Executives may run the show, but anyone with any experience in business knows that they would be nothing without their assistants. A good assistant is often the force that keeps a company running. And a bad assistant— well we’ve all dealt with one.

Here are some qualities of a great executive assistant:

Great communication skills: This is absolutely the most important ability. An assistant is usually the first point of interaction with your company. Her or she is the one corresponding with partners through emails and calls. He or she is the one writing memos for the rest of the company. It’s essential that your assistant can communicate clearly and succinctly.

Resourcefulness: Being an assistant is about more than doing what your told. It’s about finding the best way to do it. Any business will find that there aren’t enough hours or resources to accomplish what it needs. A great assistant will find ways to make it happen anyway. It’s all about thinking outside the box and keeping your eye on the bottom line.

Understanding of technology: Today our businesses have access to more tools than ever to improve efficiency. A great assistant will know how to use them. It’s not just about proficiency with computers; he or she should keep up to date with new programs and devices and be on the lookout for ways to implement them.

Decision-making: The assistant’s job is to carry out the executive’s decisions, but that executive usually doesn’t have time to make every call. A great assistant will know when to defer to his own judgment. I once worked with an assistant who insisted on explaining everything he did to his boss. He was just trying to be transparent, but it wasted time.

Industry insight: To make independent decisions, a great assistant must understand the executive’s job. Ideally, you want to hire someone that you could see being the boss one day—of course one day, far in the future is the most ideal.

Organization: Being an assistant involves a lot of multitasking. He or she is keeping track of so many calendars and timelines. It’s never okay to forget responsibilities.

Maintaining confidentiality: An assistant will see everything— financial records, personal information, company secrets… It’s important that the assistant keep his or her mouth shut.

Personality: You spend a lot of time with your assistant. You want to enjoy his or her company.

Here at A-List Associates, we understand every aspect that goes into finding the perfect executive assistant. We’re one of the top staffing firms in New York City, and we’re committed to matching you with the best fitting job candidate every time. Visit our website today for more information.