Before looking for a job as a corporate secretary, you need to find out if you are qualified even to be shortlisted. The board of a company relies heavily on the corporate secretary. Appointed corporate secretaries need to have the right traits and skills to execute the demands of the company comfortably.
Different countries have pre-requisite requirements for one to become a corporate secretary. In Singapore, this position is in the Companies Act. When companies seek the services of a corporate secretary, they look at the legal and professional requirements.
Legal Requirements for a Corporate Secretary
For you to qualify for the position of corporate secretary, you need to have a degree in law, accounts, or public administration. You may also qualify if you have relevant experience in areas such as pensions, accounts, personnel, and credit control.
For you to qualify for the role of corporate secretary in Singapore, you need to fulfil one of the criteria listed in the Companies Act. You are required to be a certified accountant, legal professional, or a chartered secretary or administrator. If you have worked a minimum three of the five years before your appointment, you are also eligible.
When companies are hiring a corporate secretary, they do not just see if you meet the legal requirements, but if you have the necessary skills to handle the tasks.
Great Communication Skills
The board will rely on you greatly when it comes to communication on the state of the company and the expectations in consequent board meetings. You need to communicate effectively in your speech and writing. A good command of the English language is expected, and proper use of business tact is encouraged.
Excellent Negotiation Skills
If you are to be a corporate secretary for a large organization, you will experience moments when people fail to agree on business matters. For example, you may have to mediate when board members fail to recognize the importance of giving up their personal beliefs and interests for the greater good. You may need to step in and convince some of them to adapt their plans for the greater overall good of the company.
Adept Problem-Solving Skills
A corporate secretary is expected to solve internal and external issues that directly or indirectly affect the company. Should any problems arise with the company’s taxes, business processes, client or customer relations, chances are that the corporate secretary will be involved in tackling the issues. A person with minimal problem-solving skills may not survive in this position for long. A corporate secretary should possess the ability to prioritize issues that arise to ensure the core functions of the company are not affected by internal and external disputes.
Although a corporate secretary is expected to be principled, he or she should be flexible enough to deal with situations that require a change in attitude. It is easier to be more productive if you approach every situation with tailor-made approaches to ensure the company runs well.
Many companies struggle to appoint or hire a competent corporate secretary due to the job fit and the important roles and responsibilities a corporate secretary needs to fulfil. Therefore, some choose to outsource a corporate secretary’s services. Both in-house and outsourced corporate secretary services can benefit a company and it is important to choose which would suit your company best.
Read more about the Corporate Secretarial Services offered here.