How to Craft a Better Title for Your Executive Assistant

September 14, 2022 • By The Zirtual Team

The role of the executive assistant (EA) has continued to evolve over the years. There was a time when these professionals were known as executive secretaries, but the name "secretary" was dropped when companies started acknowledging that it was not accurate.

For example, Microsoft uses the term "executive assistant" and "executive business administrator" interchangeably. These are just a few of the shifts happening in the US and other parts of the world. The main reason behind these shifts is the evolution of the responsibilities of EAs.

In fact, today, you are likely to come across EAs doing the jobs that used to be done by the entire team of executive assistants.

Titles matter to everyone — just ask any chief executive officer. So let's talk about different executive assistant job titles you can use to honor your hardworking administrative assistants.

An executive assistant is more than an administrative assistant and many prefer to have an upgraded job title to reflect that.

The need for change

With the role of EAs changing now and then, the need to explore other titles for executive assistants also arises. That is why you will see some organizations considering doling out title changes to reflect the job's richness.

Some have added buzz words ahead of the title such as senior executive assistant, or office manager, but the point is to create job titles that make your office assistant or senior administrative assistant excited to fill the role, as they are likely handling more complex tasks than your typical personal assistant.

But what actually are these companies considering to change the executive assistant title?

Keep reading to learn more.

Companies in need of someone to manage administrative tasks should hire a virtual executive assistant as your office administrator.

Crafting a better title: What to consider

It is much easier to Craft a better title for your EA when you have some guidelines. After all, your personal assistant or office administrator has been working for you tirelessly in order to earn the title of executive assistant — and where can they go from there?

Creating career paths for employees, including administrative assistants, is beneficial to employee retention, helping your company in the long haul. So, what happens when someone gets to the executive assistant role — where can they go from there?

Below are some of the things we enjoin you to consider when contemplating giving your EA a new title.

Consider the current responsibilities

The responsibilities of EAs keep changing every day, and most of them now have more responsibilities than before. For example, there are those taking on tasks such as human resources and information technology.

Sure, many common tasks include data entry, directing calls, or creating a digital filing system for business-related content helpful to the organization. Other administrative tasks expand to key responsibilities, input on business strategy, and being an overall c suite support person.

If your EAs take more tasks than they used to, ensure you consider the new responsibilities when thinking about the new title. They will help you come up with a more fitting title.

Focus on clarity

The name "executive assistant" gives a hint of the responsibilities bestowed on a person. Before you shift to a different name, no matter how fancy or accurate it may look to you, make sure it conveys what the position is all about. If you allow yourself to be swept away by titles that look impressive, the message you want to convey may not be clear to some people. Not to mention that it is not professional.

Any professional title must focus on clarity.

Executive assistant job titles can be tricky to figure out — an executive administrator supports many thing, like business and personal tasks.

Research other titles across the industry

Find out what names other branding are giving their EAs. Searching on various job boards can give you a hint of possible names other organizations are currently using. Alternatively, narrow it down to companies in your industry or those you admire. You can keep track of experts with the same responsibilities and see how they are calling themselves. Just don't limit yourself.

Research, research, and research!

Your company structures

Sometimes the title a person holds can help you know his rank and, in some cases, the salary he is receiving. That said, you need to be very mindful of any new name you give your EA. Avoid assigning a name that may seem to lower the rank or even amplify it more.

If you have a solid structure (we believe you have), you should be able to come up with a title that will position your EA in the right position. Remember that if you don't place your EA correctly, you may need to review your structure again sooner or later.

Administrative assistants are an essential part of the team. Virtual assistants can easily fill executive assistant positions.

Take a look at the format of other titles

The structure of your title can tell a lot about your business. Most businesses have a unique way of assigning tags to their employees, with some allowing their workers to pick titles they are more comfortable with.

In essence, most companies favor traditional titles such as executive assistant, administrative assistant, etc. Very few entertain the new format where some companies are using titles such as Workflow expert, Impression director, etc.

Sticking to the same format (ensure you have a standard format) amplifies your professional image and ensures your roles are searchable. Consider this, you are looking to fill an open position, and the title is unsearchable (very few people can think of it because it is not standard).

Whether an office manager, an office assistant, or a virtual executive assistant, job titles matter and are needed for growth.

Brainstorm with your employees

As much as you feel pressed to change the name, make sure to welcome your employees' input before deciding. You don't need to involve all employees. Just pitch the idea to a few. They will help you reach a sound decision fast.

Remember the saying that two heads are better than one? Why then struggle alone to find a title while you got people who can help?

Here are some options for executive assistant job titles to get you started:

Expert Virtual Executive Assistant

It could be as easy as adding a high-level buzzword ahead of their current title. This (along with a pay increase) can typically be enough to show your executive assistant that the work they've put in has not gone in vain. Sometimes they will need more.

First Senior executive assistant

If you have a team of executive assistants in your company, perhaps they don't all need a title upgrade, but a few that stand out do. Using numerical guidelines is where you can appoint different levels of your team using words such as first, second, junior, or senior (or a combination of those as well).

Managing Administrative Assistant Partner

While Executive Administrative Assistant does have a ring to it, it's important to remember how your administrative assistant works within your company. If they're taking on the workload that would shame the vice president, bringing them on as a partner (whether in equity or just in title) could be a solid option for an administrative associate.

Senior Support Specialist

Taking the word "assistant" might be the way to go altogether. Focus on what executive assistants do, and find titles that still honor the administrative duties they are responsible for, but make it sound more upscale and professional.

Chief administrative officer

Everyone knows the word "chief" is a term used for the highest up in the company. Maybe this is the end-game for your team, and perhaps one of the most sought out executive assistant job titles out there.

On the fence about hiring an administrative coordinator or an administrative assistant? We hope this article helps!

Over to you

Change is inevitable. With the shift in executive assistant roles and responsibilities, it would be wrong if you don't consider giving your EAs titles that reflect what they are currently doing. Administrative support is always needed and administrative job titles need to reflect that.

Your executive assistant, virtual assistant, and any support member of your company will work hard to help your company grow. Not changing their titles is akin to advancing in your studies and not being recognized for that milestone. So, make the shift when necessary.

Need help crafting a better executive assistant title? We can help!

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