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VWA Recruitment Guide: Key Responsibilities and Skills for Business Support Professionals

24 Apr 2024 |

By Sophia Voce

Key Skills 100

If you’re considering a career in business support, you may already have begun exploring the different roles and opportunities that are out there. Whether you are at the start of your career or considering a change in direction, taking time to research and understand the different career paths within this field is a valuable exercise.

Over the past 35 years, VWA has successfully placed thousands of candidates into a variety of roles within business support, including (but certainly not limited to) Executive Assistants, Team Administrators, Private PAs, Trainees & Graduates, Secretarial, Marketing, HR Professionals, Office & Operations and Financial Services Executives including Analysts and Associates.

Our knowledge and experience span an extensive range of sectors from Financial Services, Executive Search and Management Consultancy, through to private Family Offices, Creative and Arts, Charities and Luxury Retail. We’ve seen just about every type of business support role come through our door!

This week, we are kicking off a series of articles which explore the key responsibilities to expect (and skills required to succeed) in a selection of exciting and dynamic roles within business support.

An Overview of Working in Business Support

A career in business support involves providing essential administrative and operational assistance to ensure the smooth functioning of an organisation. Professionals in this role facilitate daily operations, coordinate activities, manage communications, and assist with tasks to maintain workflow and productivity.

Responsibilities typically include managing schedules, preparing reports, handling correspondence, organising meetings, maintaining databases, and supporting teams.

Business support roles vary by industry and company size but require strong organisational skills, attention to detail, proficiency in office software, and adaptability. Overall, business support is vital for optimising operations and supporting organisational success.

Let’s now delve deeper into specific responsibilities and skills needed for Receptionist and Executive Assistant roles:


Key Responsibilities:

  • Greeting and welcoming visitors in a professional and friendly manner
  • Answering and directing phone calls promptly and courteously
  • Handling enquiries and providing accurate information to callers and visitors
  • Managing appointments and scheduling meetings
  • Maintaining the reception area and ensuring it is tidy and presentable
  • Receiving and sorting daily mail and deliveries
  • Assisting with administrative tasks such as filing, photocopying, and data entry
  • Keeping records of visitor logs and staff whereabouts
  • Monitoring and maintaining office security procedures
  • Providing support to colleagues and other departments as needed.

Key Skills:

  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a friendly, customer-oriented attitude
  • Proficiency in using telephone systems and office equipment (e.g, printers, scanners)
  • Good organisational and time management abilities
  • Attention to detail and accuracy in handling information
  • Ability to multitask and work efficiently under pressure
  • Professional appearance and demeanour
  • Adaptability to different situations and flexibility in tasks
  • Basic computer skills, including knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook)
  • Discretion and respect for confidentiality when handling sensitive information.

Executive Assistant

Key Responsibilities:

  • Managing executives’ schedules, including arranging meetings, appointments, and travel arrangements
  • Handling correspondence, emails, and phone calls on behalf of executives
  • Preparing and editing documents, presentations, and reports
  • Conducting research and compiling information for reports or presentations
  • Acting as a point of contact between executives, employees, clients, and other stakeholders
  • Handling confidential information and maintaining discretion at all times
  • Assisting with personal tasks as required by executives
  • Project work.

Key Skills:

  • Excellent organisational and time management skills
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy in work
  • Proficiency in using Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to prioritise tasks and work effectively under pressure
  • Professionalism and the ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Flexibility and adaptability to changing priorities and deadlines
  • Problem-solving skills and ability to anticipate needs of executives
  • Proactive approach to tasks and ability to work independently
  • Experience in handling complex administrative tasks efficiently.

Are you just starting out on your career journey or considering a move into business support? Do you identify some or all of these strengths in yourself? Discover more about this exciting and dynamic career path by reaching out to our team of experienced consultants today – recruit@vwa.com.

You can also take a look at some of the exciting roles we are currently working on here: www.vwa.com/jobs

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