Executive assistants do much more than answer emails. They can help you keep on top of project management tasks, stay better connected with key stakeholders and maintain a clear calendar. In so doing, they can also access valuable, sensitive information about you and your company.
Before you dive into writing a job description, you must determine the core responsibilities you want your executive assistant to have. You’ll also want to clearly define the boundaries of what they should have access to — including what passwords and personal information should be off-limits.
Note that not all of these points of access and authority will be given on day one. As trust between you and your EA grows, so can the access you provide to them.
Ask yourself the following questions to hone in on the ways an EA can help your organization.
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Email and Calendar Management
- Am I comfortable giving my EA full access to my email inbox and calendar?
- Am I comfortable allowing my EA to respond to emails on my behalf?
- Are there VIP contacts I don’t want my EA to take calls from or respond to?
- During a meeting, will I allow my EA to hold my cell phone to take certain calls or respond to messages (knowing that they will see all notifications that come through during that time)?
- Do I want to review all meeting invitations first? Or do I trust my EA to accept (or decline) them on my behalf?
Authority and Authorizations
- Will my EA attend key business meetings?
- Should I give my EA the authority to sign documents on my behalf?
- How might company confidentiality and authorization policies impact what the EA can do or has access to?
Tasks Outside Day-to-Day Business
- Will I have my EA take on personal tasks, such as picking up my dry cleaning?
- If taking on personal tasks, am I comfortable providing my EA with my credit card, login information, Social Security number, etc.?
- Am I comfortable with my EA knowing who my doctor is and scheduling appointments on my behalf?