Qualities You Should Look for When Hiring an Administrative Assistant
Published on February 5th, 2023
Administrative assistants play a vital role in the success of any organization. They are often the backbone of the office, managing multiple tasks and responsibilities, and ensuring the smooth operation of the business. As a recruiter, it is essential to identify the right skills and qualifications when hiring administrative assistants to ensure they can meet the demands of the role.
In this blog we will talk about the role of an administrative assistant and what it entails in terms of duties and responsibilities. Accordingly we also elaborate on the traits and qualifications they should possess to excel at their position. We also mention some of the merits of hiring an administrative assistant to help you get a full picture of the job.
So let's begin!
Here is an overview of the role and responsibilities of administrative assistants
The role of an administrative assistant
The role of an administrative assistant is to provide support to executives and other employees in the organization. They are responsible for managing administrative tasks, including scheduling appointments, managing correspondence, preparing reports, and coordinating meetings. Administrative assistants are often the point of contact between various stakeholders within the company so they should present a professional image and possess a great ability to communicate and facilitate the collaboration of entities throughout the organization.
Responsibilities and tasks of an administrative assistant
- Managing correspondence: Administrative assistants are responsible for managing incoming and outgoing correspondence, including email, phone calls, and mail. They should be able to prioritize messages and respond to them promptly and accurately. This includes drafting and sending letters, emails, and other communications on behalf of the executive.
- Scheduling appointments: Administrative assistants are responsible for scheduling appointments for the executives and other employees in the organization. This includes coordinating with clients and other stakeholders, managing calendars, and ensuring that all appointments are scheduled efficiently and without conflicts. Hiring an administrative assistant can help the company reliably schedule appointments with clients and employees.
- Coordinating meetings: Administrative assistants are responsible for coordinating meetings, including scheduling, preparing agendas, sending out invitations, and ensuring that all attendees have the necessary information. They may also be responsible for preparing meeting materials, taking notes, and following up on action items.
- Managing travel arrangements: Administrative assistants are responsible for managing travel arrangements for executives and other employees, including booking flights, hotels, and rental cars. They should also be able to coordinate with travel agencies, manage itineraries, and ensure that all travel arrangements are within the organization's travel policy.
- Preparing reports: Administrative assistants are responsible for preparing reports, including financial statements, budgets, and progress reports. They should be able to gather and analyze data, prepare charts and graphs, and present information in a clear and concise manner.
- Managing office supplies: Administrative assistants are responsible for managing office supplies, including ordering and maintaining inventory, stocking supplies, and ensuring that all employees have the necessary equipment and materials.
- Assists by troubleshooting: Administrative assistants are often the employees responsible for dealing with administrative backlogs or questions from other employees regarding the business’s processes. They should be able to handle inquiries, resolve issues, and ensure the smooth flow of business.
- Maintaining records: When you hire an administrative assistant, they are responsible for maintaining records, including filing, archiving, and retrieving documents. They should be able to manage electronic and paper records and ensure that all records are accurate and up-to-date.
- Managing budgets: Administrative assistants may be responsible for managing budgets, including tracking expenses, preparing invoices, and processing payments. They should be able to work closely with the finance department and ensure that all expenses are within budget.
- Assisting with special projects: Administrative assistants may be responsible for assisting with special projects, including organizing events, coordinating marketing campaigns, and supporting other departments within the organization.
Qualities and traits to keep an eye out for when hiring administrative assistants
- Organizational skills : One of the most critical skills that an administrative assistant should possess is excellent organizational skills. They should be able to manage multiple tasks, prioritize their workload, and stay focused on meeting deadlines. This includes scheduling appointments, arranging meetings, managing email, and coordinating events. They should have a systematic approach to work, which will enable them to keep track of various tasks without getting overwhelmed.
- Communication skills : Effective communication is a crucial quality for administrative assistants. They should be able to communicate effectively with colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders. This includes the ability to speak and write clearly and concisely, listen attentively, and provide accurate information. In recent years there has also been a shift towards diversity and inclusion. The workforce of a company can include employees from differing backgrounds and beliefs. When you hire an administrative assistant you should look for their ability or experience in communication with people from all walks of life. Accordingly, when hiring an administrative assistant you should look for a candidate who is able to adapt their communication style to suit different audiences.
- Meticulous and attentive in their work : Administrative assistants are responsible for managing a lot of information, and even the smallest mistake can have significant consequences. Therefore, they must have an eye for detail and ensure that all work is accurate and error-free. This includes proofreading documents, reviewing spreadsheets, and checking for inconsistencies.
- Time management skills : Time management is essential for administrative assistants. They should be able to prioritize tasks, manage their time effectively, and meet deadlines. This includes the ability to work efficiently under pressure, multitask, and adapt to changing priorities. Time is a very important resource for organizations as “time is money” in the professional world and time wasted is revenue lost. By hiring an administrative assistant who can help the company manage and utilize its time more efficiently the company can essentially boost its potential for earning revenue.
- Technical skills : Administrative assistants should be comfortable with technology as it is what helps them streamline administrative processes. To this end they should have a good understanding of various software programs. This includes proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, email management software, and other business-related applications. They should also be able to troubleshoot technical issues and solve problems independently.
- Professionalism : Administrative assistants provide other employees with assistance in administrative work, and therefore should present a professional image. This includes dressing appropriately, using proper language and tone, and behaving courteously and respectfully. They should also be able to handle confidential information with discretion and maintain confidentiality at all times.
In addition to these traits, there are other qualifications and experience that recruiters should look for when hiring administrative assistants. Here are some key requirements to consider:
- Education: While a degree is not always necessary, administrative assistants should have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer candidates with an associate's or bachelor's degree in business administration or a related field.
- Experience: Administrative assistants should have relevant experience in office administration, such as working as an executive assistant, administrative coordinator, or similar role. Experience in a particular industry, such as healthcare or finance, may also be beneficial.
- Technical skills: As mentioned earlier, administrative assistants should have a good understanding of various software programs. Therefore, they should have experience using Microsoft Powerpoint, Adobe Acrobat, Outlook or other email management software, and any necessary professional applications. There are a wide variety of online certifications available for these tools and a candidate that has completed them can take less time getting accustomed to their work.
- Ability to set up travel and staying arrangements : An administrative assistant is also tasked with making the necessary travel arrangements for employees such as booking flight tickets, making hotel reservations, in city travel in the form of cabs or chauffeurs, etc. A good method of checking this ability of the candidate can be to ask them to make a booking on the spot during an interview. By setting up a hypothetical phone call or by simulating a booking experience, a company can assess whether the candidate would be able to perform this task reliably after they get hired.
Here are some of the top benefits of hiring administrative assistants
- Increased productivity : Administrative assistants can help increase productivity for executives and other employees in the organization. By taking care of administrative tasks, employees can focus on their core responsibilities, which can lead to increased efficiency and productivity.
- Improved organization : Administrative assistants are experts at organization. By hiring an administrative assistant you can help keep executives and other employees on track with their schedules, deadlines, and tasks. This can lead to better time management and improved performance.
- Enhanced communication : Administrative assistants facilitate communication and collaboration throughout the organization. They can help improve communication by managing incoming and outgoing correspondence, scheduling appointments, and coordinating meetings. This can lead to improved relationships with clients and better communication within the organization.
- Increased cost-effectiveness : Administrative assistants can help save money for the organization by managing budgets, tracking expenses, and ensuring that all expenses are within budget. They can also help with the procurement of office supplies and equipment, ensuring that the organization is getting the best possible value for its money.
- Better retention : Hiring administrative assistants can provide the benefit of creating a positive experience for internal and external clients. By presenting a professional image and providing a welcoming and efficient impression of the business, they can help improve the organization's reputation and attract new business while retaining clients and employees.
- Flexibility : Administrative assistants are skilled at managing multiple tasks and priorities simultaneously. They can adapt to changing situations and provide support wherever it is needed. This can help the organization stay agile and responsive to new challenges and opportunities.
- Improved morale : By hiring an administrative assistant, you can help improve employee morale by providing support and assistance to executives and other employees. By taking care of administrative tasks, they can help alleviate some of the stress and pressure that employees may feel, leading to a more positive and productive work environment. This is relevant as the improved morale in the workplace itself provides a host of benefits. These include greater productivity, employee retention, strengthening of the employer brand, etc.
- Better decision-making : Administrative assistants can provide valuable insights and information to executives and other employees. By managing records, preparing reports, and analyzing data, they can help inform decision-making and improve the overall performance of the organization.
- Increased professionalism : Hiring administrative assistants can help maintain a professional image for the organization. By presenting a professional demeanor they can help maintain and promote professionalism throughout the organization. This improves the organization's standing both in the eyes of the potential applicants and the market.
- Improved work-life balance : Administrative assistants can help executives and other employees achieve better work-life balance by taking care of administrative tasks. This can help reduce the burden of work and allow employees to take time to destress or focus on their personal lives outside of work.
We can help you source and assess administrative assistants with ease!
We at HireQuotient understand the importance and need for effective candidate sourcing. With access to over 600 million candidate profiles across the globe and a concise pre-screening procedure, HireQuotient can help you finish your candidate sourcing in days rather than weeks with the use of automation. Utilize our job description builder to quickly create the ideal job description when you decide to hire an administrative assistant and access and communicate with HireQuotient’s vast pool of candidates via our targeted mass outreach procedures. This has saved over 70,000 hours for recruiters and with our pre screening you can sort out candidates and find the ideal candidate in under 5 minutes!
HireQuotient also provides an entire plethora of skill assessments that you can employ in gauging the skill of your employees. Our repository is constantly updated with the latest industry relevant tests and assessments pertaining to all non-tech related positions. The questions are created by dedicated subject matter experts in the relevant industries and are categorized based on the difficulty levels so that you can effectively assess the candidate you choose to hire.
All of this is available in a few clicks of your mouse, so check out the company website to book a demo or get on a call with our experts here at HireQuotient to learn how we can help you hire administrative assistants for your company.
Thomas M. A.
A literature-lover by design and qualification, Thomas loves exploring different aspects of software and writing about the same.
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