Skilled secs ensure traditional role stays ‘dead and buried’

The
traditional role of the British secretary is ‘dead and buried’, with the
majority of PAs now multi-skilled and expected to contribute more strategically
to the business.

A
poll of more than 1,200 administrative staff by recruitment specialist
Officeteam shows that secretaries who just take dictation, write shorthand and
answer the bosses phone are now in the minority.

According
to the figures today’s secretary is more likely to be organising company events
(71 per cent) setting up conferences (64 per cent) or writing reports on a
daily basis (58 per cent).

Secretaries
are also taking on a range of new tasks such as increased office management (62
per cent) finding new staff (38 per cent) and even managing current employees
(23 per cent).

Steve
Carter, managing director of Officeteam, said modern technology such as e-mail
and mobile phones has eclipsed the traditional ‘gatekeeper’ role of PAs to
enable them to widen their skills.

The
economic downturn is also contributing to the changes, with secretaries being
called on to fill many of the gaps left by redundancies.

By Ross Wigham

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