Technology is one of the most influential factors in the ever-changing role of a personal assistant. At Tiger Recruitment, we’ve seen this change first hand, as we’ve been placing jobseekers into personal assistant job roles for almost twenty years. If you’re looking to become a PA, we’ve put together a guide on how you can expect technology to affect the way you work.
The make-up of a PA’s typical job description has changed significantly in the last twenty years. In the past, the majority of the role’s responsibilities may have included filing, minute-taking, and other administrative tasks. While you can still find many of these on a standard job spec, there are also a number of other projects you may be asked to complete. Your role as a modern PA may include helping other divisions like marketing with social media scheduling; project managing a CRM upgrade or helping the events team with coordinating guest lists and venue sourcing. As long as you have a ‘muck-in’ attitude and a creative flair, these aspects will be valued by any employer.
In the past, a PA would’ve been responsible for their principal’s email inbox. Now, it’s more likely that principals will now check their own emails on their phone throughout the day. While this may mean one less task for a modern PA, mobile technology means that you may also be on call 24/7. Therefore, you’ll need to carefully manage expectations of those above you as well as monitor your own work-life blend.
As personal assistants’ roles change, so too does the software you must learn in order to keep up to date. Depending on the scope of the role, this could include anything from being able to navigate your way around a CMS like WordPress, to posting a weekly blog or choosing an effective cloud storage software solution for the office. You may also need to become familiar with the latest in project management software in order to coordinate anything from the production of a report to an office-wide event. Database management, social media management and conference calling technology may well be other areas of tech you’ll need to be familiar with.
Many of the PAs that we meet use a number of apps to help streamline their responsibilities. These include Float, a scheduling app that allows them to control a number of schedules simultaneously; pCloud, an app that has public and private folders for hosting large files for file sharing; and Fellow, an app that allows you to send meeting minutes, collaborate on agendas and pick out action items. Apps can also significantly impact the way PAs manage expenses, track time and look forward.
A modern PA’s human touch
As businesses move towards utilising AI, many of the traditional administrative tasks may be automated, including scheduling, transcribing meetings, and managing emails. This may allow you to move into an increasingly client-facing role, whether it be attending meetings, managing projects yourselves, and anticipating clients’ needs. This human touch, alongside creativity and intuition, is what will set you apart from AI. A great PA can send their principal’s mother her favourite flowers with a handwritten note on her birthday or book the perfect table at a restaurant, in accordance with their principal’s exact requirements and preferences, in a way that artificial intelligence isn’t able to.
Thanks for this post go to our friend Rebecca Siciliano, Managing Director of Tiger Recruitment, London’s leading recruitment agency for business support, private, hospitality, executive search and virtual recruitment.