Unemployment is low and the economy is growing, and office and administration workers can expect to reap the benefits. While growth can’t be guaranteed across the board, the general trend is pointing upward for skilled professionals with experience managing the many day-to-day tasks that keep businesses running.
While new digital tools have taken over certain duties like file management and transactional customer service interactions, they aren’t eliminating the need for personnel entirely. Rather, office and administration workers are seeing their responsibilities change as a result. With more tasks being taken over by new technologies, administrative staffs are becoming more efficient at their jobs, now free to support new areas of business or increase the amount of customers they can serve at once.
But digitizing daily operations doesn’t just keep business functions running smoothly — it’s necessary for attracting and retaining today’s top talent, too. In Randstad’s Workplace 2025 study, 80 percent of employee respondents said a company’s use of the latest digital tools greatly influenced their desire to apply. As competition for top talent increases, employers that keep pace with the latest technological innovations will have an edge.
To help you stay competitive, learn more about some of the most in-demand office and administrative positions for 2019:
Businesses are finding that increased automation, adoption of new digital tools and the added flexibility of remote worker support are allowing assistants to service more departments than ever before, placing a greater emphasis on selecting candidates who possess superior organizational abilities and time management skills, and who can work well with new workplace technologies. The most employment opportunities for administrative personnel can be found in the medical field, which is expected to see 22 percent growth in new employment between 2016 and 2026 as the healthcare industry continues to grow.
customer service representatives
Customer experience has emerged as a key differentiator for many businesses. With the rise of online review sites, companies can no longer afford to deliver subpar customer experiences, and organizations that prioritize customer satisfaction will emerge on top. The entry-level nature of the position means turnover will remain high as talent graduates to other roles, creating the need to hire additional headcount. This prioritization is reflected in the numbers, with the BLS predicting employment for customer service representatives to grow five percent between 2016 and 2026. Both call centers and contact centers alike are expected to expand the most and will provide the most new employment opportunities, with a projected 36 percent increase over the next seven years.
The functions fulfilled by executive assistants remain vital to business success, and employers can expect there to be a great need for their services in 2019, especially since the role has moved beyond supporting the day-to-day duties of a singular higher-up. Now, executive assistants are helping the organization at large, with many supporting the entire business as office-wide administrators. While note-taking and schedule management duties still remain, the role has widened to include complex data management and, in some cases, the training of junior recruits. Experienced executive assistants are also being leaned on more heavily in certain decision-making processes, given their deep familiarity with the day-to-day state of their organizations. Ideal candidates for this position will have strong project management skills and technical acumen to go along with the standard job requirements that call for highly detail-oriented and organized applicants.
Demand for general clerks will remain steady, with the manufacturing industry expected to experience an increase as the sector continues to grow. To hire these workers going forward, organizations must ensure that candidates possess strong digital proficiency, as well as traditional qualifications like culture fit, organizational ability and proper customer-facing demeanor. The roles of clerks, assistants, receptionists and support personnel are changing, and a greater emphasis is being placed on digital tools to get the job done. The businesses that hire candidates with this blend of skills will position themselves for success in 2019.
Turnover among receptionists will help keep the occupation growing steadily, and opportunities in this area are on track to grow nine percent between 2016 and 2026. Much like their administrative and executive assistant counterparts, receptionists will be most in-demand at organizations at the heart of the booming healthcare industry, which will need additional personnel to support increased growth. As the first points of contact between businesses and clients, employers should look to hire candidates with superior communication skills and customer service experience.
Despite increased automation and the digitization of many tasks once carried out by office and administrative professionals, there's no replacement for the human element in customer interaction. The increased focus on customer experience and the booming healthcare industry mean these workers will be highly in demand for years to come.
To learn more about the 2019 trends and salary information for your market, click here.