Administrative Assistant Hiring: How to Find the Right Fit

By Robert Half on October 16, 2016 at 12:38pm

Whether they are fielding phone calls or scheduling meetings, creating spreadsheets and presentations, or monitoring your company's social media profile and spearheading event planning, a great administrative assistant can help your office run smoothly. When it comes to hiring, however, finding a candidate with the right knowledge, skills and experience to perfectly suit your requirements can be a challenge. The following steps can help:

Know what you need — and want

Start by creating a list of duties you'll expect your new administrative assistant to carry out and the qualifications a candidate must possess in order to succeed in the role. This exercise can also help you decide if one employee will be enough, or if the workload requires multiple staff members, as well as whether you need to hire someone permanently or simply on a temporary basis to complete specific projects.

Create an effective job posting

Take the time to write the kind of recruitment ad that will attract great candidates. What does this entail? Primarily, it involves giving an accurate sense of the role and its responsibilities. This will interest those who are truly qualified and discourage those who are not. A well-written job description can also set the stage for your new administrative assistant's success by giving them clear guidelines and a good understanding of your expectations from day one.

Put the word out

While Internet job boards and social media are popular recruitment tools, the Web alone may not be enough to find you the right administrative assistant. Online recruiting is a supplement, but not a substitute, for the value of in-person networks. Consider asking your professional contacts if they know anyone appropriate for the job. Also check with your existing employees; your staff isn't likely to go out on a limb for someone who isn't up to snuff.

Notice the little things

Are candidates polite on the phone and in person? How are their verbal and written communication skills when interacting with you? Are there careless spelling mistakes and typos in their resume? How do they treat others in your company when they come in for an interview? The answers to these questions can offer helpful insights into what a potential administrative assistant may be like when he or she is actually on the job.

Look for the a '€˜wow' factor

When it comes to finding a really great administrative assistant, one of the best recruiting tips is to take note when a candidate for the job has gone above and beyond. This may require you to dig a little deeper into their resume to determine whether they have pursued additional training, maintained a professional membership, earned an administrative certification or taken other steps that simply scream "go-getter."

Check references

It can be challenging to get feedback from previous employers, but when you do get input, it can inform your hiring decision. Try a straightforward approach with a candidate's former boss — something like, "I'm considering hiring Pam as an administrative assistant at our office and would really appreciate any insights you could share about her to make sure she's a good fit for our company."

Partner with a recruiting professional

When it comes to finding a great administrative assistant, an excellent option is to partner with an administrative recruiter who works with a pool of talent and can help evaluate candidates to find the best fit for your needs.

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