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How to Hire a Great Administrative Assistant

How to hire a great administrative assistant

Administrative professionals are often the first point of contact for customers and clients. They can make or break your company reputation and play a critical role in keeping an office organized and running smoothly.

Finding an administrative assistant that has the right balance of knowledge, attitude, and experience can be tricky. It’s a good idea to have some guidelines in place when it comes to identifying and hiring the right person for the job.

Below are 5 strategies for identifying and hiring the best person for an administrative role in your organization.

1. Focus on customer service skills

In this tight candidate market, you want to draw in as many people as possible. A detailed list of “must have” requirements can discourage applicants. Of course you still want experienced people with strong skillsets. However, the one requirement that puts a great administrative assistant above the rest is strong customer service experience. Give that more weight, then evaluate alongside skills to determine potential for long term fit.

2. Answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”

Today’s job seekers have options and they want to know, “What’s in it for me?” Highlight the perks and advantages of working with your company. Let people know why this job—instead of the dozens of other similar admin jobs out there—is the best choice. Emphasize whether it’s a great opportunity to gain experience, the chance to work with a dynamic team, or a way to break into the industry. Tell them about your fun company culture. Do not forget to list out benefits your company offers. These details will set you apart.

3. Evaluate for soft skills

Soft skills such as communication, problem solving, time management, and adaptability, are important for administrative roles but can be difficult to measure or prove. The best way to identify a candidate’s capabilities in these areas is to ask careful questions that require replies that exemplify these qualities. Questions like, “Tell me how you like to learn new things,” or, “Describe the busiest day you had in your previous job” are simple but useful in screening for soft skills. The more open-ended your questions, the more telling the answers.

4. Always check references

No matter what the position, you should never skimp on checking references. This is especially true when it comes to hiring for an administrative role. Describe the job to the past employer and ask whether the candidate’s skills and experience measure up. Look to verify soft skills during this conversation and always touch on the candidate’s personality/attitude, strengths and weaknesses, and dependability.

5. Work with a staffing company

Great administrative assistants are in high demand. They are also one of the most commonly filled positions at our sister company, ALTRES Staffing. Their experienced recruiters ensure candidates we send to business clients have been thoroughly tested and vetted. Working with a staffing company gives you more flexibility in finding that great new administrative assistant—someone who is both professionally skilled and a great fit for your company.

If you need help hiring qualified administrative professionals for your business, contact ALTRES Staffing. They have over 50 years of experience recruiting for administrative roles.

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