How To Recruit Administrative Staff in a Competitive Job Market


Hiring managers looking for administrative staff today are often surprised it’s not always easy to recruit top administrative talent. Here are some tips for attracting the people you need when confronted with a competitive hiring environment.

Economic recovery and the demand for skilled talent in the administrative field are driving a stronger job market. According to the OfficeTeam 2015 Salary Guide, there’s a particular need for experienced executive and administrative assistants to support expanding businesses, as well as customer service professionals to cater to growing client bases. The healthcare industry also needs administrative help with growing workloads due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a shift to electronic medical records and an aging population.

Below are five tips to keep you on the right track when hiring:

1. Benchmark salaries

Make sure your job offers include a competitive salary and benefits package. To ensure your pay scale meets current standards, consult our Salary Guide to learn about average starting salaries for more than 60 administrative roles, and use our handy Salary Calculator to make adjustments for your geographical area. Perks like alternative work schedules, better-than-average vacation time, professional development and on-site services like childcare also can help set you apart from other companies.

2. Write a compelling job description

A clear and accurate job description allows you to create more effective job ads and attract candidates. Include the following: reporting structure, key duties, required qualifications, soft skills, and aptitudes or proficiencies desired. The job description can also be used as a checkpoint during a new hire’s first performance evaluation.

3. Streamline your hiring process

If your interviews drag on too long, you may find the best candidates are no longer available once you’ve made a decision. While it’s useful to gather input from specialists who can easily evaluate candidates' skill levels and employees who will work alongside the new hire, make sure you’re combining meetings into as few interviews as possible. Use the job description to create hiring criteria so you can easily compare applicants, and don’t delay in making an offer once you’ve made a decision.

4. Use recruiters

Recruiters have vast networks in the business community and may be able to identify passive job seekers – people who aren’t actively in the job market but who may be open to learning of new opportunities. Hiring managers who want to succeed in the job market should consider partnering with a recruiter at a specialized agency for access to this pool of talent. A recruiter can also help you set up temp-to-hire arrangements, in which you bring in an administrative professional on a temporary basis. Then, if things go well, you can extend this employee a full-time job offer.

5. Impress the candidate

The job interview isn’t just a time for you to gauge an applicant’s candidacy, but also an opportunity for him or her to evaluate you. In a competitive job market, you need to sell the job. The best admins may receive several job offers at once, so make it clear why yours is the best. In the job interview, spend some time highlighting the advantages of the job. You can work those points in through questions, such as:

What do you know about our company, and why do you want to work here?

While the candidate should have a good answer, delivered with enthusiasm, asking this question also gives you a perfect opportunity to explain more about the job and organization.

• Do you have any questions for us?
Here's where savvy candidates will ask you more about the role, and you get a chance to sell it.

When demand exceeds supply, employers need to find creative and effective ways to attract good candidates to see them through business expansion and stay ahead of the competition. The more time, energy and care hiring managers place into the hiring process, the more positive, long-term results they will enjoy.

Do you have any tips that help you attract admins in a competitive job market? Share them in the comments below.

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