Executive Assistant recruitment in Paris forms a major part of our activity at DJG Consulting and is perhaps what we are best known for. We often work on roles that require a high degree of fluency in a foreign language, particularly bilingual English – French Assistant roles.
A good Executive Assistant is worth their weight in gold to the individual or team that he or she works for. Some key functions of a good Executive Assistant include being the following:
- A Facilitator: your job is to make things happen and to get things done. This could mean literally anything from booking a doctor’s appointment to producing itineraries and visas for a complex, last minute business trip.
- An Organiser: an integral part of your role will always be to organise the administration, documentation and events related to your director or your team.
- A Gatekeeper: you will be expected to protect your team from unwanted intrusions into their time. You will be the first point of contact for external and often internal requests, and you will quickly have to learn who needs to be taken seriously and who is a potential time-waster.
- A Diplomat: the Executive Assistant has to be extremely diplomatic, both towards the person you are working for (and with whom you may not always agree), and also towards external contacts. You are representing the company, the department and the department’s head in everything you do.
- A Secretary: in the classical sense of the word: a keeper of secrets. You will have access to a vast amount of privileged information concerning a diverse range of subjects from HR issues, expenses, company strategy and much more. Utter discretion is essential if you are to gain the trust of your team.
- A Technology Expert: you will be the go-to person not only for the production of documents using Word, Excel and Powerpoint but will also be expected to solve or resolve IT issues for the team as they occur.
Types of Client
We work with clients from any sector on Executive Assistant roles in the Paris region.
We have a particularly strong track record however working with the following sectors: Law Firms, Investment Banks, M&A Boutiques, Private Equity, Asset Management, Management or Strategy Consulting, Audit & Accountancy, Luxury Goods, Manufacturing, Industry, Pharmaceuticals, and a wide range of listed companies in diverse sectors.
Executive Assistant Job Description
Executive Assistant duties could include, but not be limited to, any of the following:
- Call filtering and gate-keeping. Taking accurate messages.
- Diary management for individuals or a team.
- Travel arrangements, obtaining visas, preparing itineraries.
- Managing and processing expenses.
- Email management and prioritisation.
- Events organisation (lunches, dinners, annual team or company events, Investor or Client Relations events, Roadshows, Seminars).
- Creating and updating documents and presentations.
- Database management (clients, contacts, investors, targets, etc).
- Setting up video conferences and conference calls.
- Document management, both electronic and hard copy.
- Organising meetings and meeting room management.
- General administrative tasks: mailings, photocopying, preparing documents for signature.
- Ad-hoc translation of e-mails, documents, and material for internal use.
- Providing cover for or assistance to colleagues; training replacements or new-joiners.
- Team HR coordination (holidays, sick-leave, etc).
- Being the interface between your department or manager and other internal functions.
- Being the interface between your department or manager and external services such as Accountants, HR / Payroll, IT, Facilities.
Profile and Skills
Some of the required skills needed to be a successful Executive Assistant are quantifiable, most of them are not. For things that are, such as the Microsoft Office software packages (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook), it is quite easy to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge.
The key differentiators between Executive Assistant profiles tend to be related to character: diplomacy, resistance to stress, enthusiasm and energy levels, proactivity, rigour, attention to detail, problem-solving skills, prioritisation, organisation, and a general calmness under fire are all extremely useful attributes for a career as an Executive Assistant.
Quite often a thick skin is also necessary as your colleagues and superiors are not always the easiest people to manage.
Some of the more specific skills or qualifications could include:
- Fluency in languages: often English & French, but we occasionally recruit for positions with very specific language requirements.
- Educated to degree level or above.
- Very high level of computer literacy (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook)
- Numerate and confident at working with figures.
- To be able to spell (this sounds basic but it is still extremely important).
DJG Consulting candidate process
We have a vast amount of experience of placing Executive Assistants in roles at all levels, from Team Assistant roles requiring a couple of years of experience through to dedicated Executive Assistant roles for the CEOs of large multi-national companies.
Every successful placement begins in the same way: with an in-depth interview with one or more of our consultants. However we came to be in contact, whether you responded to an advertisement or were head-hunted for a particular position, the first interview is the most important part of the process.
An interview with DJG Consulting is not just competency based. We will take the time not only to understand your current skillset and what you have done up to press in your career, but just as importantly we will listen to your aspirations and try and understand what kind of role and working environment would suit you best in your next role.
We will also want to understand your real motivations: very few people actually change jobs just for money, there is almost always a unique career objective that we will try and help you realise. Our many years of experience of recruiting Executive Assistants both in Paris and in London mean that we are experts in identifying the type of corporate environment that will suit you as an individual.
We will test your foreign languages, both orally at an interview and also through more formal testing processes. We will also test your computer skills.
It will be a rigorous process, and we will be honest about whether we think we will be able to help you or not.
Salary levels for Executive Assistants in Paris vary greatly. The main criteria are the amount of experience you have, the sector in which you work, the seniority of the people for whom you work, your language skills, and particularly in Paris, the length of time which you have spent with a company.
Salary levels that we typically see are in the following ranges:
- 32 – 35K€: Executive Assistants with a few years of specific sector experience.
- 40 – 48K€: Experienced team or director level assistants with particular sector experience or a specialised skill-set.
- 48 – 60K€: Board or CEO Assistants working in a 1:1 role with sector knowledge and a proven track record of operating at a high level. These roles can be 24/7.
In addition to the basic fixed salary, many of our roles offer personal performance and company related performance bonuses which can significantly increase annual compensation.
Most roles also offer packages which include healthcare, travel costs and subsidised food vouchers (Tickets Restaurants).
Career progression for Executive Assistants follows three main paths:
- a linear path towards assisting smaller teams of more senior people or people with a greater level of seniority generally;
- a divergence into a more specialist support function such as Human Resources, Events, Communications or Marketing;
- or a progression towards an Office Manager position, particularly within Small and Medium-sized companies.
For an Executive Assistant, it is often possible to obtain a promotion internally, particularly at the start of your career. However most successful, senior Executive Assistants will tell you that they were able to develop their careers by changing their role and company before they became stale in their current job.
You should typically expect to spend at least 3 years in a particular role before receiving an internal promotion.
Do feel free to contact us to discuss your situation if you think that this is the right time for you to take the next step in your career.
We recruit Executive Assistants / EAs and Personal Assistants / PAs at all career levels for the Paris market. Starting with recent graduates looking for their first Team Assistant role, we recruit for roles including Polyvalent Assistant, Team Secretary, Bilingual Assistant, Receptionist, HR Assistant, Marketing Assistant, Communications Assistant, Investor Relations Assistant, Finance Assistant, Executive Assistant for the Board and PA for the CEO.
There is no reason to fear Job Interview Questions
Job Interview Questions can be a source of apprehension for many applicants but there is really no need to be afraid of them. With some good preparation it is possible to anticipate likely questions and prepare excellent answers in advance of your interview. Employers and applicants alike have much to gain from the use of appropriate and focused job interview questions.
Recruiting for Executive Assistants always includes an element of trying to find “a good fit” between candidate and client in terms of personality and company culture. It is often something that is hard to put into words by hiring managers, but it is where an experienced recruitment professional will earn his or her fee: matching not just skill-sets to jobs but people to companies.