Executive assistants can be the secret weapon for a small company’s success. Acting as gatekeepers and problem solvers, they keep the company organized, boost morale, and increase productivity. Despite these facts, the position is often overlooked when hiring staff.
“Many small business owners may be hesitant to invest in administrative staff because they still view their work as secretarial,” says Tessa Ganassi, Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Office Support & Human Resources divisions. “However, the role of an executive assistant has evolved over the years, and today, they do so much more than just answer phones and file paperwork. The top administrative professionals can handle a broad scope of responsibilities and contribute to complex projects; all while ensuring operations run efficiently and keeping costs to a minimum.”
Executive assistants act as the backbone of an organization. And while the return on investment is not always measurable in concrete units, there is so much to gain from hiring one or two talented assistants. Here are just a few reasons why small companies should consider investing:
1. They offer an extra level of customer service: In lieu of having reception coverage, many small companies have individual employees meet their clients or customers in the lobby. However, having someone at the front desk is not only a great way to establish strong first impressions, but also ensure unexpected issues are addressed and resolved immediately. Having someone dedicated to greeting guests can also help them feel more valued and welcome. “Administrative professionals may remember small details that make a big impression,” says Tessa. “For instance, they might know whether a client prefers coffee or tea, and be prepared to have it ready upon arrival. They make every visitor feel like they are in good hands.”
2. They expand productivity: While it’s true that technology has enabled business leaders to handle certain administrative tasks, executive assistants can help your day-to-day run more efficiently. By having someone you can trust to manage your phone line, schedule your meetings, and handle your travel arrangements, you can focus on bigger tasks that impact the business.
3. They take on special projects + initiatives: Finding an individual to take on special projects or initiatives that don’t fall under a specific department is a common challenge for small companies. This is where a talented EA can step in. “Today, admins can be considered a jack of all trades,” Tessa says. “For example, vendor negotiation is just one thing they can handle. Rather than running to a corner store to buy office supplies, they develop relationships with vendors and negotiate contracts. This is something that can save the company a substantial amount of money in the long run.” At smaller companies, it’s also common for the assistant to manage company benefits, oversee internship programs, and assist with hiring.
4. They can build company culture: When you’re managing a small business, cultivating a strong company culture is certainly easier said than done. Nevertheless, it is a critical to increasing employee engagement and reducing turnover, especially with today’s crop of young, talent culture-minded candidates. This is just another area where an assistant can make a significant impact. From organizing holiday parties and happy hours to setting up employee appreciation initiatives, they can help make the company a better place to work.
If you are interested in hiring an executive assistant for your organization, we are happy to help! Please contact us, here.