Administrative support staff is crucial to the day-to-day operation of a business. The right person can streamline the office workflow and increase productivity. By understanding your company's current and future administrative requirements, you can find people who are assets to your team.
Identify Administrative Needs
When it comes to administrative support, every company has different needs. A small business might only need a part-time employee to start, with the potential to move to a full-time position as the company grows. Larger corporations are more likely to need dedicated people for scheduling and executive support. Identify the exact tasks the administrative worker must handle, both now and in the future. Based on those skills, figure out the experience level you need in a successful candidate. Doing so can help you avoid wasting the time of applicants with too much or too little experience.
Offer Reasonable Salaries
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when hiring administrative support workers is to offer low-ball salaries. Experienced and talented administrative professionals know that their skills are valuable, and they are likely to go to companies who are willing to pay a reasonable salary. Research the industry standard for administrative workers in your area, and adjust your compensation accordingly. If you want to attract the most organized and efficient people, offer a salary that is higher than the local average.
Use Group Interviews
Administrative professionals deal with a wide range of employees at a variety of different levels. As such, they must be able to communicate effectively with everyone in the company. Manufacture a high-pressure situation by conducting group interviews. Include the position's immediate supervisor and any high-level people that the position supports. This type of intense group interview allows you to evaluate each candidate's communication skills and ability to adapt to a stressful situation.
Hire for Technological Ability
To provide effective administrative support, your new employee must be comfortable with industry standard programs. Given the rapidly changing nature of software and technology, the successful candidate should be able to get up to speed quickly on a new program. Ensure that each applicant has the required skills by asking specific questions in the interview and conducting tests for the final pool of candidates.
Administrative support workers are often the backbone of daily operations. They take on a range of roles in the workplace, such as facilitating communication, planning events, handling scheduling and ensuring that requests are handled quickly. An ineffective administrator can do significant damage. When you narrow your candidate pool to the top people, make sure to check references. Call former bosses, if you can do so legally, and ask about each person's efficiency and attitude. Find any professional contacts you have in common and ask for an opinion. A personal recommendation can be a helpful tool in the hiring process.
In some companies, the process of hiring administrative support workers is not taken as seriously as the hiring of executive staff. By giving the process due attention, you can find administrators that will help keep your company on track and working efficiently as it grows.
Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalImages.net