If you have had a great executive assistant, you know that they can be lifesavers. A great assistant becomes your mini-me —someone who can represent you to internal and external contacts and perform the important administrative tasks that don't need to be done by you. If you're looking for a new executive assistant, finding a great one starts with a good job description.
Attract the Top Talent
According to the job posting website Indeed, "Crafting a compelling job description is essential to helping you attract the most qualified candidates for your job"; it also states that "A great job description can help your jobs stand out from the rest." There are 13,000 executive assistant positions posted on LinkedIn. How can you make yours attract top talent?
Sell Your Company
Before jumping into responsibilities and qualifications, introduce your business in a way that communicates why it's a great place to work. Why would a top performer want to work there? "If you need a little inspiration, reflect on why you love working for your organization, said Recruiter.com; "Chances are that these reasons are similar to what your ideal candidates want too." Key information includes:
- History—starting date and milestones project stability.
- Products/Services--what the company does and how it benefits customers.
- Culture—the "why" of your business, what you are passionate about.
- Mission—how you're changing the world or your industry for good.
- Growth—communicate that your business is strong and growing.
- Perks—in addition to the basics, highlight any benefits that amplify your culture and mission.
A Compelling Title
There are two schools of thought on job titles for job descriptions:
- Keep it simple and use traditional categories (e.g., Executive Assistant) so that candidates can quickly identify positions that are relevant to their experience.
- Be creative and compelling (e.g., Productivity Rockstar) to show that you're looking for someone capable of out-of-the-box performance.
The pros of a creative job title are that it can showcase your brand and attract overachievers. The downside is that it might confuse job seekers or get left out of search results using traditional titles. The best of both worlds is to use both—Executive Assistant/Productivity Rockstar!
The position description is where you outline the core responsibilities for the role. But it's also an opportunity to highlight the value and importance of the position to the company. Introduce the position not just with what you expect this person to do but why it matters to you and your business. Consider the difference between these two introductory descriptions:
- Looking for an Executive Assistant to perform administrative duties for the CEO.
- Looking for an Executive Assistant to serve as the CEO's productivity partner, working together to streamline operations and remain laser-focused on our mission to disrupt our industry.
Which one sounds more exciting? Then you can list the core responsibilities –emphasis on the core. Don't make an exhaustive list that is too long to consume and cluttered with minutiae.
Qualifications should list the must-haves for the job. If you're going to include nice-to-haves, make sure that these are not essential. An Indeed survey found that 63 percent of candidates choose not to apply for a job because they didn't have the specific skills and experience listed as qualifications. List the skills and tools that the candidates need to know, but don't forget about soft skills. Listing the soft skills that are must-haves is key to attracting the type of employee you want. Don't be afraid to amp these up beyond traditional language.
- Instead of "hard-working," use "grit."
- Instead of "detail-oriented," use "sweats the small stuff."
- Instead of "highly organized," try "control freak in a good way."
You get the idea.
To Salary or Not to Salary
Whether to list salary ranges in a job description is another matter of debate. As with skills requirements, listing the salary might cause great candidates to opt out prematurely. On the other hand, how many times have you scheduled the first interview only to find it's a non-starter because your salary expectations are so far apart. Still, Indeed said that just 30 percent of posting show salary information and recommends that businesses "stand out from other employers by adding the salary to your job description to help attract best-fit candidates."
Make the Best Use of Your Time
Finding a great executive assistant that can give you hours back in your day can be time-consuming in and of itself. That's why more and more execs are turning to virtual assistant businesses to vet, train, and manage executive assistants that work side-by-side with you online. It's increasingly prevalent in our all-remote world where a distributed workforce is the norm and saves you the time, cost, HR overhead, and management burden.
Prialto has been named the Best Virtual Assistant Business for Executive Assistants. To learn more about how a virtual assistant can give you more leverage and boost your productivity, download our guide to working with a Prialto VA.
About the Author: Bill is Prialto's senior content marketing manager and writes about the future of work and how businesses can be more productive and successful. His work has appeared in the World Economic Forum Agenda blog and CIO magazine.