The administrative assistant is likely the most needed role in the office, yet often the position is underpaid and the applicants under qualified. Your administrative team includes the people who manage the day-to-day operations, schedule meetings and coordinate projects, and figure out the problems you and your employees can’t. Whether it’s answering cold calls from salespeople or reminding you where you keep the staplers, your administrative team has “got your back.”
But, how do you fill these crucial positions with qualified candidates. What do you look for in an administrative assistant, especially when applicants have little to no prior experience? The answers depend on the industry and size of your company, and what needs you’re looking to fulfill with the position. These are the qualities we recommend when looking to hire an administrative role for your office:
Good communication skills. You need someone who can answer phone calls and emails, organize mail, and make visitors comfortable. Your assistant also needs to communicate well between other employees and facilitate the exchange of information between the management and staff. Look for someone with good written communication skills, especially if they have a college degree or experience in a field where written communication is key.
Patience and focus. Your administrative assistant will likely have to do some data entry and other basic but time-consuming tasks. You want to find someone who has the ability to focus on one task, who won’t become frustrated after many hours at the computer. Much of their job will require them to multi-task, but someone who can dedicate their time to one project at a time will have an easier time with task management.
Attention to detail. Data entry and scheduling requires the ability to notice and keep track of details. One mistake can cause setbacks in a position like this. You don’t want to hire someone who tries to speed through tasks. You can tell if someone pays attention to detail in the way they write their resume and cover letter. You can also recognize this trait by the way someone communicates in their interview. Do they listen and respond to questions carefully? If they race through an interview, they may also race through their job duties and miss the important details.
Technical skills. Administrative assistants must know how to use basic computer programs, and be able to quickly find or produce things digitally. Someone with a lack of computer skills can learn, but it’s better to hire someone who won’t need extensive training to master the basics. Most people have this skill from home use of computers or through college.
Industry experience. Each of these qualities is present in a good administrative assistant; but, what makes an excellent one is their involvement in your particular industry. An assistant who has genuine interest in your company and the work you do will have a better attitude and will work harder than someone who simply needs an entry-level job.
Perseverance Staffing, LLC recruits and places qualified candidates in administrative positions related to their field. We can help you find the perfect fit for your company with either a permanent or temp-to-hire staff. Contact us today to find the right administrative team for you.