How you may be missing out on qualified talent

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With Executive Assistants (EAs) in high demand, many are finding it difficult to source the right candidates to fill their open vacancies. But what if we told you that you could be overlooking many talented EAs because of one simple reason?

Public sector exclusivity

When it comes to finding the right candidate, you, like many departments, may find you have a clear list of criteria that you consider non-negotiable.

These are usually along the lines of having previous Australian Public Service (APS) experience and an existing security clearance, or the ability to obtain one.

However, there are many transferable skill sets that are not exclusive to the public sector. These include:

  • Time and calendar management
  • Project management
  • Organisation skills
  • Problem-solving and solution-driven mindset
  • Administrative skills

“EAs are the bread and butter of the APS,” says Janelle, Senior Consultant at Capital Recruit for Corporate Support. “Often clients are looking for previous APS experience or security clearances, but we have so many amazing candidates available with core transferable skills that are being overlooked because they are coming from the not-for-profit or private sectors.”

Remain open-minded

It’s important to consider if your detailed list of criteria is a requirement or a bonus. Acknowledging that prior government experience or a security clearance is not the be all end all to finding qualified candidates may be critical to finding the perfect fit.

Begin by highlighting the key prerequisites for an Executive Assistant position within your team and you may be surprised to find most of the skills you are looking for are transferable from outside of the APS.

Don’t disadvantage your team by limiting your search to the public sector or leaving a chair empty.

Positive attitude

Outside of having transferrable skillsets, candidates looking to join the APS have many desirable attributes that will make them an asset to your team.

Candidates are often:

  • Highly productive and engaged to prove their capabilities
  • Highly coachable and open to learning
  • More dedicated to learning new processes

If you are searching for your next star Executive Assistant, get in touch with our Corporate Support team today.


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Capital Recruit is based in Canberra, Australia

Our job vacancies are based across a number of States in Australia.

Currently we are working with clients who require Australian work rights to be in place prior to application and we do not have opportunities for sponsorship. For more information on Australian work rights, please visit

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