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The Real Impact of Hiring an Executive Assistant

The Real Impact of Hiring an Executive Assistant

Discover the real impact of hiring a remote executive assistant. Learn attributes to look for and red flags to avoid in the hiring process.

The Real Impact of Hiring an Executive Assistant


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Key Takeaways

  1. Executive assistants have a broad range of skills—ranging from project management to scheduling and communications—that play a crucial role in supporting the efforts of executives and freeing up their time to focus on key business objectives.
  2. Look for executive assistants who have ambitious career goals, a calm attitude under pressure, strong problem-solving abilities, and a long-term commitment to their roles, and avoid those who lack attention to detail, have a history of job-hopping, and give vague responses to interview questions.
  3. Hiring a remote executive assistant from Latin America allows you to save significantly on salary costs while still benefiting from the skills of a creative, versatile professional located in a similar time zone.

Executives have the tremendous responsibility of steering companies toward sustainable growth and innovation. With all the meetings, correspondence, and strategic decision-making, time becomes incredibly scarce. 

The role of an executive assistant (EA) is to expertly manage schedules and handle various day-to-day tasks, allowing leaders to reclaim the one commodity that can’t be replenished—time. 

But it’s about more than just time management. Hiring an EA can significantly ease an executive’s life, professionally and personally.

This article will dig into the role of the EA, what they can do, and some things to look for (or avoid) in the hiring process. 

What Is an EA?

The role of an EA is often misunderstood and underestimated. The traditional image is of merely a scheduler who sets appointments, answers the phone, and manages an email inbox. 

While calendar management is certainly part of the picture, the modern EA is much more. They are strategic partners providing critical support and operational services. 

The role has evolved into a blend of project management, event planning, communications, and sometimes even personal support to accommodate the intertwined lives of C-suite executives. 

Reasons You Haven’t Hired an EA

Despite the well-known benefits of bringing in an EA, many leaders hesitate to take the leap. The reasons for this reluctance usually fall into three categories:

You don’t have the budget

For many organizations (particularly startups and SMEs), budget constraints are a legitimate concern. The prospect of adding another salary to the payroll can be daunting. 

There’s a common misconception that the cost of hiring an EA outweighs the benefits, but that fails to consider the long-term value and efficiency that a skilled assistant can bring. By enabling you to focus on revenue-generating activities and strategic planning, an EA can actually help you increase profitability. 

You can’t find the right mix of soft and hard skills

Another roadblock is the challenge of finding the right person for the job. A high-caliber EA needs a strong set of administrative skills. However, they also require less tangible “soft” skills, including things like:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Adaptability
  • Communication skills

Finding a candidate that has both hard and soft skills can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Working with specialized recruitment agencies for executive assistants can yield a professional who fits the brief while complementing your work style and corporate culture. 

You are a micromanager

Finally, a less commonly mentioned reason is the tendency of some executives to micromanage. This trait can make the idea of delegating tasks to an assistant uncomfortable. 

Leaders who are used to having their hand in every detail may find it difficult to trust another person to manage their schedule and communications. 

The irony, of course, is that by micromanaging, executives bog themselves down with tasks that hinder their most critical functions. Learning to trust a qualified EA can liberate you from the weeds of day-to-day tasks and give you a more strategic vantage point. 

What Can EAs Do?

Today’s EA role is multifaceted. Here’s a snapshot of the tasks you can entrust them with:

Calendar management

An EA meticulously curates your calendar, ensuring optimal use of time. They schedule appointments, avoid conflicts, and allocate space for strategic planning.


EAs are often responsible for reporting tasks, like compiling data, preparing presentations, and handling budget spreadsheets. They turn raw numbers and facts into comprehensive reports that assist in decision-making. 

Inbox management

Sifting through an avalanche of emails is a time-consuming task for any executive. An EA filters your inbox, prioritizing important messages and crafting responses when appropriate. 


As gatekeepers, EAs censure that you are shielded from unnecessary interruptions. They can discern which meetings are essential and which can be delegated or deferred, balancing accessibility with productivity. 

Project management

EAs are becoming increasingly involved in project management, taking on roles that include liaising with stakeholders, identifying project blockers, and developing solutions. 

Their involvement frees you from the minutiae of project oversight, allowing you to focus on broader objectives without getting trapped by operational details. 

Things To Look For in an EA

When hiring an EA, some specific attributes and historical markers signal the potential for success. 

Career objectives aligned with executive exposure

Look for candidates who are seeking to access and learn from top-performing executives. These EAs are often ambitious and motivated and recognize the unique educational environment this role provides. 

They seek to contribute meaningfully to the executive’s mission while absorbing invaluable insights about high-level leadership. 

Looking for long-term tenure

An EA with a history of staying in roles for more than two years is likely committed to stability and loyalty. Understanding an executive’s needs and preferences takes time, meaning you don’t want to be hiring a new EA every few months. 

Innate problem solvers

An EA’s workload can be unpredictable. They need to show an ability to think on their feet and creatively navigate challenges. Look for examples of how they’ve turned potentially disruptive situations into successes. 

Poised under pressure

High-pressure, fast-paced environments are an everyday reality for an EA. The best ones maintain their composure when the stakes rise, using organizational skills and calm demeanors to stabilize chaotic situations. 

Red Flags To Watch Out For in an EA

Similarly, there are some red flags to look for when sourcing and interviewing EA candidates.

Frequent job-hopping

While some career movement is normal, a resume filled with short stints at multiple companies could signal a lack of commitment or inability to mesh well. An EA with a pattern of job-hopping may not give you the continuity you need. 

Vague or non-substantive answers in interviews

When asking situational questions during the interview, vague answers can indicate a lack of experience or an inability to think critically. You want an EA who can provide clear examples of how they’ve handled complex tasks or certain challenges. 

Lack of attention to detail

Even a small oversight by an EA can have significant repercussions. If their resume contains errors or if they fail to follow application instructions carefully, it may indicate their general approach to tasks. 

Why Hiring a Remote EA From Latin America Is the Way To Go

In our modern connected world, EAs no longer need to be manning a desk outside a physical office. Hiring remotely can offer several significant benefits.

The first and most immediate benefit of employing a remote EA is the cost savings. Various costs of living around the world mean you can access highly qualified professionals from Latin America (LatAm) with lower salary expectations than US-based EAs.

Saving money on salaries means it’s even easier for an EA to create value for the company.

LatAm EAs are often bilingual, culturally agile, and operate in similar time zones to US businesses. They have an excellent work ethic and possess dynamic soft skills, honed in fast-paced, varied work environments. 

Their ability to stay calm under pressure, juggle multiple tasks while remaining productive, and creatively solve problems make them ideal candidates for remote executive assistance. 

Final Thoughts

The decision to hire an EA should not be taken lightly, given the profound impact they can have on an executive’s productivity and peace of mind. Embracing the trend toward remote work opens a world of possibilities, especially when it comes to LatAm. 

Don’t miss out on the chance to elevate your executive team. With Near, you can interview top-tier, remote-ready EAs for free. Our candidates have been meticulously sourced and screened to offer the highest level of expertise and adaptability.

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