Wage, Job Description, and Interview Ideas

  • Jessica Vann recruits govt assistants for firms like Okta at her firm Maven.
  • She says govt assistants are nothing like secretaries — they’re the eyes and ears of a pacesetter.
  • All it takes to get the celebrated job is enterprise acumen, communication abilities, and proactiveness.

This as-told-to essay is predicated on a dialog with Jessica Vann, the CEO and founding father of Maven Recruiting Group. The next has been edited for size and readability.

I launched Maven in 2010 as a bootstrapped startup. I did not understand it then, however I used to be pregnant on the time, too. Earlier than that, I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2003 and labored in recruiting for 2 Bay Space companies.

We focus on recruitment of govt assistants for Silicon Valley companies and a few adjoining firms in Miami and New York, together with Okta, Opendoor, Instacart, 23andMe, and Palo Alto Networks. Regardless of all of the layoffs taking place proper now, we’re not seeing many on this discipline. Prime-performing govt assistants are seen as valued property, not as liabilities. In any case, an govt assistant preserves an organization’s scarcest and most valuable useful resource: the chief of the group.

Now we have 20 staffers now and have stayed comparatively boutique, although COVID-19 and the shift to distant work have allowed us to increase our enterprise footprint and diversify our expertise pool with folks all throughout the nation. Most executives and firms are adopting a hybrid-working mannequin today. There’s undoubtedly worth to being in individual with a task like this, as a result of relationships are sometimes the foreign money that allows govt assistants to be so profitable and impactful — and that is a tough factor to domesticate with out investing the in-person time.

C-suite-support salaries in tech fluctuate relying on the character of the agency

Salaries for govt assistants in enterprise capital are inclined to vary from $115,000 to $170,000, plus bonuses. In startups and tech, salaries are typically $130,000 to 180,000 base with fairness.

On the highest ranges in each industries, base salaries are inclined to high out at $250,000 — these are roles supporting name-brand public tech firms or founding companions of a VC or private-equity agency.

We interview candidates for particular roles, in addition to for potential future roles. We discover folks by means of our referral community, through our recruiting staff sourcing candidates, and through LinkedIn.

The truth of a contemporary govt assistant is commonly totally different from what folks assume

The work for govt assistants is nothing like that of secretaries in “Mad Males” or of Anne Hathaway in “The Satan Wears Prada.” In these situations, they’re both “only a secretary,” with no idea of the secretary serving within the capability of strategic enterprise associate, or a punching bag for the workplace who does menial duties.

The chief assistant is the one that is safeguarding and defending the contributions, the time, and likewise the sanity of a very powerful folks within the group. When you concentrate on the affect these leaders have — operating companies making billions in income and using tens of hundreds of individuals — that is no small feat.

There is a staggering stage of entry and intimacy in these roles. Outdoors the day-to-day, an govt assistant would possibly discover themselves on a personal jet to the World Financial Discussion board in Davos, serving to their boss put together their presentation. Or they are often at a merger-closing ceremonial dinner consuming a $2,000 bottle of wine after ensuring that every part went off and not using a hitch. They could be navigating an IPO, a severe danger, or a disaster within the press. Typically they’re in conditions so confidential that they cannot even inform their spouses what is going on on. Good govt assistants are all in favour of enterprise and discover this riveting.

A high-level assistant position is the perfect seat in the home — how many individuals get to work throughout the pulse and mind belief of a corporation?

An govt assistant is a proxy for his or her govt — so that they do a number of decision-making

Govt assistants are sometimes the primary level of contact for deflecting lower-level points that should not take the eye of their executives. The important thing problem for lots of massive executives is managing and focusing their time. Increased-order govt assistants should not simply shifting conferences however fascinated about questions akin to: What is the significance of this time? What are the results of shifting this assembly? Has this already been moved 4 instances? Is there any concern about alienating folks? How does this align with their priorities?

Govt assistants additionally usually want to organize the chief for essential conferences — for example, gathering speaking factors, placing collectively board displays, or serving to to handle relationships with the board and direct experiences.

Govt assistants are the eyes and ears of their govt. I am unable to let you know what number of instances executives and their assistants have informed me that they are the one that captures issues effervescent up inside a corporation. Folks would possibly see the chief as inaccessible, however the govt assistant is usually a conduit for important data, akin to issues about one other workers member. Elevating points to an govt assistant can provide the chief the chance to intervene whereas there’s nonetheless an opportunity.

There is not any set of {qualifications} or expertise to get an govt assistant position

There is a low barrier to entry by way of credentials, however there’s an especially excessive barrier to entry by way of ascending to the rank of people that assist the Mark Zuckerbergs and Elon Musks of the world.

Crucial qualities in govt assistant are trustworthiness and foresight. Which means that they present excessive discretion, have the flexibility to instill confidence, and are extremely proactive. I as soon as heard it stated, of an govt assistant who at the moment helps a Silicon Valley behemoth, that “she is extra loyal than your childhood canine.” The phrase caught as a result of it isn’t solely witty however true.

Supporting the C-level is like enjoying chess: It’s a must to anticipate issues like, who’re key decision-makers to have within the room? What are the outcomes that will come from a state of affairs? How can we circumvent these conditions? What are the plan B and C outcomes that might emerge, and the way can I plan for these? A whole lot of foresight is pushed by enterprise acumen, so that they actually need to be educated of the enterprise panorama.

We ask executives to outline the kind of one that will probably be profitable within the position. These aren’t straightforward abilities to measure, so it is usually extrapolated from an individual’s background.

A number of the traits we’re usually requested to search out embrace communication, prioritization, proactiveness, enterprise acumen, negotiation abilities, reasoning, and management. Oftentimes, shoppers will rent for potential over expertise, significantly in the case of rising startups which might be after a “put me in coach, I will play any position” sort of individual. Tenure and longevity, in addition to sorts of roles, matter in a candidate. It is just about unattainable to beat a constantly spotty monitor report the place they’ve moved round a number of firms.

Youthful or early-career govt assistants could make it in Silicon Valley. Having good enterprise acumen, expertise, and judgment offers you a bonus on this position, however the govt assistant position can be an ideal place to study these issues. Intangibles additionally matter loads on this profession. Discretion, maturity, poise, reliability, and accuracy — these are all traits which might be ageless.

We additionally place a number of inventory of their engagement with us. How they present as much as us is indicative of how they will present up of their position.

The do’s and don’ts for interviewing have not modified a lot

Now we have a radical interview course of. Typical questions embrace “What are your nonnegotiables?” “What’s an instance of a business-critical state of affairs you efficiently navigated on behalf of your govt?” and “Inform me about your thought course of in managing your executives’ calendar and time.” We glean loads from how they reply questions, what they share and do not share, how forthcoming they’re, and their finesse.

Disparaging your former boss continues to be the most important fake pas you may make, and but it continues to occur. Sadly, it does not matter how atrocious that individual could have been. As an interviewee, you need to discover your spin. I encourage folks to work on no matter state of affairs they’re popping out of, as a result of they do not wish to venture it into the dialog. It is best to not point out it in any respect.

These roles usually contain working for a really high-profile individual, so govt assistants should be aware of how they venture themselves within the public enviornment. It is a difficult space, as a result of there’s a lot collateral that is obtainable about folks on platforms like Instagram and Fb.

The provision of knowledge goes each methods. Earlier than an interview along with your potential boss, analysis like a journalist. Determine their communication model. There will probably be data on-line, akin to Twitter feeds and media interviews, the place you possibly can decide how they speak, what they put on, and their pursuits and priorities.

A superb candidate is curious and complex and is aware of how they will present worth. In any case, they want to have the ability to ask the chief pointed questions and be candid and genuine in response to questions requested of them. Good inquiries to ask embrace “What are your greatest ache factors at the moment?” “In a super world, the place would you prefer to be spending your time? What’s at the moment impeding your capability to do this?” and “What does success appear like for you on this partnership?”

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