Administrative assistants have a diverse skillset: they’re fielding calls, scheduling virtual meetings, helping employees understand new software, creating presentations, supporting office events, assisting with purchasing or monitoring the company's social media pages, and more. A great administrative assistant can help your office run smoothly. When it comes to hiring for administrative assistant jobs however, finding a job candidate with the right knowledge, skills and experience to perfectly suit your requirements can be a challenge.
Did you know: 46% of administrative and customer support hiring managers who report they are expanding their departments say company growth is driving their hiring decisions? Get the latest hiring trends for administrative assistant jobs in the Robert Half Salary Guide.
The following steps can help you secure top talent for your administrative assistant job openings. The right person in the role will make your job easier, your team more efficient and your company stronger.   Make your list of expectations Start by creating a list of job duties you expect your new administrative assistant to carry out and the must-have skills and qualifications for success in the role. This exercise can also help you decide if one employee will be enough or if the workload requires multiple team members — as well as whether you need permanent or contract talent to complete specific projects. Example skills and qualifications for administrative assistant jobs: Organization and Time Management Communication Skills Adaptability and Flexibility Computer Proficiency Customer Service Discretion and Confidentiality Data Entry and File Management   Create a clear and compelling job posting Take the time to write the kind of job ad that attracts great candidates. This primarily involves giving an accurate sense of the role and its responsibilities. A great job posting piques the interest of those who are truly qualified and discourages those who aren’t. A well-written administrative assistant job description also sets the stage for your new administrative assistant's success by giving them clear guidelines and a good understanding of the work environment and your expectations from day one. Beyond just listing duties, a compelling job posting can also showcase the company culture, work environment, and potential for growth. This can entice talented administrative assistants who are looking for more than just a job. Here is how to stay clear and succinct when writing ads for administrative assistant jobs: Uses clear and concise language: Avoid jargon and technical terms that might confuse potential applicants. Provides details about the role and responsibilities: Don't be afraid to get specific about the day-to-day tasks and projects the administrative assistant will be involved in. Share company culture and benefits: Briefly showcase what makes your company a great place to work, including benefits and potential for growth. Includes a clear call to action: Tell applicants how to apply and what information you need from them.   Looking for an administrative assistant or an administrative assistant job? Submit your resume or request talent now and our expert recruiters will be with you shortly.   Spreading the word for the job posting While internet job boards and social media are popular recruitment tools, the web alone may not be enough to find the right administrative assistant to hire. Online recruiting is a supplement to — not a substitute for — your own personal network. Consider asking your professional contacts if they know anyone appropriate for the administrative assistant job. Also check with your existing employees for referrals; your staff isn't likely to go out on a limb for someone who isn't up to snuff so they can be a reliable source for potential candidates.   What to look out for during the interview stage Are candidates polite during video or in-person interviews? How are their verbal and written communication skills when interacting with you? Do they project confidence and a positive tone? The answers to these questions offer helpful insights into what a potential administrative assistant may be like when they’re actually on the job. Here are some other key things to look out for when interview screening potential candidates for administrative assistant jobs: Match with job description: Assess if the candidate's skills and experience align with the requirements you outlined in the job posting. Problem-solving examples: Look for examples during the interview where the candidate demonstrated problem-solving skills and initiative. Active listening: Does the candidate listen attentively to your questions and respond thoughtfully?   Need help with screening candidates? Check out our blog Phone Screening Interview Questions for more hiring help.   Look for the wow factor When it comes to hiring for administrative assistant jobs, one of the best tips for evaluating interviewees is to take note when they go above and beyond. Look carefully for resume red flags and ask interview questions that will help you to determine whether they have pursued additional training, maintained professional memberships, earned administrative certifications or taken other steps that indicate they are proactive with their career and take care in staying relevant with the latest skills.   Make those reference calls 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 Jane 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." Other reference check questions to consider for administrative assistant job candidates are: How would you describe [candidate’s name]’s communication style? Can you give an example of a time when [candidate's name] demonstrated [relevant skill] in their role? How did [candidate’s name]’s handle pressure and tight deadlines?   Research salary ranges for administrative assistant jobs Take time to research salary trends for administrative assistants before you launch a job candidate search. The latest Robert Half Canada Salary Guide provides real-world salaries by national average or local city. It can help you determine what level of compensation administrative professionals in your city might expect to earn. Other considerations in hiring administrative assistants are the perks and other incentives your firm offers.   Connect with a recruiting company for administrative assistant hiring When it comes to finding a great administrative assistant, an excellent option is to partner with a specialized recruiter. Robert Half Canada is the premier choice when it comes to finding professional talent for your administrative and customer support teams. With a deep pool of skilled professionals, we can match you with the right talent you need for administrative assistant jobs, whether it’s for contract or permanent placement. Connect with a specialized talent solutions professional today.