how to hire an administrative assistant.

how to hire an administrative assistant.

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If you're currently looking to hire an administrative assistant, you may have noticed the crowd of competition around you. According to labor-insights provider Burning Glass, there were a staggering amount of openings for this position over the past 12 months: 431,018 to be exact, with an average of 26 days to fill each role.

This boom isn't overly surprising, since businesses are finding that, with increased automation and the added flexibility of remote worker support, administrative assistants are becoming a more important piece of the puzzle in pushing productivity and efficiency within their organizations.

Administrative assistants wear many hats and can have many roles within a company, which makes it critical to fill this position as efficiently (and quickly) as possible. But how?

Follow this checklist to strengthen your recruitment strategy when it's time to hire your next administrative assistant:

Ready to dive in and learn more? Let's get started.

1. speed up your hiring process

Administrative assistants are a versatile necessity to the everyday workings of a business. They complete many, many tasks that may seem small, but are ultimately vital to a company's health: providing front-line client and customer service, managing budgets, carrying out any number of important clerical tasks — and more.

And while you don't want to be hasty when it comes to recruiting for such an important role, you do want to be efficient. Take a look at this diagram to help determine where you can streamline your current hiring process.

2. develop a competitive compensation package

In the age of salary transparency and employer-review sites, a competitive wage is the foundation of a strong job offer. Knowing compensation trends and what makes for a strong offering puts you in the driver's seat when determining the amount to pay your employees. 

Begin your research with Randstad's 2019 Salary Guide, which offers insights into hiring and salary trends across the nation. And to get things started for you, here are the nationwide hourly wages for administrative assistants, broken down by level of experience: 

entry-level
$17.99/hour

mid-level
$20.83/hour

senior-level
$23.94/hour

Averages are a good starting point for evaluating your compensation levels, but do note that a truly competitive pay rate is always relative to the worker's location. Head on over to our salary calculator to access up-to-date, market-specific data on compensation levels for administrative assistants.  

3. identify the top skills for administrative assistants

In order to write an effective and alluring job description, you need to know what to look for in a candidate. Exactly what skills and traits are necessary to get the job done efficiently? To get an idea of what skills are needed for this role, it's wise to meet with the hiring manager and anyone the administrative assistant will support.

Remember that these vary from position to position based on your company or team's specific needs. For example, while everyone will need an assistant with mastery of Outlook or other calendar-management tools, not everyone will need an Excel whiz who can create complex pivot tables.

Next, you'll want to sort the skills into two different categories: "hard" skills (those that directly relate to the work administrative assistants do); and "soft" skills (which generally speak to people and social skills). Here are the skills that are most requested of administrative assistants in both categories:

hard skills

administrative support

scheduling

customer service

data entry

expense reports

soft skills

communication

organization

detail-oriented

multitasking

writing/typing

from calendar management to pivot tables and complex expense reports, the skills needed of an administrative assistant can vary greatly.

4. write an eye-catching job description

A job description that's able to grab a candidate's attention and excite them to apply is key. Here are three pointers to remember when it's time to craft an alluring description.

don't write like a robot
Your job description shouldn't read like a list of responsibilities and duties. Simply put, stiff, matter-of-fact sentences strictly outlining expectations aren't very engaging to prospective job candidates. Instead, appeal to them by highlighting the human aspects of the job.

By using personable, accessible language, you'll make your pitch for the job — and working for your company — a lot more attractive. And be sure to focus on the "people" aspects of the role, addressing questions about your team structure and workplace culture. Administrative assistants definitely want answers to things like:

  • What's the work atmosphere or company culture like?
  • To whom will I be reporting?
  • How many people are on the team, and how will I support them?
  • Remember that you're trying to hire a person, not a robot — so don't write like one.

show how the job is meaningful
A sense of purpose is a driving factor for many candidates when it comes to choosing an employer. So when it comes to articulating meaning and purpose to an administrative assistant, speak to their value in the organization — how they're the glue that keeps everyone and everything together so that your business can run smoothly. Also stress how the administrative assistant helps their colleagues do their jobs better, which will create a heightened sense of purpose and involvement in your company's success.

Candidates will also want to know the possibilities for individual growth. Working as an administrative assistant can often mean working with a wide variety of different teams or functions, while harnessing and bolstering the core skills we discussed earlier. So given how versatile the job demands are, oftentimes there's room to move up from an entry-level position. Let them know their job would be more than sitting at a desk answering phones and that there are opportunities for advancement ahead. 

the best job descriptions attract candidates with a sense of purpose and build excitement to be part of the company's success.

make it easy to skim
The goal of a job description is to paint the most appealing and accurate picture possible in as few words as possible. Tailoring your description to be easy to skim is the best way to ensure prospects get all the need-to-know information without feeling overwhelmed.

This doesn't mean you skip out on everything but the quick facts — rather, it means you package everything to be easily digestible. This means formatting the text to include:

  • bullet points
  • short paragraphs
  • front-loaded sentences

If you'd like to learn even more, get additional writing tips and insights in our guide to writing highly effective job descriptions.

5. brush up on the latest industry trends

Knowing how trends in the office and administration arena will impact the quality and quantity of your hires and can only strengthen your recruitment strategy. After all, you're not just hiring for the needs of today, but those of tomorrow as well.

Here are a few trends to keep top of mind right now: 

  • The medical field is driving the most employment opportunities for administrative personnel, with a 22 percent growth in new roles expected by 2026.
  • Sixty-two percent of employees said that a company's reputation as a digital leader greatly impacted their decision to join, making it important for employers to stay up-to-date with tech demands, an important thing to consider given how tech-savvy administrative assistants need to be today.
  • The top five states leading the demand for administrative assistants are California, Texas, New York, Florida and Massachusetts, so employers in these markets need to be extra competitive when recruiting top talent.

To get a deeper look into trends that affect your hiring strategy, read through our 2019 guide to hiring in the office and administration industry.

opportunities for administrative professionals will increase 22 percent by 2026, driven largely by growth in the medical field.

6. choose your channels to find candidates 

There are many different routes in which an employer can go about finding candidates for open positions, but not all are going to be the right fit depending on your business's size, recruitment budget and hiring needs. This is especially true when hiring administrative assistants: You need to find someone who's not only right for your specific company, but someone you can truly rely on. 

If you've already posted the position to several job boards, asked current employees for referrals and are still coming up short, consider expanding your options by working with a professional staffing firm. Partnering with a staffing agency means getting access to a pool of prescreened, vetted candidates — a great path forward to mitigate the risk of making a bad (and costly) hire.

If that sounds like music to your ears, contact one of Randstad's office and administrative experts today to discuss your administrative support needs. Or if you'd rather peruse your options a bit first, check out the high-quality candidates we have waiting to meet with you in our Find Employees portal.

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how to hire an administrative assistant.

Posted by Michael Cirigliano on Sep 27, 2019 3:48:40 PM

If you're currently looking to hire an administrative assistant, you may have noticed the crowd of competition around you. According to labor-insights provider Burning Glass, there were a staggering amount of openings for this position over the past 12 months: 431,018 to be exact, with an average of 26 days to fill each role.

This boom isn't overly surprising, since businesses are finding that, with increased automation and the added flexibility of remote worker support, administrative assistants are becoming a more important piece of the puzzle in pushing productivity and efficiency within their organizations.

Administrative assistants wear many hats and can have many roles within a company, which makes it critical to fill this position as efficiently (and quickly) as possible. But how?

Follow this checklist to strengthen your recruitment strategy when it's time to hire your next administrative assistant:

Ready to dive in and learn more? Let's get started.

1. speed up your hiring process

Administrative assistants are a versatile necessity to the everyday workings of a business. They complete many, many tasks that may seem small, but are ultimately vital to a company's health: providing front-line client and customer service, managing budgets, carrying out any number of important clerical tasks — and more.

And while you don't want to be hasty when it comes to recruiting for such an important role, you do want to be efficient. Take a look at this diagram to help determine where you can streamline your current hiring process.

2. develop a competitive compensation package

In the age of salary transparency and employer-review sites, a competitive wage is the foundation of a strong job offer. Knowing compensation trends and what makes for a strong offering puts you in the driver's seat when determining the amount to pay your employees. 

Begin your research with Randstad's 2019 Salary Guide, which offers insights into hiring and salary trends across the nation. And to get things started for you, here are the nationwide hourly wages for administrative assistants, broken down by level of experience: 

entry-level
$17.99/hour

mid-level
$20.83/hour

senior-level
$23.94/hour

Averages are a good starting point for evaluating your compensation levels, but do note that a truly competitive pay rate is always relative to the worker's location. Head on over to our salary calculator to access up-to-date, market-specific data on compensation levels for administrative assistants.  

3. identify the top skills for administrative assistants

In order to write an effective and alluring job description, you need to know what to look for in a candidate. Exactly what skills and traits are necessary to get the job done efficiently? To get an idea of what skills are needed for this role, it's wise to meet with the hiring manager and anyone the administrative assistant will support.

Remember that these vary from position to position based on your company or team's specific needs. For example, while everyone will need an assistant with mastery of Outlook or other calendar-management tools, not everyone will need an Excel whiz who can create complex pivot tables.

Next, you'll want to sort the skills into two different categories: "hard" skills (those that directly relate to the work administrative assistants do); and "soft" skills (which generally speak to people and social skills). Here are the skills that are most requested of administrative assistants in both categories:

hard skills

administrative support

scheduling

customer service

data entry

expense reports

soft skills

communication

organization

detail-oriented

multitasking

writing/typing

from calendar management to pivot tables and complex expense reports, the skills needed of an administrative assistant can vary greatly.

4. write an eye-catching job description

A job description that's able to grab a candidate's attention and excite them to apply is key. Here are three pointers to remember when it's time to craft an alluring description.

don't write like a robot
Your job description shouldn't read like a list of responsibilities and duties. Simply put, stiff, matter-of-fact sentences strictly outlining expectations aren't very engaging to prospective job candidates. Instead, appeal to them by highlighting the human aspects of the job.

By using personable, accessible language, you'll make your pitch for the job — and working for your company — a lot more attractive. And be sure to focus on the "people" aspects of the role, addressing questions about your team structure and workplace culture. Administrative assistants definitely want answers to things like:

  • What's the work atmosphere or company culture like?
  • To whom will I be reporting?
  • How many people are on the team, and how will I support them?
  • Remember that you're trying to hire a person, not a robot — so don't write like one.

show how the job is meaningful
A sense of purpose is a driving factor for many candidates when it comes to choosing an employer. So when it comes to articulating meaning and purpose to an administrative assistant, speak to their value in the organization — how they're the glue that keeps everyone and everything together so that your business can run smoothly. Also stress how the administrative assistant helps their colleagues do their jobs better, which will create a heightened sense of purpose and involvement in your company's success.

Candidates will also want to know the possibilities for individual growth. Working as an administrative assistant can often mean working with a wide variety of different teams or functions, while harnessing and bolstering the core skills we discussed earlier. So given how versatile the job demands are, oftentimes there's room to move up from an entry-level position. Let them know their job would be more than sitting at a desk answering phones and that there are opportunities for advancement ahead. 

the best job descriptions attract candidates with a sense of purpose and build excitement to be part of the company's success.

make it easy to skim
The goal of a job description is to paint the most appealing and accurate picture possible in as few words as possible. Tailoring your description to be easy to skim is the best way to ensure prospects get all the need-to-know information without feeling overwhelmed.

This doesn't mean you skip out on everything but the quick facts — rather, it means you package everything to be easily digestible. This means formatting the text to include:

  • bullet points
  • short paragraphs
  • front-loaded sentences

If you'd like to learn even more, get additional writing tips and insights in our guide to writing highly effective job descriptions.

5. brush up on the latest industry trends

Knowing how trends in the office and administration arena will impact the quality and quantity of your hires and can only strengthen your recruitment strategy. After all, you're not just hiring for the needs of today, but those of tomorrow as well.

Here are a few trends to keep top of mind right now: 

  • The medical field is driving the most employment opportunities for administrative personnel, with a 22 percent growth in new roles expected by 2026.
  • Sixty-two percent of employees said that a company's reputation as a digital leader greatly impacted their decision to join, making it important for employers to stay up-to-date with tech demands, an important thing to consider given how tech-savvy administrative assistants need to be today.
  • The top five states leading the demand for administrative assistants are California, Texas, New York, Florida and Massachusetts, so employers in these markets need to be extra competitive when recruiting top talent.

To get a deeper look into trends that affect your hiring strategy, read through our 2019 guide to hiring in the office and administration industry.

opportunities for administrative professionals will increase 22 percent by 2026, driven largely by growth in the medical field.

6. choose your channels to find candidates 

There are many different routes in which an employer can go about finding candidates for open positions, but not all are going to be the right fit depending on your business's size, recruitment budget and hiring needs. This is especially true when hiring administrative assistants: You need to find someone who's not only right for your specific company, but someone you can truly rely on. 

If you've already posted the position to several job boards, asked current employees for referrals and are still coming up short, consider expanding your options by working with a professional staffing firm. Partnering with a staffing agency means getting access to a pool of prescreened, vetted candidates — a great path forward to mitigate the risk of making a bad (and costly) hire.

If that sounds like music to your ears, contact one of Randstad's office and administrative experts today to discuss your administrative support needs. Or if you'd rather peruse your options a bit first, check out the high-quality candidates we have waiting to meet with you in our Find Employees portal.

Topics: phase:explore, industry:office & administration, topic:problems