There are some who’d say that if you’re leading a business, having an executive assistant (EA) isn’t just ideal—it’s necessary. A good EA saves you time, improves your focus, and expands what you can get out of a day’s work.
With the advancement of remote work, virtual EAs have made it even more accessible to get this kind of support, especially through specialized agencies. But if you’re hiring an assistant online, it’s important to turn to the best recruitment agencies for executive assistants.
The agency you choose affects more than just pricing and available services. Great executive assistant recruitment agencies ensure smooth onboarding, minimal (if any) turnover, and overall long-term success. After all, nothing undermines delegation quite like having to switch out assistants and constantly retrain new ones.
In this article, we’ll cover the qualities you should look for in an executive assistant staffing agency. These include their range of services, track record, and specialization in placing EAs. We’ll also list a few of the top companies to choose from based on those criteria.
- The best executive assistant recruitment agencies are those specializing in EAs specifically, with a reputation for successful long-term placements.
- Evaluate agencies on their process for screening, training, and matching assistants, along with client reviews on onboarding ease and assistant retention.
- In addition to all-around skills, the best executive assistant companies all bring unique strengths to the table.
Criteria for the Best Recruitment Agencies for Executive Assistants
Virtual executive assistant positions can be somewhat different from other outsourced or contracted roles. For one thing, EAs are presumed to be in it for the long term. There’s a rather extended learning curve to go through before an EA really reaches their peak performance.
On another note, being an EA isn’t something one typically studies for. They might benefit from business acumen or industry knowledge, but the most crucial executive assistant skills are learned through firsthand experience or practical training.
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These considerations shape the kind of qualities you should look for in prospective executive assistant companies.
Specialization in Executive Assistant Placements
Given the particularities of EA work, the best place to find assistants of this sort is through companies that specialize in placing them. Look out for specific mentions of “executive assistants” or support for people in executive or leadership positions.
Range of Services Offered
One of the primary criteria is, of course, whether a prospective agency offers the services you need. Executive assistants typically handle administrative work, personal assistance, and auxiliary work for research and project management.
That said, be wary of services that make blanket promises about a too-broad range of services. While most EAs will have picked up a few skills over their careers, they won’t do everything.
Industry Reputation and Experience
Another indicator of quality is an extensive track record in EA placements. Agencies, like EAs, need some time to adjust to the needs of both their clients and the staff they recruit.
Consider the process they use for screening, training, and matching EAs with clients. As mentioned earlier, be wary of executive assistant recruitment agencies that emphasize degrees or certifications. Look for providers who assess practical skills (hard and soft) and relevant experience.
Client Feedback and Reviews
Testimonials and reviews from past clients will be your best source for assessing a company’s actual performance. Pay particular attention to the ease of onboarding, the success rate in placing assistants, and the longevity or turnover rates.
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5 Executive Assistant Companies to Watch Out for in 2024
Here are five of the best recruitment agencies for executive assistants that you should consider. Each of these executive assistant companies brings something unique to the table on top of a solid track record across the board.
Boldly is a subscription-based executive assistant staffing agency with assistants based primarily in the US and UK. With their subscription-based model, clients are matched with a dedicated EA on a part- or full-time basis.
Their EAs generally handle admin work and ad hoc support, along with project management, customer service, and bookkeeping. Clients also have access to the agency’s broader talent pool should they occasionally need more specialized work done.
The agency boasts a high retention rate for both clients and staff. They also distinguish themselves by offering only EAs with at least 10 years of experience. They have won distinctions for inclusivity in the workplace and as a Fortune’s Best Company, among others.
Clients have described their assistants as “consistently… smart, helpful, friendly, flexible and organized.”
Catena’s niche is startups, and they recruit virtual EAs from the Philippines, capitalizing on the country’s well-established virtual outsourcing industry. It also means their services come at a lower price point than most alternatives on this list.
This executive assistant staffing agency specializes in offshore matching, providing their EAs with ample training for working with international clients. It doesn’t stop there either—Catena boasts robust training programs for their staff to upskill them and keep them sharp.
Their clients have noted the ease of recruiting and onboarding through Catena, as well as their assistants’ ability to “[take] over running the logistics of… C-suite executives’ lives.”
Belay recruits only US-based virtual EAs and is known for exacting standards in recruitment. While they focus on a relatively narrow segment of skills—administrative work, bookkeeping, and web support—they keep a high standard of quality.
Indeed, Belay prides itself on a high level of polish across its services, with highly experienced EAs and robust account-level support for clients. Their fully managed service has support staff not just available for, but proactive in maximizing the outcomes their clients get.
The agency’s assistants have been praised for being proactive, resourceful, and “one step ahead” of their work.
Persona is an overseas EA agency with an approach based on data and careful study. Their most distinctive trait is their screening process, which comprises practical and personality-based assessments to find candidates with the strongest predictors of long-term success.
This screening includes ability tests and writing samples, which assess intelligence, communication skills, and various soft skills.
They primarily offer “generalist” EAs who carry out admin work and fulfill supportive roles in areas like bookkeeping, marketing and operations. That said, they only offer full-time assistants (which, they note, is another predictor of long-term success).
Moreover, their hiring approach has resulted in assistants described as trainable, diligent, and “way above other remote options in thoroughness and intelligence.”
Magic is a remote hiring agency that sources assistants from Southeast Asia and Latin America. They combine rigorous screening with practical training focused on adaptability and long-term success with international clients.
Their assistants focus on a core of administrative work, with the skills to support executives in other areas, such as marketing, client relationships, and bookkeeping.
Another major point of distinction is that Magic executive assistants are supported by robust technology, including AI tools customized for typical administrative tasks, such as summarizing information, drafting messages or replies, and creating templates.
Clients have highlighted the “communication, clarity, and consistency” of working with Magic EAs, who have been “extremely pivotal” to the growth of companies they’ve supported.
Choose the Right Executive Assistant Staffing Agency
The executive assistant companies we’ve discussed should help you narrow down your options to a shortlist. But remember, you’ll ultimately need a provider who suits you and your business specifically.
Be sure to pick a provider who:
- Is within your budget: Beware of executive assistant recruitment agencies that aren’t forthcoming with their rates.
- Aligns with your values and goals: This will be a long-term engagement, and you’ll want a service provider whose principles you can trust.
- Is accessible and scalable: Consider both your mid- and long-term needs, and see if a provider is positioned to match them, even as you scale.
- Provides adequate support: A provider should ensure you’re getting results—not just another set of hands at a keyboard.
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Get an Executive Assistant through Magic
Look no further than one of the best recruitment agencies for executive assistants! In as little as five days, Magic can help you hire an assistant or scale up as needed and grow your team of remote workers.
Whether you need administrative or executive assistants, Magic specializes in helping business leaders get skilled virtual assistants. We screen thousands of assistants each year to find candidates with the skills to maximize their clients’ leadership potential.
Furthermore, our services are designed to be quick, flexible, and straightforward. Simply tell us what sort of help you need, and we’ll find the right assistant for you. Book a call today!
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