Administrative assistants are the unsung heroes at your company who really “run the show.” They are the first point of contact with customers and the public. And they make their boss – and by extension, your company – look good. A lot rests on how they perform every day.

How do you find candidates with the right combination of skills, experience, work ethic and personality to fill these roles?


The best administrative assistants thrive on multitasking and performing well in duties ranging from basic clerical functions to specialized tasks relevant to your industry. When evaluating candidates, consider:

  • Education: For entry-level positions, a high school diploma that includes technical and business classes is a basic starting point. Further education is a plus, especially for more challenging positions. Look for a community college or vocational school background, with courses in computer, communications and office skills.
  • Certification: An added benefit is a successful rating by the International Association of Administrative Professionals.
  • Technical strengths: Administrative assistants must be proficient with computers and office equipment. Look for a strong knowledge of relevant software programs and databases, as well as troubleshooting skills with such tools as copiers and scanners.
  • Soft skills: These include excellent communication abilities, as well as time management and the capability to prioritize tasks, while remaining calm and professional.
  • Specialized knowledge: Many administrative skills are easily transferable between industries. But some fields, including law and healthcare, require specialized knowledge. Other applicable areas may include desktop publishing, inventory control, records management and accounting.

Know What You Need

When hiring administrative personnel, start by developing a list of required duties and expectations. Build these into a comprehensive, accurate job description. From here, you can:

  • Create an effective posting: Take time to write a recruitment ad that will attract top talent.
  • Put the word out: Begin online, but also incorporate networking into your hiring strategy. Turn to your current high-performing employees as reference sources.

Additional Helpful Steps

When you interview administrative candidates, pay attention to details. Is the individual polite, both on the phone and in person? Are there any typos or grammatical errors in their resume? How do they treat others when they come in to your office?

  • Look for the wow factor: Note when a candidate has gone above and beyond in their previous jobs. For example, they may have won a performance award or pursued additional training. This is the kind of incentive and ambition you’re looking for.
  • Check references: In addition to those provided by a candidate, find a reference or two on your own, for a truly candid picture of the candidate as a potential administrative hire.

Partner With a Staffing Pro

To help ensure success as you hire for administrative openings, partner with a specialized Charlotte recruitment firm. From entry-level employees to seasoned veterans, StaffMasters has been successfully placing administrative assistants with employers throughout the Carolinas for more than 30 years. Contact us today to learn more.


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