Let’s hear it for the EA! Part 1

Assistants have long been the gatekeepers to bosses’ diaries but as you’ll know, true EA value goes far deeper...

Last issue we heard about the evolution of the high-level assistant from the point of view of some talented and insightful EAs – our readers! This time, it’s over to the bosses and others who may not do the role but know it inside out…  

David Morel, CEO of Tiger Recruitment

As part of a global agency specialising in business support staff, David has more than 30 years’ experience of recruiting PAs and EAs.

“The role of the PA has changed immeasurably. Thirty years ago, PAs were judged on their typing speed and core secretarial skills. Touch typing, shorthand, and audio typing were de rigueur. At that time, the role of the PA (or secretary) was to type up letters and documents and schedule meetings.

Fast forward 30 years and core secretarial skills barely feature. Today’s PAs are typically IT literate communicators who can work at pace and plan, coordinate and manage diaries and travel across multiple time zones. They have swapped the fax machine for the latest apps, from WhatsApp to Trello, and are whizzes at using Outlook.

PAs play an increasingly important function in business and are genuine right-hands to senior executives. They work with them one-on-one, managing important projects, and sometimes hosting meetings in their absence. The PA role is also more hybrid than it has ever been. Businesses often deploy PAs strategically across various departments to consolidate existing teams, which is driving demand for individuals who combine traditional PA skills with specialist knowledge in areas such as marketing, events, and investor relations.

The PA role has risen in status over the past three decades, and salaries have increased to reflect that. Today the PA is considered a true profession with a clear career path. In the past, PAs would typically have trained at secretarial college, but today’s PAs and EAs are often graduates with business qualifications.” 

David Morel, CEO of Tiger Recruitment

EAs can help improve leaders’ mental health and wellbeing, research shows

A Research from Tiger Recruitment shows just that – three-quarters (73%) of surveyed bosses said personal assistants improved their mental wellbeing and reduced stress, while leaders without a PA are reported to work over an additional month per year compared to those with an EA!