Finding A Good Office / Administrative Assistant

Wed, May 6, 2009

HR Trends

Finding a good office assistant can be a daunting task if you do not know the right qualities to look for. The role of the office professional has greatly evolved.

Today, effective administrative assistants handle responsibilities once reserved for managerial and professional staff and as such, performing and co-coordinating an office’s administrative activities is just a part of the job. Office assistants play a crucial role in small businesses. The last thing you need to worry about is whether or not the daily routines of the workplace are running smoothly. We decided to provide you with a few guidelines to assist you in making the right choice, so be sure to follow these helpful tips on how to hire an office assistant.

Your administrative assistant should be able to do more than type letters and answer phones. A capable administrative assistant should also possess the ability to bring organization and professionalism to the workplace. To maximize the effectiveness of your administrative assistant, you will need to know what you are looking for before you begin the hiring process.

Competence: This is one of the first qualities you should look for in an administrative assistant. If he/she is untrained or unable to perform their job at a satisfactory level you may find that business could flounder. An administrative assistant needs to be computer literate and demonstrate a working knowledge of word processing, scheduling, database, and spreadsheet software (e.g. MS Office). He/She should also possess the interpersonal and analytical skills that the job requires.

Organization: Another important quality you should look for is organization. Remember, your administrative assistant will be required to play a central role in tasks such as scheduling and coordination of resources. To be effective, you will need someone who is highly organized with an ability to multitask. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a mess on your hands.

Time Management: This is also a key qualification for an office assistant. A small business is a fast-paced working environment. The person who you choose needs to be comfortable working in such an environment and demonstrate the skills needed to keep up with you without dropping the ball or complaining.

Personality: Personality is a quality that is sometimes overlooked when hiring an administrative assistant. You need to ensure that the potential candidate has a personality that will mesh with others within the environment despite how good he/she may look on paper to function effectively in your company. Even so, it is difficult to get to know an applicant in a single interview. It never hurts to conduct a second or third interview before deciding whether the applicant’s personality is a good fit for you and your workplace.

Confidentiality: Finally, it is very important that your office assistant demonstrates the ability to maintain confidentiality. He/She will be privy to information that other people in the company do not know. Employee salaries, correspondence, personal scheduling among other things is likely to cross your administrative assistant’s desk sooner or later. Ensure that you clearly communicate the need for confidentiality to all applicants and make sure the person you hire is someone you can trust.

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Robbin G. Says:

    I am looking to hire an office assistant

    Job duties are scheduling answer the phones work on computer entering time sheets, contacting caregivers and client for
    their schedules. Experience in an office setting is required.

  2. Antoinette Cattani Says:


    I’m looking for a part time office assistant to work in Sante Fe Springs,Ca. The position has the potential to grow into a full time. Must know Power Point and Excel and know how to manage an office.

    I would like to start this person by August 1.

    We are a wine and Liquor import and marketing company.

    Please contact me by email. Thank you, Antoinette

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