Startup Tips: How to Hire an Administrative Assistant

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By Emily Heaslip

A good administrative assistant can be hard to find. This position requires a unique combination of soft skills and technical talent, depending on the company and role.

Over the past decade, their role has evolved to include a diverse set of skills far beyond answering phones and scheduling appointments.

Many employers, however, have not evolved  in the way they recruit, interview, and hire for this position.

Companies rely on admin assistants more than ever. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that administrative assistant jobs are projected to grow by 13.2% by 2022.

As competition for talent increases, how can recruiting managers update their admin assistant hiring process?

Write a tailored job description that stands out

An admin assistant may not seem like a terribly exciting job, but these employees are often the heart and soul of the organization.

When writing your job description, focus on the company culture in the listing and use video to make the position sound exciting.

Outline the activities and responsibilities so job seekers can determine if they’re qualified.

But, more importantly, make sure to highlight the big picture and show how the admin assistant role contributes to the organization’s overall goals. Use video, graphics, and other visuals to present a window into life at your company.

The goal of your job description is to give job seekers the information they need to picture themselves interacting with the teams across your organization.

Decide how senior a person you need

Not all admin assistants positions are created equal. Senior executives have different needs than teams of engineers.

This is also one of the reasons why compensation for administrative assistants tends to vary widely.

According to reporting by Glassdoor, admin assistants can be paid anywhere from $41,000 to $82,000 annually, depending on their seniority and tenure.

Recruiters should think carefully about the workload and management needs an admin assistant will have to be responsible for.

Craft the position description to be as specific as possible, detailing the requirements and responsibilities so candidates can self-select as they apply.

Highlight the benefits and perks

Admin assistant may not seem like a glamorous position, but many people thrive on being able to work with senior managers and sit in on big meetings.

The benefits and potential to grow with an organization can be enough to draw in great candidates.

Administrative and executive assistants are able to take on challenging work, learn new skills, and get their foot in the door of virtually any industry.

Many administrative assistants grow with the organization – there’s lots of potential for upward mobility, according to global human resource consulting firm Robert Half.

Today’s admins are able to take on work that previously would be allocated to middle management. Likewise, many assistants are able to work remotely and enjoy flexible hours depending on the team (or teams) they support.

Use a Talent Trial

Talent Trials is a critical tool recruiters can use to assess a candidate’s readiness for an administrative assistant position.

The skills tests provided in Vervoe’s library are fully customizable, giving hiring managers the benefit of combining text, multiple choice, video, document editing and more with validated psychometric assessments.

Talent Trials should be designed to discover the candidate’s ability to:

  • Juggle multiple tasks
  • Use administrative software
  • Be flexible and resourceful
  • Have organizational skills

39 percent of executives say that time management and flexibility are the two most important attributes for success in an admin role.

Skills tests should be designed to include specific software products such as FileMaker Pro and Microsoft Access, and familiarity with different scheduling and productivity tools.

Rather than relying on a resume to say a candidate has that experience, test it for yourself on Vervoe’s platform.

As the market for great admin assistants gets more competitive, recruiters must change the way they approach these candidates. Vervoe’s skills assessments are a great place to start.

About Author: The Author is content writer at Vervoe.com – a publication covering flexible working, branding, automation, tips on interview scripts, tests and more. It helps companies like Uber assess candidate’s skills and style in order to make the right hiring choice.

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