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Role of an Executive Assistant

Job Descriptions November 19, 2012

As the title suggest, an executive assistant provide support to executives of firms, such assistance are mostly administrative and high level in nature. As in the case of personal assistant or secretary, the work that executive assistants do is clerical. However, an executive assistant’s work can be geared at leading companies to profits. Therefore, the job can only be done by a person with business acumen.

An executive assistant plays many roles in a company. In this article, I’ll discuss some of the most important ones.

Administrative Assistant’s Role

The executive assistant’s role in a company is not dissimilar from that of an administrative assistant or secretary. The tasks are primarily clerical such as setting daily calendar for the executive, analyze incoming reports, welcome visitors, sending out memos, setting agendas for  business meetings, and making phone calls.

Research Role

Executives depend on statistical reports to help them make business decisions. Such reports are required to be completed by executive assistants after conducting market research that helps in report preparation. The direction of the company can be adversely impacted, if the reports are not created properly. Hence, a keen understanding of concepts relevant to business is a mandatory requirement for executive assistants. The minimum qualification for an executive assistant is a bachelor degree in business or in the field that the executive assistant is employed. For instance, an executive assistant to the CEO of a hotel might have a bachelor in hotel management, or even an MBA.

Gatekeeper Role

Ordinarily, company executives are influential and famous people whose time and attention are craved by many. The executive assistant has to act as a gatekeeper to ensure that the executive’s time is not wasted by screening anyone who wishes to meet the executive. To that end, the executive assistant has control over the reports and phone calls that go through to their boss; they control the scheduling of meetings as well. In order to do justice in the role of a gatekeeper, the executive assistant must have a clear understanding of the company and the executive’s objectives and values.

Supervision and Training Role

The executive assistant is at the top compared to other members who handles administrative duties. The executive assistants are required to collaborate with administrative assistants at lower levels to ensure the achievement of specific tasks. In some firms, other administrative assistants report to the executive assistant who has the responsibility to oversee administrative assistant’s work and coordination their tasks.  Often, executive assistants are assigned responsibilities to train new incoming administrative assistants because they understand the executive’s needs and the administrative staff operation entirely.

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