Hiring an EA? Why the DIY approach is a huge mistake

26 April 2019 Anastasia Kelly

EA job advice

When you are hiring an EA, you might be tempted to handle it in-house to save on recruiter fees. With decades of experience as both an executive assistant and an EA recruiter, I’ve seen first-hand the problems that arise when people decide to hire their own EA. Read on to find out why it’s a process best left to professionals.

Time is of the essence

Hiring your own EA takes a lot longer. A specialist EA recruiter has candidates at their fingertips and can start sorting through CVs the minute your position brief arrives. This means your ideal candidate could be starting in the role in weeks, rather than months. With standard leave notice periods of four weeks, it’s likely you’ll need an EA in a hurry if yours resigns. A DIY approach is more likely to slow down the process. Subsequently, that could mean weeks of operating without an EA. It also reduces the chance of getting a good handover from the current EA to their successor.

Better clarity on your position description

A specialist EA recruiter will ask you probing questions about the role. This helps you accurately identify the experience, abilities and temperament to suit the ideal candidate for your EA position. As experts, we suggest areas where your EA can provide added value, such as:

  • website management
  • event staging
  • bookkeeping
  • writing skills
  • project management
  • software expertise such as Xero, Workflow Max, Asana, Trello, MailChimp etc

By expertly broadening and clarifying the extent of the role, your recruiter can help fill more skills gaps in your business.

Missing quality candidates

Your ideal candidate may not be actively looking for a new position at the moment. But specialist recruiters build strong relationships with potential candidates, regardless of whether they are actively seeking job opportunities at the current point in time. We will harness these connections on your behalf to find you the top-quality candidates that your DIY search would fail to attract. A few quick phone calls and an encouraging chat may boost the chances of the perfect candidate stepping into your office for an interview.

Greater risk of hiring the wrong candidate

Putting the wrong person into your EA job can have damaging results on your business performance and company culture. It's unfortunate for all involved when a recruit doesn't perform in the role, and it can be difficult to deal with the fallout of their removal. With decades of experience in recruitment, I’ve become highly skilled at understanding the specific strengths and weaknesses of potential candidates. I take pride in finding the right fit for both the client and the candidate. Subsequently, you’re much more likely to get a candidate who has the right skills and the attitude for the role. 

It’s worth the investment

A great EA can be a wonderful asset to any business. As the second in charge of the MD or CEO, it’s an important position that directly influences the successful performance of the leader and the broader executive team. So, don’t risk it. Get your recruitment campaign off to the best possible start by using a specialist EA recruiter. The return is well worth the investment.

If you are ready to hire your next EA, register your position with us and let us find you the perfect candidate.