City Cruises

Attracting talented Personal Assistants


Job markets are increasingly more competitive, and a bad hire can be a costly mistake. Joah Freeman, a journalism student at Brighton University, asked leading recruitment companies specialising in executive support for tips on finding and hiring Personal Assistants and Executive Assistants.

Job descriptions to attract talented Personal Assistants

Getting clear on job description is the crucial first step in attracting talent. Job descriptions are the first introduction new talent will have to the company. Poorly written descriptions can be a turn off for new talent. Strong candidates will look for well written job descriptions which provide them with clear and accurate information about the role being advertised, such as required skills, experience, tasks, responsibilities, and salary expectations.

Before writing a job description, consider what professional qualifications your Personal Assistant and Executive Assistants will need to be successful in their roles. Understanding the role and the description of your ideal candidate is a crucial first step in crafting a job description and attracting your ideal candidate. Define your ideal candidate and really understand what the role requirements are and who the ideal candidate would be. Be descriptive and clear of what you want in a potential candidate. We asked Lily Shippen Recruitment Agency what qualities and qualifications they believe are integral to a PA or EA role.

Emily Mills from Lily Shippen Recruitment Agency commented to say: “Individuals wanting to succeed strategically in the evolving EA/PA sector, need to consider exposure and knowledge. I’ve listed key experiences below, however, it is our believe that traditional education channels are not the single basis for successful career paths. That said, we value expertise in the following areas:

Technological proficiency: high level of skills in office software, project management tools, and a grasp of emerging technologies to enhance strategic planning.

Strategic administrative experience: previous roles involving strategic project management, change initiatives, and financial planning are also crucial.

Strong commercial awareness: develop a keen commercial sense and financial acumen through exposure to strategic business operations.

Networking and professional development: actively engage in networking to stay abreast of strategic industry trends. It’s also important to pursue continuous professional development in areas like project management and financial planning.”

Never overlook an EVP

An attractive employee value proposition can serve as a powerful tool in your recruitment strategy.  Employee value proposition is a unique set of benefits and rewards for employees working at your company. A well-defined and communicated EVP is essential for recruiting top personal and executive assistants. Offering comprehensive benefits such as, flexible working schedules, paid time off, wellness programmes and competitive salaries, can be key to attracting new talent.

Your EVP should be communicated within job postings on your job advertisements, website, and social media platforms. Encouraging professional growth is an imperative part of an attractive EVP. Limitation of professional growth remains a top reason why high performing personal assistants and executive assistants leave.

Create paths to promotions and provide professional development opportunities to encourage executive assistant and personal assistant career progression. Demonstrating an upwards trajectory can keep high performers engaged with their current role and ensure your new hires become successful assistants.

SecsintheCity who specialise in aiding Personal & Executive Assistants commented: “When posed the question ‘What’s most important to you in a job’, the SecsintheCity audience amidst the most recent salary survey responded with an almost even split between salary (32%) and flexible working (30%). For employees, strong salaries and hybrid working remain the most sought-after benefits. Perks such as opportunities for progression (16%) and job stability (16%) retrospectively follow suit. With ‘return to work’ schemes infiltrating the business support market, candidates remain strong with their desire to have a hybrid and flexible model in place.”

AI: Redefining Job Roles

In the age of AI, job sectors continue to evolve at breakneck speeds and EA and PA positions are also changing. AI can be incredibly helpful and should be utilised in PA and EA roles. Recruiters should consider what PAs and EAs will need in their technological skill sets to reflect the evolving role and inclusion of AI, as well as how the rise of AI will define PA and EA roles, and how responsibilities will change.

Roddy Adair, Director at Hays: “As well as skills-based hiring, many employers are looking to hire for potential, so PAs and EAs who are eager to learn, progress and upskill are highly sought after by employers. Although AI’s role in the workplace is advancing rapidly, PAs and EAs bring a human value to the table that cannot be replaced. The crucial role these professionals play in business operations cannot be threatened by AI, but PAs and EAs could be supported by these new technologies. For instance, repetitive tasks can be automated to create more time to spend on high value tasks, thus improving productivity.”

SecsintheCity commented, “Whilst it may seem threatening, it’s welcome to note that AI is designed to augment our working capabilities, and not replace them in their entirety. For PAs and EAs, tasks such as admin, content creation, diary management and planning, and customer support may be impacted. However, it’s worth noting that with the development of AI, comes the emergence of new strategic tools, such as calendar assistants, to aid business support professionals. Learning to adapt and capitalise on the benefits that AI has to offer, allows PAs and EAs to delegate administrative tasks, focusing on more senior level operations.”


The SecsintheCity jobs site right here on PA Life has the latest PA and EA jobs.