In the competition for talent, we’re seeing that employers willing to evolve and redefine the idea of workplace are winning while those hesitant to reinvent are missing out on top talent. There’s no hard-written rule that says culture (or productivity for that matter) is confined to a 9-5 office space. Employees are trading the allure of office perks like kombucha on tap and catered lunch that were once the standard for workplaces in the Bay Area for the flexibility of hybrid or fully remote work. In a recent statement, Airbnb announced its plan to allow employees to live and work anywhere, with “meaningful in-person gatherings that will happen throughout the year.” Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb goes on to say, “the right solution should combine the best of the digital world and the best of the physical world. It should have the efficiency of Zoom, while providing the meaningful human connection that only happens when people come together.”
Companies like Salesforce and Maven Recruiting Group are also reimagining workplace. Salesforce recently unveiled Trailblazer Ranch, a 75-acre redwood plot in Scott’s Valley for employees to convene for on-boarding, training, engagement activities, etc. For our part, Maven Recruiting Group just hosted its first quarterly gathering at a horse ranch in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains in Tucson, the intended use of which is to provide opportunities for employees to spark with one another, build trust and collaboration, address training gaps, and connect meaningfully. If you’re requiring employees to be onsite five days a week, hiring is going to be a challenge for you, or you’re likely facing an exodus of talent. The priority of today’s workforce is flexibility with a balance of remote and in-person work. Airbnb’s announcement typifies a trend we’ve been seeing for the last year which is the proliferation of “remote-first” companies.
Of course, there are the inevitable situations that require an executive assistant to be onsite: board meetings, VIPs or Limited Partners coming onsite, or a particularly hectic week where an executive would benefit from the immediacy of having their EA close. Our recommendation is to treat those instances as outliers and not the norm when thinking about the design of your work plan.
In Spring 2021, nearly 33 million US employees voluntarily resigned from their jobs, defining a trend that has become known as “The Great Resignation.” This movement affected various roles and career paths, including both the Executive Assistant role and the Executive role. While perhaps less ear-catching, our view of the “The Great Resignation” is that it’s more accurately characterized as “The Great Redistribution.” While many are resigning, on balance, they’re not leaving the workforce but rather settling into new companies and roles they feel are in better alignment with their lifestyle, financial and career goals. From our experience, executive assistants aren’t dropping out of the workforce, they’re changing industries and companies or even growing into roles like Chief of Staff and Head of Operations.
The upshot here is that, unlike what the media would have you believe, the workforce is not collectively experiencing an Eat, Pray, Love moment; rather, the workforce is highly engaged and intact, but it’s more discerning and less willing to settle. As an employer, your focus should be enhancing your total rewards package, employee programs and retention efforts and, as previously mentioned, reinventing culture and workplace. We’re seeing many of our clients proactively adjust salaries, bonus targets, L&D budgets, vacation offerings, and in-office work expectations to get ahead of any potential “Great Resignations” that may be looming within their workforce.
The economics of supply and demand explain today’s recruiting challenges. After being forced to trim their workforce or temporarily put hiring on hold during the peak of the pandemic, hiring is back in full force. Not only that, but capital investment in start-ups has remained incredibly strong, further enabling rapid growth and hiring across all stages of start-ups and the venture firms that back them. As noted in Crunchbase, “Over the course of 12 months in 2021, investors put $329.5 billion (!!) into startup investments across all stages. That’s an increase of 92 percent from 2020 levels, which were themselves record-setting.” And with a 21% increase of individuals leaving San Francisco between March 2020 and September 2021 according to MarketWatch, this translates to a reduction in the supply of talent at the same time as we’re experiencing an incredible uptick in demand.
All of this means employers need to be prepared for a competitive hiring process. Part of this preparation means not only coming to the table with above- or at the very least at-market offerings, it also means bringing your “A-game” to every conversation, engaging with talent in a way that is meaningful to them, and being decisive and quick with your interview process before the competition has a chance to swoop in.
Across industries and especially in Silicon Valley, there’s a lot of buzz around the Chief of Staff role, demonstrated by the upwards of 8,000 open Chief of Staff positions in the US alone in 2021. This role continues to gain in popularity as its centrality to the organization is key to executing a company’s strategy and operations and being a catch-all for the inevitable challenges and gaps that arise due to rapid growth and change. Some of the reasons we believe Executive Assistants are being considered for Chief of Staff opportunities is their unparalleled exposure and broad visibility within an organization, their centrality to multiple areas of a business, their relationship building skills and their ability to effectively prioritize and project manage.
The following dataset spans early-stage tech companies (series A, B and C) to late-stage companies (series D, E, F and G) to publicly traded organizations. In addition to the presented base salaries, we’ve found that the total package for tech offers is substantially different depending on the stage of the company.
The following dataset spans venture capital, investment banking, private equity and investment management firms.
The following dataset spans personal support and estate management to individual principals and families. Personal support and estate management positions vary based on factors such as the magnitude of the estate, the number of residences, the size of household staff, etc.
On average, C-Level Executive Assistants receive an initial stock grant of $100,000 vesting over 4 years.
29% of placements in the Venture Capital/Private Equity space offer profit sharing or carried interest as part of their standard package. Bonuses also fluctuate significantly with an average of 16.5% and a max of 30%.