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The Changing Nature of PA's in Executive Search

Posted on 30th November 2017

Over the last 18 months we have noticed that Executive Search firms have started to change the way their support pool is structured. They now seem to be moving away from the 1:2 or Team Assistants supporting multiple partners, to more exclusive, 1:1 Executive Assistant to partner.

After investigating into the market, there seems to be a multitude of reasons for this, with the main being workload.  There has been a notable increase in the number of people using executive search firms to attract the top talent in to their worlds which  has had a knock-on effect on workload, therefore creating a need for more people  in the business support team.

People are also looking to build better working relationships. Working one to one with an EA has provided the opportunity for many to build a much stronger and symbiotic relationship that lead to increased productivity in the workplace on both the supported and supporters’ side.

Having only one team member and their world to focus on means that the attention and application is not divided. Supporting a group of Consultants or Partners often leads to conflicting priorities and can be challenging when meeting the demands of three, often very different, characters. This can be tempered, and often avoided entirely, when working with exclusive support.

Another reason we have seen an increase in this is the necessity for building stronger and more consistent relationships with Clients. Executive Assistants in the Executive Search world are expected to be very commercially aware and have a high propensity for business acumen. This commercial approach is becoming more and more valuable, and we’re finding  these roles are becoming more of a business assistant spec  rather than the ‘traditional’ personal assistant role of old.

Our clients have found that this allows  creates a new level of continuity for their clients. The Executive Assistants really are the liaison and often the point of contact for each consultant. By working on a one to one basis, they are able to build stronger relationships with the clients in their world, rather than being spread too thin. Client management is now an integral part of the role.

There are clear benefits to expanding your support pool and this may be something to consider for your own environment. If you’re looking at converting your EA support to a one on one environment within the executive search sector, get in touch with Kristian Kurbalija on 020 7734 7341 or Kristian.kurbalija@maine-tucker.co.uk

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