The position of an executive assistant (EA) has experienced a considerable transformation over time. Earlier, these professionals were designated as executive secretaries; however, the term “secretary” was abandoned when businesses recognized its inaccuracies.
Tech giant Microsoft, for example, refers to the position as “executive assistant” and “executive business administrator” interchangeably. These are just a few examples of the ongoing nomenclature modifications taking place in the United States and other regions globally. The main driver behind these adjustments is the expanding scope of EAs’ duties.
In fact, it’s not uncommon today to see single EAs handling tasks traditionally performed by an entire team of executive assistants.
Job titles bear significance for everyone — the CEO’s title, for instance, holds weight. Thus, we delve into various alternatives for executive assistant job titles that appropriately value the commitment of your administrative assistants. Many executive assistants have duties beyond an administrative assistant, and many favor enhanced job titles to denote this distinction.
The Rationale for Change
With the EA’s role frequently evolving, the necessity to explore alternative titles for executive assistants also surfaces. Consequently, some organizations are contemplating title alterations to reflect the multi-faceted nature of the job.
Some have integrated descriptors preceding the title, like senior executive assistant or office manager, aiming to establish job titles that stimulate your office assistant or senior administrative assistant. These roles likely entail more intricate tasks than a typical personal assistant.
But what specific changes are these companies considering for the executive assistant title? Businesses requiring administrative management might consider employing a virtual executive assistant as their office administrator.
Constructing an Enhanced VA Title
Factors to Consider
Establishing an improved title for your EA is more straightforward when you have specific guiding principles. After all, your personal assistant or office administrator has demonstrated dedication to earn the title of executive assistant — what is the next step for them?
Creating advancement opportunities for employees, including administrative assistants, is conducive to employee retention, offering long-term benefits for your company. So, once someone ascends to the executive assistant role, what’s the subsequent step?
The following considerations are recommended best practices when you’re deliberating on a new title for your EA.
Evaluate Current Responsibilities
EAs’ duties are constantly evolving, with many bearing greater responsibilities than in the past. For instance, some are assuming functions such as human resources and information technology.
Common tasks often involve data entry, call direction, or devising a digital filing system for business-relevant content. Other administrative tasks broaden to include crucial responsibilities, strategic business input, and acting as comprehensive support for the C-suite.
If your EAs are shouldering more duties than before, these expanded responsibilities should factor into your considerations for a new title. This will enable the creation of a more suitable title.
The term “executive assistant” provides an inkling of the obligations associated with the role. Before adopting a new moniker, regardless of its allure or accuracy, ensure it accurately depicts the position’s essence. Choosing striking titles may obscure the intended message, and might appear unprofessional.
An effective professional title should prioritize clarity for the exact role your EA will be taking on. Identifying suitable executive assistant job titles can be challenging — an executive administrator provides multifaceted support, encompassing business and personal tasks.
Examine Titles in the Industry
Investigate the titles that other brands assign to their EAs. Browsing various job boards can offer insight into potential titles currently in use by other organizations. Alternatively, focus on companies within your sector or those you admire. Keep track of professionals with comparable responsibilities and observe their self-designations. Don’t confine your exploration.
Sometimes, a person’s title can indicate their position and, in some instances, their remuneration. Therefore, any new designation for your EA requires careful consideration. Refrain from designating a title that might diminish or exaggerate their rank.
If your organization has a firm structure (as we assume it does), you should be able to devise a title that accurately reflects your EA’s role. Misplacement of your EA might necessitate a review of your structure sooner or later.
Examine Other Title Formats
Your title structure can reflect much about your organization. Many companies have distinct methodologies for titling their employees, with some enabling their employees to select comfortable titles.
Typically, companies favor conventional titles such as executive assistant, administrative assistant, etc. Only a few embrace the recent trend where companies utilize titles like Workflow Expert, Impression Director, etc.
Adhering to a consistent format (ensure you have a standardized format) fortifies your professional image and ensures your roles are searchable. Consider this scenario: you are seeking to fill a vacancy, but the title is elusive due to its non-standard nature. It’s clear that whether it’s an office manager, an office assistant, or a virtual executive assistant, job titles matter and facilitate growth.
Collaborate with Your Employees
Although you may feel compelled to alter the title, it is important to consider your employees’ feedback before making a final decision. You need not involve all employees. A small, representative group should suffice. Their input can facilitate an expedited, informed decision.
Remember the proverb that two heads are better than one? Why struggle to devise a title alone when you have a team ready to assist?
Here are some options for executive assistant job titles to kickstart your brainstorming:
Elite Virtual Executive Assistant
Simply adding a high-level descriptor to their current title, coupled with a salary increment, often suffices to demonstrate your acknowledgment of the executive assistant’s dedication. At times, more might be needed.
Premier Senior Executive Assistant
If your company houses a team of executive assistants, not all may require a title enhancement, but some exceptional individuals might. Additional seniority descriptors allow you to designate different team levels using terms like first, second, junior, or senior.
Managing Administrative Assistant Partner
While Executive Administrative Assistant has a certain appeal, it’s crucial to recognize your administrative assistant’s function within your company. If they’re managing a workload comparable to a vice president, extending them a partnership (in title or equity) could be a viable option.
Senior Support Specialist
Completely removing the term “assistant” might be a worthwhile consideration. Focus on the executive assistant’s duties and identify titles that still acknowledge their administrative responsibilities while sounding more upscale and professional.
Chief Administrative Officer
The term “chief” is universally recognized as a designation for the highest-ranking individuals in a company. Perhaps this is the ultimate goal for your team, and one of the most coveted executive assistant job titles.
Your Next Move
Confused about hiring an administrative coordinator or an administrative assistant? We hope this article provides a starting point for you to start redefining your EA roles!
As executive assistant roles and responsibilities evolve to include more responsibilities, it would be unjust not to consider updating your EAs’ titles to match their current scope of work. Administrative support is always essential, and administrative job titles need to reflect that.
Your executive assistant, virtual assistant, and every support member of your team work diligently to drive your company’s growth. Failing to update their titles is akin to progressing academically without acknowledging the achievement. Hence, implement the change when necessary.
Need assistance in devising a more appropriate executive assistant title? We’re here to help!