Controversial EA job add wants short breaks, shuns tattoos and few “personal constraints”

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A recent job posting for an EA role has raised eyebrows for listing a series of what many perceive as unreasonable demands for the role.

The listing, originally posted by Mumbrella, has drawn criticism for requesting applicants to work overtime with no “personal constraints” and indicates the ideal candidate shouldn’t have tattoos, piercings or a unique dress sense.

The ad (which has since been taken down) was seeking a “senior executive assistant / office manager / professional governess” to the CEO at Ultimate Edge Communications, a Sydney-based media and communications consultancy. The ad was seemingly written by the CEO herself, Aleisha McCall.

While working overtime—or at least outside of the nine to five—is nothing new to EAs, the job ad’s demanding tone and considerable length have caused waves in the online community.

The seeming disregard for the EAs personal commitments and self-expression have drawn comparisons to famous Hollywood takes on the role—which many senior EAs would know is far from the modern reality of the job.

“Sounds like the role Anne Hathaway’s character worked in the Devil Wears Prada,” one commenter said.

The listing requires the EA to manage the CEO’s “personal activities” and “social “commitments”, alongside a long list of responsibilities, and some critics have interpreted the restriction on ‘personal constraints’ indicates the successful applicant should not have children or care commitments.

“The alarming thing is that she [Ms McCall] is a mother herself? Surely she would understand the importance of work flexibility?” asked another commenter.

Since the story broke, Ms McCall has responded to the complaints in an interview with Mumbrella, where she stood by her original ad and said the criticism she has received has not phased her.

“These haters can’t get away with this by hiding behind screens. And I’m willing to step up. I’m willing to speak up. I’m willing to put myself on the line to showcase that ‘You know what? In spite of all that, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing’,” Ms McCall said.

Despite Ms McCall’s rebuttal, critics have brought to light less-than-favourable reviews on the company from previous employees on Glassdoor, a company review and job search website.

Not sure how you feel about it? Take a look for yourself. Read the full job description below, plus here’s a link to the original Mumbrella story, and the follow-up interview.

The original listing

Senior Executive Assistant / Office Manager / Professional Governess

As the CEO of a high-growth company, I’m looking for someone to manage all aspects of my work life, which with a young family, spills into my personal/home life.

This EA/PA role is far from ordinary or standard because my needs and expectations are quite specific.

This position requires a high level of energy sustained over long periods of time often with few, short breaks in-between, so it’s not for everyone.

You’ll be reporting and working directly with me. As the ideal candidate, you’ll demonstrate exceptional drive, productivity and ingenuity in a role that intersects somewhere between an Executive Assistant (EA), office manager and governess.

When “I’ve got a problem” or “I need a solution fast,” you’ll be the one to respond with “I’ll handle it!” You’ll find a way…

Because it’s what you do.

It’s who you are… The exceptional go-getter, problem-solver, dot connector, optimiser, coordinator and people-person.

You need to have worked with a high profile CEO who can vouch for you, I will need to talk to him or her to understand how we can work best together.

What makes the role interesting is that you will have the opportunity to optimise the use of our resources, contractors and suppliers, orchestrating them to a symphonic level of value creation for my team and our clients.

You must pay attention to details knowing that it’s the little things that make a big difference. I am very busy juggling multiple priorities and will count on your to connect the dots and make sure nothing falls through the gaps.

Your adaptability and flexibility will enable you to manage both my corporate schedule and tasks as well as my personal activities and social commitments.

Your experience needs to encompass a wide range of personalities, including business owners, technical and creative people as well as staff from administrative clerks to freelance contractors scattered around the world.

If, by now, you’re thinking this is all too demanding, please stop reading now and I thank you for your time and consideration. This role is not for you. That’s OK.

If, however, you’re thinking “This sounds exciting”, then keep reading.

I am not expecting a 24/7 commitment but at the same time, this is not a 9-5 role either.

You need to approach this as a VOCATION, a MISSION, not just a job.

Your personal constraints need to be minimal for this to work. Even though I have an open mind to a wide variety of personal considerations, I need you fully focused on achieving the goals and outcomes I set.

The Purpose of the Role

The purpose of this role is to provide high-level and confidential executive secretarial and administrative support to me in a responsible, well-organised and timely manner.

You will become the primary coordinator for all major projects and tasks, working with me one-on-one to get ‘everything done’ that needs to get done.

The Role and Responsibilities

Here’s a quick overview of what your responsibilities will include.

Providing high-level clerical and administrative support
Preparing documents including reports, letters and presentations
Completing special projects as directed
Preparing board meeting documentation and reports
Taking notes and minutes of important meetings
Managing documents
Acting as the central point of contact and gatekeeper between me, my clients and other stakeholders (contractors and suppliers)
Screening and managing phone calls and emails
Handling requests and queries appropriately
Managing meeting and travel diaries
Coordinating and staging events, presentations, meetings, workshops, seminars and speeches
Preparing, writing, proofing and editing documentation including webpages, blog posts, PDFs and presentations
Scheduling personal tasks and activities
Running personal errands
Your Qualities

Loyalty, honesty, integrity
Polished, professional, positive, friendly demeanor
Exceptional attention to detail and quality
Act with absolute discretion and confidentiality
Highly organised, proactive, and trustworthy
Exceptional organisational and time management skills
Able to multitask and work with conflicting priorities
A positive “can do” attitude
A strong sense of judgment and ethics
Mastery of Microsoft Office and fast typing skills
You must master web browsing, Internet (Google) search, social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and all other current technologies including smartphone apps and the cloud (Dropbox, Google Suite, etc.).
Excellent written skills in English
Great interpersonal skills
Deadline oriented
Able to work autonomously and take initiative with little direction and explanation
The ability to read-between-the-lines and fill in the missing gaps.
Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and proven experience working with tight deadlines
High levels of emotional intelligence and common sense
Open-minded and flexible to change
A good sense of humour
You must have a driver’s license
To be successful in this role, you must have at least three, ideally more than five years of Executive or Personal Assistant experience working with a C-level executive, preferably a CEO/MD.

Since we promote a health-conscious environment, please note we are not a smoking friendly culture. Most of our team don’t smoke and resent smokers who are often absent ‘outside having a smoke or vaping’.

Whilst we respect all rights to self-expression, we strive to maintain a professional brand image; visible or excessive tattoos, body piercings, fashion or other similar appearance-oriented statements are discouraged by formal request of our corporate clients and in the interest of the team’s professionalism. A high-standard of appearance, personal hygiene and self-care is necessary for all our team members, without exception.

Should you be successful you can expect the following:

A lengthy, multi-step, time-consuming hiring process
An immediate start once the decision has been made, you’ll have at least 3-4 weeks lead-up time to know you’re being considered.
Full reference, background and credit check
Personality profiling
Our hiring process

1. Please introduce yourself with a YouTube video (you can use a private link). I need someone who is social media savvy.

2. Please include your Linked In profile link, I need someone with a professional presence.

3. Please include a current CV that highlights your accomplishments relevant to this role with at least 1 personal reference I can contact by phone or email.

4. Please respond with ONE PDF with your full name in the filename and role so we can manage your application effectively.

Full Name – Executive Assistant.PDF

– – – – –

Stage two of our hiring process will be for you to complete a personality profile.

If your personality profile is appropriate, I will provide you with a few questions and tasks to test your skills and abilities. This should not take more than 1 hour of your time.

If all of the above is satisfactory, then we’ll meet in person or via video Skype. We’ll discuss the opportunity in detail to determine if ‘we click’ and see eye-to-eye.

The process should not take more than 4 to 6 weeks. This is a very important decision for both of us. For you, it’s a career-making decision and for me it’s a mission-critical commitment to my personal productivity.

– – – – – – – – – –

About Ultimate Edge Communications

Ultimate Edge Communications (UEC) was founded in Sydney in 2014, by Aleisha McCall, winner of B&T’s “Top 30 under 30” in Media award and former international figure skating champion.

Aleisha’s mindset of a champion, energy and enthusiasm are the central theme that has empowered the UEC team to over-deliver on expectations and deliver market beating results across multiple industries in both B2B and B2C sectors.

We’re different from other marketing agencies because we don’t have silos. In fact, we call ourselves a consultancy because we fully integrate across the 4 dimensions of communications: Media, creative design, marketing automation & intelligence. That is how we create market-beating results.

Our Unique Selling Proposition is:

We’re relentless trailblazers on the leading edge, delivering fully integrated data-driven media, creative design and marketing automation & intelligence by intimately collaborating with high growth brands seeking long-lasting market-beating results from an infectiously passionate team.

UEC’s client value proposition begins with expert media buying that requires establishing a key strategic proportion between traditional offline and digital media spending. Once the budget allocation is defined, it then proceeds to tactical deployment of funds across the selected channels to ensure target market optimisation to set the stage for everything that follows.

The second step is to create design elements specifically tailored to each of the channels to ensure optimal conversions while providing coherent maximum brand reinforcement. The collaboration and synchronisation of media and creative design is one of the reasons UEC out-performs its peers as well as internal marketing departments.

The third element builds on this momentum to integrate lead generation and client acquisition activities to feed into a cohesive customer journey that provides a higher conversion on their path to purchase. This is enabled with sophisticated automated workflows that create and enhance the customer experience, reducing attrition at or immediately following a purchase as well as substantially improving customer satisfaction during the consumption of the product or service. This inevitably reduces operational costs. Even though UEC is focused on media, sales and marketing, the systemisation of multiple customer journeys translates into organisational improvements that further create benefits with economies of scale. These improvements often provide clients the much-needed capacity to grow quickly without substantial additional and costly human resources.

The last piece of the puzzle is embracing leading-edge technologies including: Artificial intelligence, machine learning, heuristics, predictive modelling and data analytics to produce market-beating ROI results. This process involves creating a self-reinforcing feedback loop that automatically and systematically applies highly sophisticated mathematics and statistical techniques to optimise all the moving components, so we can manage, monitor and adjust each variable in harmony with the others to maximise profits at the minimum cost while sustaining the highest quality and brand integrity.