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The implications for exec support staff coming out of the pandemic

Bain and Gray’s Executive Director Tray Durrant provides the second part of market insights from the recruitment specialist’s annual survey

With the right combination of efficient technology, good management and constant communication to keep everyone up to date, the past year has proved that homeworking can be productive.

The requirement for exceptional organisation skills is more important than ever and the role of EA or PA is vital to this.  For remote or hybrid working to succeed, support staff have to enable the flow of communication in and out of the boardroom. Without a communication gatekeeper, filter and valve, management risks being drowned out by an overflow of noise.

Streamlining office systems has been a direct and positive result of enforced remote working and will be more useful than ever with the adoption of hybrid working. If it’s impossible to get more than six people in one room, even virtually, systems and processes need to work more effectively than ever. Executive support staff can be at the heart of adopting more efficient ways of working and ensuring that relevant technology is understood by everyone within a business or team.

We are seeing an upswing in the number of maternity cover roles across all business sectors, which ties in with the reported five year high in demand for NHS antenatal appointments in the third quarter of 2020. Those looking to thrive in temporary and contract roles will need to be nimble to adjust to new ways of working and to blend in quickly and effectively in a new business environment. Temp positions often lead to permanent contracts and, for those looking for full-time opportunities, this can be a good way through the door.

It is clear that homeworking need not damage productivity. Staff fortunate enough to have remained in permanent employment have discovered more effective ways of working. Many have re-balanced the demands of home and work life. For some, the stresses of the daily commute have been replaced with more time for self-care, exercise and quality time with the family. This had led to a more productive and happier workforce, which is good for business and individuals alike.  Many companies are adopting new measures to avoid staff burnout and taking onboard long-term some of the positive lessons learned.

Many families have moved out of London and other urban environments to the countryside and it will be interesting to see changes in attrition rates within organisations once greater numbers return to the office environment. It is likely that hybrid working is here to stay and those who have upped sticks have done so in the knowledge that it is safe for their career – now and in the future – to do so.

There is an uptick in onboarding but companies with more protracted hiring strategies have potentially missed out on talent being snapped up by more agile businesses.  While remote recruitment practices work, nothing beats the ability to meet potential employees face-to-face before deciding whether they are a match for your organisation.

Bain and Gray are thought leaders in Executive Support recruitment sourcing the very best candidates in London in support roles ranging from Receptionists, Team Assistants, Office Managers, PAs, Executive Assistants and Chiefs of Staff roles.