The first step is to decide what type of assistant you require. At HigherRing, we offer two levels of executive assistant roles. Both types are savvy and wonderful partners yet fulfill different needs with our clients.
Generally, more junior assistants (EA1) help keep a C-suite role organized. These assistants are usually tasked with administrative duties such as keeping inboxes orderly, arranging and preparing for meetings, onboarding new clients, researching or performing sales operations tasks, and helping to organize events or initiatives. They may also help with human resources tasks like onboarding or offboarding. An EA1 might have experience with office management, project management, or customer service. This is a position that is easy to train on the details, so we look for someone that exemplifies strong time management and communication skills. HigherRing EA1s also demonstrate great resourcefulness and adeptness in learning and implementing new systems.
Our more advanced executive assistants (EA2) are usually the right-hand person to a founder or CEO, owning skilled tasks. Because of their experience, they will quickly come up to speed and are skilled in navigating interpersonal relationships. They may do all the tasks of an EA1 and act as project managers, administrators, team managers, facilitators, and even mentors within your team. An EA2 could conduct research, act as a liaison to board members, and even communicate with investors. They usually exhibit a high level of emotional intelligence and can easily diffuse charged conversations by focusing on realistic win-win solutions between all parties. Our EA2s usually have first-hand experience as the right-hand person in a C-suite role.
We believe there are benefits to outsourcing either of these positions. An outsourced team member is slightly separate from the political life of your company and is often able to handle more confidential tasks that might be too sensitive for an internal employee.
HigherRing’s fractional executive assistant offering allows affordable, consistent access to excellent experience. Our client’s companies usually pick from ten or twenty hours a week where their assigned assistant offers support at the same time every day to help our business partners feel organized and ready to tackle their workload each day. As our client grows, we often add more time with the same assistant or implement redundancy by adding hours with a different person. We encourage redundancy in this way to help with coverage for sick time, paid leave, or schedule changes. Both assistants will work together behind the scenes to segment work and responsibilities and cover each other when necessary, so none of your important work is ever stalled or delayed.
We believe some assistance is an invaluable asset to any founder or CEO balancing a large workload. A skilled assistant allows a busy executive to focus on their product or the important governance tasks of running a company. Hiring an assistant is equivalent to buying your time back - and with our highly flexible fractional model, you may buy back as much or as little as you need.
As you plan for this position, it is smart to consider the types of tasks you would like to take off your plate. We request the following information when onboarding a client:
A specific and prioritized task list of work or projects you would like to have handled.
An understanding of what tasks repeat every day, every week, and every month
A list of who’s who at your company so that your assistant may quickly come up to speed on the roles and responsibilities of your team
A list of systems, licenses, access to shared drives, and credentials — we are a big fan of password vaults for safe access to credentials.
Any SOPs (standard operating procedures) already created — your assistant can create SOPs that don’t exist yet based on your verbal training.
An understanding that the more you put into the training, the quicker your assistant will be able to help you
We also like to remind our clients that an assistant is a brand-new addition to your team. Like any new employee, it takes time to learn or build new systems and procedures from scratch, as well as learn about you, your business, and your industry. Patience will take you farther than any formal training, and you’ll find things suddenly clicking into place. At HigherRing, we love watching this happen because we can quickly see the effect of this resource on our clients' lives.
Here’s what one of our healthtech clients had to say about their HigherRing assistant:
“Pam has been such a pleasure to work with. She is a phenomenal team member, quickly absorbing projects and knowing intuitively who to talk with in order to complete them in a timely manner. She always takes the next proactive step.”
Check out more about our services here:https://www.higherring.com/our-services