01 Mar Seven Must-Have Traits To Look For When Hiring An Executive Virtual Assistant
Gone are the days where Executive Assistants are simply gatekeepers to executives, answering phone calls and take messages. In today’s virtual work environment Executive Virtual Assistants (EVAs) help with decision making, technical assistance, internal and external communications, overseeing business travel and even event planning.
An Executive Virtual Assistant is undeniably an important asset to any high-ranking executive, president, CEO, or members of a C-suite. And behind most successful executives is a hardworking and talented EVA that plays an integral role in the success of the company.
Thinking about hiring an EVA? Check out these Seven Must-Have Traits To Look For When Hiring An Executive Virtual Assistant (EVA):
CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
Executive Virtual Assistants are expert problem-solvers. They are often tasked with issues and challenges that business owners don’t have time to handle. When hiring an EVA you should be looking for someone that has the ability to think outside the box when it comes to problem solving. A talented EVA will be able to offer alternative solutions and quickly think on their feet to handle any situation thrown at them.
Problem-solving skills like creating budgets, working on multiple projects at one time, scheduling meetings or conferences and managing executive operations within a company all requires effective problem solving.
You will want to look for a candidate that knows how to break down a problem, understand the problem and generate ideas to effectively solve the problem.
WILLINGNESS TO LEARN
When hiring an EVA, you want someone that is willing to go the extra mile without being asked. They will need to be familiar with the company’s mission statement and work to promote it. Even when the work week is moving at a hundred miles an hour, your EVA should be dedicating some time to keep up with the latest news and trends within your industry and be on the lookout for the tools that could help make your life easier.
ANTICIPATION OF NEEDS
Anticipation of the business owner’s needs is a trait that normally would come with years of experience. A successful EVA has the ability to anticipate what an executive’s needs are and plans accordingly. Good EVAs respond to the boss’s requests but great EVAs anticipate those requests, and most likely already have solutions ready. Anticipation is an important requirement of the job. Anyone can take a direction, but successful EVAs are always one step, actually make that two steps, ahead of everyone.
Some of the best EVAs are those who know how to find answers where there might not be any. You should look for an EVA who has the resources to identify solutions and make intelligent decisions, even without you, and who always has the best interest of company.
A resourceful EVA knows how to get things done. It takes an entrepreneurial spirit, someone always looking for ways to make things better. Because EVAs are solution-oriented, they don’t just anticipate challenges, they know how to get resolution.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Attention to detail is a critical trait for the success of any EVA. As a business owner, you probably have high expectations. An experienced EVA becomes your first and last line of defense against mistakes whether it is a typo in a presentation or a board member’s name misspelled in a document. EVAs double and triple check every detail to ensure accuracy. You’ve heard the expression “The devil’s in the details”. You don’t have time to oversee and manage every detail. Be sure your EVA candidate possesses the skills to manage the details and meet expectations.
THE ABILITY TO PRIORITIZE AND ADAPT
An outstanding EVA has the ability to take chaos and turn it into a smooth-running machine. Always look for a candidate who demonstrates unique organizational skills. You will need someone who can identify an area that could use a little organization and show initiative by making recommendations.
Change is something your EVA will need to embrace. Crises may pop up unexpectedly, the phone is always ringing, emails constantly filling the inbox, and, of course, execs require constant attention. They should be able to prioritize and adapt to the ever-changing environment while constantly evaluating processes and finding ways to make them more efficient and effective.
EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION SKILLS
An EVA’s greatest quality is the ability to speak and write in manner that creates a good image of the company and the executive that they represent. In addition to having a good grasp of grammar, a key component to look for when hiring an EVA is someone that has the ability to interact with coworkers or your company’s clients in a positive manner that is efficient yet friendly.
An EVA deals with people all day long. From the executive they work for, to other team members within the company and clients and stakeholders outside of the organization, your EVA will be your spokesperson for the company and must, therefore, possess great communication skills as well as people skills.
Behind most successful executives is a hardworking, talented Executive Assistant that plays an integral role to the business. How do you find the perfect EVA? Be sure to ask specific questions during your hiring process to help you evaluate potential candidates.
Ultimately, anyone can be an assistant. But, only choose those who possess these traits when choosing your EVA. For more tips or to learn more about how Ann Albrecht Consulting can take your business to the next level, contact us today.