In the Autumn of 2018, we launched our first ever careers survey for Business Support Professionals to gain a valuable insight into the first-hand experiences of individuals working in this vast and rapidly changing sector.
EPAA are acutely aware that traditional business support roles are in a state of flux, as technological advancements and corporate restructuring change the way that industry professionals work within the sector.
EPAA are keen to ensure that our members – and the wider community – have the knowledge and technical skillset necessary to excel in their roles and remain competitive and relevant in an ever-changing marketplace, and that recruiters and businesses are fully aware of the unique skillset and benefits that business support professionals bring to a team.
The ‘Careers, Salaries and the World of Work’ survey contained 39 questions that focused on the following topics:
- General information about the participants
- The education and experience levels of participants
- What participants have experienced in terms of the recruitment process within this sector (including interviews)
- Salary and benefits
- Whether participants intend to remain working within this industry
The survey could be completed anonymously, if the participant chose to do so, and we received close to 500 responses from UK-based business support professionals.
Generally, the results from the first EPAA ‘Careers, Salaries and the World of Work’ survey appear positive, with 66% of respondents advising that they feel valued as a business support professional and 72% stating that they plan to remain working within this industry in the future.
Those surveyed are predominantly extensively experienced (with just under half of respondents having more than 15 years of experience in the industry) and highly skilled, and many have been working in their current roles for a number of years.
It’s clear from the results of the education and skillset questions that the role of a business support professional isn’t an ‘entry level’ career, but a challenging and varied role. With survey respondents advising that they are skilled in everything from accounting to HR, and from bilingual communication to technology, business support professionals bring a variety of skills to UK businesses, an absolute necessity given the significant corporate restructuring and technological developments that we have seen in the sector over the last few years.
Unfortunately, the positive experiences of the industry aren’t shared by all – some participants have felt the need to leave previous business support roles due to challenging workplace relationships, and advised that they didn’t feel valued in their current role and/or felt that the recruitment process within this industry isn’t as ‘fair’ and ‘just’ as it could be. This suggests that there is still work to be done to help promote inclusivity and a positive and supportive culture within the industry in order to ensure that more people consider it a long term and viable career path for them.
Here at EPAA, two of our long term strategic priorities are to a.) change and challenge the EA/PA landscape, and b.) continue to improve our employee value proposition, and the results from the ‘Careers, Salaries and the World of Work’ survey will help us to achieve this, thanks to the insight we now have into the lived experiences of our survey respondents within this sector.
To see a full copy of the results please complete the form below.