start your search for an executive assistant by looking for recruiters? Instead, why not hire an assistant in-house? Won’t your company’s human resources staff know the senior management staff better? Won’t it be faster to do the hiring sans a third party?
The greatest well-kept recruiting secret is that top talent is constantly in demand. As a result, seeking the A-Player on your own may lead you to not finding one at all, as they are already employed and will not be actively looking for work.
However, by paying the necessary recruitment costs, you may find out who the top applicants are with the help of superb executive assistant recruiters. Hiring an expert recruiter will allow you to do the following:
- Access their ready network of qualified candidates
Unlike in-house openings that function on-demand, recruiters for executive assistants work all year. They also conduct a thorough headhunting process to ensure that the talents they scout are the best. As the hiring company, you can rest assured that whoever is forwarded to you by these expert recruiters is an ace C-suite assistant.
- Gain more time and money
Recruiters handle all of the details for you. Then all you have to do is concentrate your efforts on running your company, maximizing profits, and waiting a short time for a candidate you can recruit right away.
- Fast track the hiring process
A recruiter’s specialization is reducing the time spent on the hiring process. This promise is a plus for you because it allows you to bring on a key team player as soon as humanely possible.
To Wrap It Up
Working with an excellent C-suite assistant is beneficial to any organization since it can improve efficiency, productivity, and a leader’s management style.
In an era when the job market is overburdened with openings, using the help of seasoned recruiters to fill your vacancies is a wise decision. They not only understand the requirements, but they also handle the details for you. In addition, recruiters provide valuable services to access the top C-suite assistant. The best part is that you get all of these without investing a lot of time or money in the hiring process.