How to Choose a Corporate Secretary: 10 Key Traits to Look For

There’s a reason why there are 3,638,800 secretary jobs with more being added every day. A good secretary performs key administrative and clerical functions. As such, they can make or break a company. However, some secretary positions are more important than others.

For example, a corporate secretary position requires much more consideration before deciding on a candidate. After all, these individuals will be providing valuable advice to the board.

Because of this, a sense of trust must be earned. That’s why we organized this list of ten traits every company should look for in a corporate secretary. That way, you know for sure whether or not you can trust the person you’re hiring.

Ten Traits to Look For in a Corporate Secretary

The responsibility of a corporate secretary is no longer confined to strictly administrative and legal compliance roles. These days, the position requires multiple hats as an advisor that specializes in all manner of things, from legal to business.

As such, someone who’s ideal for the role will exhibit multiple ideal traits. In this section, we’ll go over ten of these that you should always look out for.

  1. Strong Organization Skills

Consistent organizational skills are a must for any corporate secretary. A good portion of their responsibilities will be devoted to scheduling and bookkeeping committee meetings and board of director meetings.

These job duties require meticulous planning if they’re to go correctly. Record management is also necessary for legal reasons. As such, someone who’s not able to record and access details at the drop of a pin might not be a good candidate.

  1. Knowledge to Advise

A corporate secretary’s role is not limited to administrative functions. They also must provide a valuable console to the board in the form of logistical and functional advice.

As such, they need to have a big-picture mind with a firm knowledge of where the company stands in terms of its finances, image, and future growth or decline. They also must be good at communicating this advice in a way that defers power to the other board members.

  1. Patience With Communication Skills

A clear communication style is helpful for the corporate secretary role. However, it’s also important that they’re patient when discussing certain topics.

Oftentimes they’ll need to explain complicated laws to people in layman’s terms. As such, they can’t get frustrated if it takes someone a while to understand. Someone who remains cool and collected while communicating is invaluable for this position.

  1. Familiarity With Business Regulations and Laws

In addition to maintaining all the key corporate documentation, a corporate secretary must also be familiar with business regulations and law. One of their key roles will be to make sure that the company complies with stock exchange listing standards, state law standards, and SEC reporting.

They’ll also be responsible for corporate disclosure. As such, someone who isn’t well-versed in this specific set of laws can bring a company into hot water easily.

  1. Past Experience Managing Large Amounts of People

As a corporate secretary, the candidate will be managing both individual people and whole departments. This can be a daunting task for someone with no experience doing it.

As such, ideally, they’ll have had some experience with another job. If they don’t, then you will likely need to provide them with training to do it effectively.

  1. Trustworthiness

The individual you hire for this position will not just be providing close advice to directors and employees. They’ll also have access to vital company records, as well as plans for the future direction in business.

As such, you need to make sure that you can trust them. However, this trust doesn’t simply extend following the rules — it’s expected that they won’t sell out corporate secrets for a profit.

You need to be able to trust the instinct of the corporate secretary. You can’t be second-guessing the advice of someone in this position. You need to believe in their expertise, as well as the fact that they have your best interests in mind.

  1. Strong Social Skills

A corporate secretary acts as a liaison between the board and smaller committees. As such, they must have strong social skills that make everyone feel understood and comfortable.

  1. Willing to Adhere to Bureaucratic Guidelines

It’s the corporate secretary’s job to make sure that the company is adhering to the bureaucratic guidelines. As such, they must record and submit all the necessary documentation to the right individuals.

  1. Works Well Under Pressure

As you can see, there’s a lot of stress that falls on this position. A lot of this, like organization leadership and facilitating communication, is built into the job. However, oftentimes the stress can be external too.

For example, let’s say a business in Hong Kong is closing. When it goes through the deregistration process, the corporate secretary will play a vital role in organizing all the necessary documentation.

As such, if they’re not able to keep a level head during this type of stressful scenario, then they can cause serious business and legal problems. If you want, you can learn more on company deregistration here.

  1. Efficient Multi-Tasker

As you can see, there are tons of responsibilities that come with a corporate secretary position. As such, the individual needs to be effective at juggling multiple tasks at once. Otherwise, they will forget important responsibilities that can affect the company.

Want More Content? Keep Exploring

We hope this article helped you learn about the necessary traits for an effective corporate secretary. As you can see, this position requires a unique candidate with specialized skills. However, more than that, they should be an intelligent individual who has the company’s best interest at heart.

If you find someone like that, then don’t hesitate to hire them. Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find more topics that you’re sure to love.

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