Executive, Virtual, Personal, and Administrative Assistants: A Comparison

by | Jun 29, 2022 | MPS Blog | 0 comments

Today’s business owner frequently has many more demands than just working on their company and often needs a clear strategy and plenty of support to avoid working too much in their company.  They need to have trusted resources to who they can go when they are being pulled in directions that distract them from focusing on growth and efficient operations. When looking for support with day-to-day tasks, scheduling, and overall organization, there are several options but assistance comes in many forms and it can be hard to figure out what is needed.  In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between Executive Assistants, Virtual Assistants, Personal Assistants, and Administrative Assistants. We will go over the duties and responsibilities and how different types of assistants should be able to keep the administration of the business moving smoothly forward to allow those they are responsible for to have more precious time every day.

The Executive Assistant (EA)

An Executive Assistant is someone who provides hands-on, specialized administrative support to an individual or a team at the executive, c-suite, or senior management level. They are a trusted extension of the executive who needs to be able to step in to represent high-level team members at any given time. While EAs are usually responsible for managing calendars, scheduling appointments, and making travel arrangements, they can also often be trusted with a fair amount of decision-making power and autonomy.  A good Executive Assistant will ensure that timetables are adhered to and that everyone is prepared for meetings so very little time is wasted.  They can be gatekeepers who help mitigate repetitive interruptions and who filter out distractions to ensure maximum productivity.  These individuals typically have many years of experience in administrative roles and should be expected to be able to exponentially improve the efficiency of top-level teams.  The current salary range for an Executive Assistant in Vancouver is from $35,228 – $106,539.

The Virtual Assistant (VA)

A Virtual Assistant is someone who provides administrative support remotely. They can be located anywhere in the world, and they often have a portfolio of multiple clients in assorted industries. Virtual Assistants typically have vast experience with a wide range of online tools and applications, as well as strong communication skills and can often be an extremely cost-effective alternative to hiring an employee.  Required to be highly detail-oriented, organized and versatile, the virtual assistant can be a vital resource to individuals or teams who are being pulled in many different directions and need on-demand relief.  As fast learners, VAs need to be able to step in at short notice and improvise creative ways to free up time while also being able to take and stick to detailed instructions.  They usually have a breadth of proficiency in different roles that gives them many different perspectives to draw from, making them indispensable for those needing flexible support solutions.  You can hire a highly qualified Virtual Assistant for as low as $425/month.  Sound enticing?  Contact us for more information

The Personal Assistant (PA)

A Personal Assistant is someone who provides support to an individual or family.  Often employed by individuals with a high-level skill in a specific area such as entertainment and athletics, they can handle a hybrid of personal and professional tasks like running errands, managing schedules, organizing family calendars, and performing or hiring people to perform household tasks. Personal assistants typically have some experience working in a household or office setting and often have more personal, closer relationships with their employers, even residing in the home with them at times.  PAs must be able to pivot and deal with unexpected situations and they must know their employers well enough to effectively anticipate their needs. A good Personal Assistant will always have a plan B and not be too regimented in their thinking or execution.  The average salaries for PAs in Canada are from $31,000 – $62,400 per year.

The Administrative Assistant (AA)

Administrative Assistants are those who work in an office setting and provide administrative support to a team or department. They might be responsible for tasks like answering phones, filing paperwork, or scheduling meetings. A good AA will need to be able to keep up with continuous demands from multiple sources and be able to prioritize tasks as they arise while also managing scheduled day-to-day tasks.  There is a wide range of experience and education required from entry-level to those who are highly specialized in fields such as Legal, Medical, Marketing, and Human Resources.  Open to learning, the successful AA will be organized, software and tech-savvy while also being excellent communicators who are good at time management.  Administrative Assistants in Canada are currently earning from $34,600 – $102,300 depending on their industry specialization. 

Depending on a business owner’s needs and budget, there is an administrative support option that will fit.  As long as the option offers owners and teams the freedom to keep their company running smoothly while optimizing their time and focus.  There are benefits to each kind of assistant if you have any questions about the differences between each type, let us know.  We would be happy to answer any questions you have and if you need help finding the right assistant for your needs, we can help with that too! Just send us a message and we will be in touch.

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