Could Chief Financial Officers function well without their executive assistants? According to a survey released by global recruitment specialist Page Personnel Singapore, half (51%) of executive assistants (EAs), personal assistants (PAs) and secretaries in Singapore agree that their business leaders will not be able to excel at work without them.
“This is a surprisingly low percentage, the current expectation of an EA’s role includes managing all aspects of the leader’s diary both internally and externally,” comments Kirsty Luce, Director for Page Personnel Singapore. “Without that individual, it would be difficult for directors and company heads to fulfill their daily tasks, let alone their mid to long-term goals.”
To address the remaining 49% of respondents who feel that their bosses can function without them, there is an extent where current technological advances allow the administrative portion of the job scope to be automated. Therefore, it is highly recommended that EAs, like all other professionals, constantly upskill themselves to expand their portfolio and give themselves the employment advantage.
This additional experience can also be derived from switching through different industries or departments in a business.
In recent years, we have seen the role evolve from purely administrative to one of business partnering. EAs have successfully progressed their role to being an extension of the director they are supporting and initiating the right conversation with other key business stakeholders and managing some projects their behalf. Additional workload includes end-to-end office management as well as conferences and external events management.
EAs give direction
“When business heads are very busy juggling multiple tasks, EAs can give them direction. We have seen directors hand over a lot of responsibilities for EAs to act on their behalf and to facilitate certain instructions with autonomy,” Kirsty Luce explains further.
EAs value having these extended duties and the level of interaction they have with business leaders. However, whether they are fully recognized in organizations is still being debated.
To create more awareness around their profession as an essential role to the executive’s success, Page Personnel Singapore announces the 2017 Executive Assistant (EA) of the Year competition for the fifth year.
The EA of the Year seeks to recognize outstanding EAs who have gone beyond industry benchmarks and demonstrated excellence in their day-to-day responsibilities within their organization.
Last year’s 2016 Executive Assistant (EA) of the Year was an emotional win. Senior admin assistant at Proterra Investment Advisors (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Michelle Ng rebounded from retrenchment during the 2008 financial crisis to be rehired later in the same parent organization. Following her inspiring success in the company, Michelle expanded her portfolio when she completed a course in governance, risk and compliance at the support of the managing director. She has since been promoted to compliance officer and oversees all matters regarding corporate governance.