The right administrative professional is essential for a manager to keep their office or department afloat. When hiring for this role, you need the candidate with the right knowledge, skills, experience and personality to suit all your business requirements.
What to Look For
As technology has evolved, so has the role of the administrative professional. The best are tech savvy, with a diverse skill set your company can use to maximize potential, productivity and profitability.
- Excellent Microsoft Office skills are a given. Take this to the next level and look for proficiency in database management software, such as FileMaker Pro and Microsoft Access. Familiarity with SAP and other enterprise resource planning systems is an added strength.
- Administrative pros are not only responsible for keeping track of their own projects, but they often need to ensure that executives and team managers stay on schedule as well. Time management, flexibility and adaptability are critical traits. It’s not uncommon for admins to work on numerous assignments simultaneously. They must know how to prioritize, so nothing is overlooked or allowed to fall between the cracks.
- Don’t forget business acumen. Cost control will always be a priority, so look for an individual with past success in creating operating efficiencies and saving their employers money.
- Combine this with tact, diplomacy and decision-making strengths. Busy managers often delegate some of their own tasks to competent administrative professionals. They may be tasked with handling confidential material and/or making decisions on behalf of their bosses.
- Communication skills are another requirement. Administrative pros are typically the first point of contact for both internal and external customers. They need excellent verbal and written skills as part of the overall communications package.
How to Find It
Now that you’ve painted a picture of the perfect administrative professional, how do you go about finding them? Work with your staffing firm to:
- Perfect the job description. Develop a list of duties and must-have characteristics. The best JDs and job postings attract the interest of those who are truly qualified, and discourage those who are not. Your JD also positions your new hire for success, as it accurately explains your expectations for the role, right up front.
- Spread the word. Online job boards are a good place to start, but cast a wide net, utilizing all the connections at your disposal. Ask your contacts if they know of potential candidates. Consider an employee referral program. Your current superstars will recommend excellent talent, so everyone benefits.
- Dig deep. Look beyond candidates’ resumes for indicators they have gone above and beyond to excel in their careers. Have they voluntarily pursued training to advance as professionals, or taken on a lead role in their professional organizations? How about earning an administrative certification? What sets them apart in terms of their dedication, commitment and drive?
- Check references. Talk to candidates’ former or current bosses. In addition to references they supply, find some on your own for a truly objective assessment. This is another area where a well-connected, specialized recruitment firm can be an invaluable asset.
From the front desk to your CEO’s office, StaffMasters is a recognized leader in administrative and clerical staffing in the Carolinas’ market. To learn more about our services and our team, read our related posts or contact us today to set up an informational meeting.