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Top personal assistants power Brighton's businesses

23 July 2015

•         87% of bosses say they could not do their role as effectively without their personal assistant.
•         PAs in Brighton are integral to business and are trusted advisors to their bosses.
•         Over two-thirds (70%) of PAs in the South East would choose to be a PA if they started their career again. 

Over nine in ten (96%) personal assistants in the South East say their bosses could not do their role without them and their bosses agree, according to the results of a survey of over 2,800 employers and employees nationwide, launched in Brighton on 7 July by Hays PA & Secretarial.
Findings from the report, What makes a successful PA?, were discussed with over 40 personal assistants in Brighton, led by Stephen Heard, National Director at Hays PA & Secretarial, and Lucy Brazier, CEO of Marcham Publishing, publishers of Executive Secretary magazine.

The event, held at the Hays office on Queens Road, was an opportunity to discuss findings from the report and how PAs are often now seen by their bosses as equal to management and some as equal to a director level. When asked to rate the top three skills of a good PA, employers selected communication, organisation and the ability to prioritise deadlines, while PAs believe that for the next generation to be successful in their role, they need to understand the goals of an organisation, have excellent people skills and work hard.

A PA’s role is expanding and employers now often expect their PA to take on office management, marketing, and HR duties, and increasing responsibility. At the event, PAs were able to network and discuss how their own responsibilities are expanding and developing.

Stephen Heard, Director at Hays PA & Secretarial, speaking at the launch of the report in Brighton, said: “We have seen an increasing demand for personal assistants who can support the overall organisation, as well as their boss, and take on additional duties. Today’s PAs view their profession as highly rewarding and are offered competitive salaries for their experience, establishing the role of a PA as an aspirational career path for graduates and new entrants into the profession.”

The results of our research demonstrate that a skilled PA or EA is vital for bosses to successfully fulfil their own job. Not only are PAs now an aide and trusted advisor to their boss, but they are managers themselves, looking after their own team of staff and projects. PAs in 2015 are a new breed of busy multi-skilled professionals supporting the goals of their boss and organisation, a far cry from the stereotypical purely administrative role of years gone by.”

Lucy Brazier, CEO of Marcham Publishing, publishers of Executive Secretary magazine, said: “this research highlights the vital role that PAs play for both their managers and organisations as a whole. Knowing the integral role that PAs play in the efficient running of an organisation means we can’t take this for granted, and must ensure these exceptional assistants have the opportunity to develop their own careers and the profession as a whole.”
For more information and job opportunities call Hays in Brighton on 01273 711 866 or visit

For further press information please contact:
Eleanor Pead
T. 0207 200 3760

About the Hays PA & Secretarial, ‘What makes a successful PA?’ report 2015:
In the spring of 2015, we launched a survey across the UK, encompassing organisations of all sizes and across all sectors. We received over 2,500 responses from employees (PAs) and almost 300 responses from senior level employers.

Respondents were asked for their views on the PA role: the chief responsibilities, duties, skills and characteristics needed for success. We also asked questions around career development and key goals for the future.

About Hays
Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2014 the Group employed 8,237 staff operating from 237 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2014:

-       the Group reported net fees of £724.9 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £140.3 million;
-       the Group placed around 57,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 212,000 people into temporary assignments;
-       24% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 42% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 34% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
-       the temporary placement business represented 59% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 41% of net fees;
-       Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA