On the hunt for a great executive assistant? Join the club. Recent data from labor-market analyst Burning Glass shows that there were more than 75,000 postings for executive assistant positions (EAs) in the past year alone, with an average of 27 days to fill each opening. Given the important role executive assistants play as the right hand to your business leaders, it's important to start looking for your ideal candidate as soon as possible, especially in today's tight labor market.
But how does one go about finding the right executive assistant? Apply the following checklist to your recruitment strategy, and you'll be on your way to securing a quality EA in record time:
Ready to jump in and learn more about these steps? Read on.
there were 75,000 open executive assistant positions in the past year.
speed up your hiring process
An executive assistant helps your company's top executives do their jobs even better, and nowadays these administrative pros are being called upon to assist not just a single VP or CEO, but a whole executive team. So having this role empty for an extended period of time can be detrimental not only to the executives they support but your company's top-level operations as a whole.
To cut down on that critical time-to-fill metric, take a look at this diagram to see where you can streamline your hiring process in order to hire your next EA in a fast and efficient way.
develop a competitive compensation package
EAs aren't just schedulers and office organizers, they're key problem solvers and maintain a wealth of knowledge about your business and the executive team's needs. And now that the role is expanding even further to include conferencing, invoicing, and project management, your compensation package needs to reflect those upticks in responsibility.
To make sure your compensation is within a competitive range for the position, head on over to Randstad's 2019 Salary Guide, which offers salary and hiring insights for a range of today's most in-demand positions. To get you started, here are the average hourly rates for executive assistants, broken down by level of experience:
These numbers are just a jumping-off point, however, since a competitive hourly rate can vary greatly based on your locale. Use our salary calculator to get the most up-to-date data on compensation for your specific market.
make sure compensation reflects the importance of EAs — key problem solvers who know your business inside and out.
identify the top skills for executive assistants
Before crafting your job listing, you need to decide on the skills that are important for your incoming executive assistant to have. Since the responsibilities this person will take on depend on your specific company, sit down with the entire team that the role will support — as well as other EAs, who can speak to the core competencies the ideal candidate should have — to get an idea of the skills needed for success.
Once you've decided on a list of skills, categorize them into those that are necessary ("must-haves") and those that would be bonuses ("nice-to-haves"). Not only will this help when it comes time to draft the job description for the role, but it will also make it easier to quickly determine which candidates fit the bill.
For example, your office may use G Suite, so knowledge of calendar management, document sharing and other tasks within that platform would be considered "must-have," whereas project-management skills might be a "nice-to-have" skill, or something that you can upskill the candidate on once they're on board.
Here's a short list of the skills most requested of executive assistants, based on more than 75,000 job postings:
write an eye-catching job description
A job description needs to immediately excite a candidate — not only to take on the role's challenges, but to become a part of your business and its vision. Keep these three tips in mind to drive the effectiveness of your next posting.
1. don't write like a robot
Leave the stiff, formal language and the long list of duties behind. Instead, write a job description that engages a candidate right from the first sentence. Talk about the company as a whole and what makes it unique, plus what the role entails on a day-to-day basis. Be sure to use clear, concise language that shows how much the role contributes to you business's success. So instead of saying:
File and retrieve corporate records, documents and reports.
Rewrite that as:
Maintain library of high-level documents, and find ways to strengthen its organization to make this company information easily accessible to executives.
Remember that you're looking to hire another human, not an administrative cyborg, so it's important to talk to them in a conversational way.
2. show how the job is meaningful
We spend so much time at work these days that it's become increasingly vital for job seekers to know that their job is meaningful. So to attract the candidates who are driven to contribute to a larger purpose, highlight how your executive assistant role fits into the larger company profile and what their direct impact will be. Whether they're serving in a key project-management function or handling logistics for the entire C-suite, speak to the ways they can directly impact the success of those employees and, in turn, your business as a whole.
In addition, candidates for this role will most likely want to know what opportunities for professional development or advancement will be available. So use the job description to talk about your company's focus on continuous learning, on-the-job training and how your workers have transformed their careers thanks to internal hiring initiatives. Make sure candidates know they'll have more than a job with you — they'll have a career.
speak to the ways EAs directly contribute to the success of your executive team and the business as a whole.
3. make it easy to skim
In today's busy, mobile-friendly world, a job description shouldn't read like a novel. Instead, it needs to give readers a quick, engaging and skimmable overview of the open role and company. As you write your description, be sure to focus on style and layout choices that will increase readability, including:
None of this means your job description should leave out any key information. Rather, it's about packaging the info in a way that's simple for a candidate to digest.
Want to read more writing tips before diving in? Our guide to writing highly effective job descriptions is at the ready to provide even more insights.
brush up on the latest industry trends
Becoming intimately familiar with the trends impacting your industry as well as the office and administration arena will ensure that your recruitment game stays strong in today's competitive market. After all, you're certainly going to be doing more hiring after landing your next great executive assistant.
These are a few of the trends to keep top of mind today:
- Demand for office and administration professionals is only going to grow moving forward, with some roles poised to increase nine percent by 2026.
- Driving a lot of that demand is the medical field, which is expected to see 22 percent growth in new employment by 2026 as the healthcare industry continues to grow.
- As emerging technologies continue to change they way we work, EAs will need to stay on top of these new technical demands, making it even more important for employers to offer training and development initiatives after adopting new tools.
Want to learn even more? Check out our comprehensive 2019 guide to salary and hiring trends in office and administration.
with 22 percent growth expected by 2026, the medical field continues to drive big demand for EAs.
choose your channels to find candidates
There are many avenues available to you when looking for qualified candidates — job boards, internal and external referrals, career fairs and more. But if you've exhausted those options and are still coming up short in your search for an executive assistant, it can be helpful to seek out the help of a professional staffing firm.
And as EA roles continue to remain in demand, partnering with a staffing firm means gaining access to a pool of prescreened, vetted candidates who have the experience needed to contribute value from day one — someone who can expertly handle the administrative aspects of the role and evolve with its changing demands.
So to make your recruitment process more efficient and get one step closer to hiring your next executive assistant, reach out to Randstad's staffing experts to discuss your hiring needs. Or, if you'd like to take a look at the top-notch candidates we have ready to hear from you, head on over to our Find Employees portal today.