Office Jobs - Administrative Assistant or Executive Secretary

Businesswoman signing documents with her secretary
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The good news is that your business has grown enough that you now need help in managing the day to day tasks so that you can gain some time to focus on the continued expansion of the business. This is a major transition in the way that you will conduct business because it will require that a trusted employee that you hire will now be responsible for some critical decisions such as how your time is spent and the type of travel arrangements that will be made, to name a few.

By now, you’ve likely considered whether you truly need to hire and pay another staff member to assist in your work. Before you write a job description and start interviewing, take the time to consider if you can accomplish some or most of the functions that an Administrative Assistant or Executive Secretary can by using technology.

What separates this office job from the other more clerical and routine office jobs is the level of responsibility and confidentiality associated with this position. In addition to basic office functions, the administrative assistant or executive secretary is also responsible for writing/preparing reports, organizing/scheduling meetings, reviewing incoming correspondence to determine its significance, preparing agendas for important meetings, making travel arrangements, and fills in the gaps to do whatever is necessary, such as filing to help keep you organized and therefore focused on your job duties.

The title and pay for this individual determine how senior their role will be:

  • Entry-level administrative assistant
  • Administrative assistant
  • Senior administrative assistant
  • Executive secretary
  • Senior executive secretary
  • Office manager
  • Senior office manager

As the size of a company increases, the need for a person that is highly organized and can perform a wide variety of tasks increases. This is especially necessary for the executives that run the company in order to maintain a high level of confidentiality and integrity for the business that is being conducted. Hence, this is a critical position in the company and one that should require a thoughtful job description and hiring process.

The first task at hand is to prepare a job description for the new hire based on the areas of work that you, the hiring manager believe can best be addressed by someone else in order for you to carry on with the growth and management of the company. There are various versions of job descriptions such as this one, but ultimately only you know what you will need and therefore some level of customization will be needed in order to create a job description that you are comfortable with and which addresses your personal preferences.

After creating a job description, find a place to advertise the job such as on or Monster. It has been my experience that candidates will immediately begin to apply for the position if you’ve worded it appropriately and have described the type of work environment where they will be working. So be sure that the job description that is created does not make the job uninteresting. It must be well written and appealing in order to attract the right candidates.

Once you have your top candidates, the next step is to interview them, and ideally this is a face-to-face interview because this candidate, if hired will have a high degree of face time with you and it’s best to know whether there is a fit as soon as possible. Use these interview questions to guide the process.

Finding the right Administrative Assistant or Executive Secretary can make all the difference in your work day and to a great extent, how successful you will be when you have the time to focus on and manage your business.