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The ultimate guide to administrative tasks and duties

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What are a personal assistant’s key duties and responsibilities?

For busy business leaders and those in managerial roles, there are only so many hours in the day to complete all of the tasks on their to-do list. That’s why they bring in personal assistants to help ease their workload and provide support where they need it most. 

The role of a personal assistant is an incredibly important one; they take on multiple duties that contribute to the success of the company. Most of us have seen depictions of celebrity personal assistants in films — but, what does the list of personal assistant daily duties actually look like? 

In this guide, we will look at what a personal assistant does, a personal assistant’s responsibilities, and what a personal assistant can do for your business.

What is a personal assistant, and what does a personal assistant do?

A personal assistant, unlike an administrative assistant who will generally serve an entire team, performs a great deal of administrative duties for one individual — hence the word “personal”.

While executive assistants and executive personal assistants tend to work exclusively for executives and senior managers, personal assistants work for lower-level managers. 

Personal assistants carry out a variety of tasks that support managerial staff, from organizing travel, to taking minutes and maintaining office filing systems. However, depending on your organization’s needs and goals, the role of a personal assistant will differ. 

Any efficient personal assistant will need the following skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Time management skills
  • Strong organizational skills 

What are the job duties of a personal assistant?

A personal assistant’s responsibilities will differ entirely depending on the industry they work in. 

For example, in some roles, personal assistants will be required to travel alongside their managers on business trips. Others, whose company works with international clients, will need to be able to accommodate unusual business hours to account for time differences. These requirements should always be made clear in your personal assistant job description. 

However, when we consider a personal assistant duties “checklist”, most of the following administrative tasks and responsibilities will appear: 

  • Acting as the first point of contact between managers and internal/external clients via phone calls and other methods of communication
  • Managing and organizing diaries, and scheduling appointments, meetings, and events
  • Taking meeting minutes 
  • Transcribing from dictation
  • Making transport, business accommodation, and travel arrangements 
  • Organizing events and conferences
  • Preparing reports, presentations, and briefs 
  • Maintaining databases and filing systems 
  • Collating and filing the manager’s business expenses and travel expenses
  • Conducting research on behalf of the manager

Personal assistant job roles and responsibilities

Often, companies will look for specific personal assistant requirements, including qualifications, certain skill sets, completed training courses, and previous experience. Common requirements for any personal assistant role include:

  • Prior experience in a personal assistant, executive secretary, or office manager role
  • Ability to follow established processes
  • Highly organized with excellent time management skills 
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely with clients of all levels both internally and externally
  • Highly familiar with software suites, such as Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
  • Experience in creating and maintaining office management systems and procedures 
  • Customer service skills
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize workloads
  • High level of attention to detail
  • Educated to High School Diploma level

What can a personal assistant do for your business?

So, what can a personal assistant do for you?

There’s a reason — even with the rise in virtual assistants — that the demand for personal assistants isn’t slowing down. 

Running a business, especially during periods of rapid growth, requires leaders to focus on big-picture goals. Administrative tasks often take up a lot of time, energy, and money that could be spent on achieving said goals. 

Personal assistants take on these time-consuming but essential tasks and are able to prioritize them according to your business goals. While you focus on strategic business tasks, their job is to ensure that you’re supported well enough to focus on these high-level priorities. 

How to hire the right personal assistant 

Hiring the right personal assistant with the right set of skills is crucial. Your personal assistant will be your main pillar of support, so you must choose a candidate that not only works well with you, but with the wider organization, too. 

First, you’ll need to define what your personal working style looks like. For example: Do you prefer to receive updates on every tiny detail? Or, do you prefer to be updated once in the morning, and once in the evening? This type of information will help you assess candidates when it comes to preparing interview questions. 

It’s important to get the right candidates applying in the first place. In your personal assistant job description, you’ll need to:

  • Clarify whether the role is part-time or full-time 
  • Include the right job title to attract the best candidates
  • Provide information on professional development opportunities
  • Establish any work-from-home guidelines
  • Specify whether the position is entry-level or whether you’re looking for someone with a certain amount of experience
  • List how many staff members the role will support (if applicable)

Every personal assistant will each have their own personality and unique skill set — the trick is finding the right combination for you and your business’s goals. The more that you and your personal assistant can work in synchrony, the more you can focus on your business’s future.