If you've decided to hire an administrative assistant or you are filling a position that has opened up you may be thinking about resumes, cover letters, and the interview. But that is just the beginning of what you should be thinking about. You need to evaluate the position and really understand what kind of person is going to fill the job best. You don't want to hire to quickly or you may find yourself having to hire again in a short period of time.
There are three questions you should ask yourself before you even begin looking.
1. What qualities and characteristics must the person who fills the job have? If you have a busy office with lots of staff you're going to need someone who is good at multi-tasking. You also will need someone that can work at a quick pace and is able to handle stress well. If you have clients or customers coming into your work space you'll want to make sure that the person you hire has some customer service training, as well. Someone who can deliver good customer service should know how to handle a variety of people, including the ones that are less desirable! Once you know what kinds of qualities the person who is going to fill the position of administrative assistant should have you need to come up with a list to keep handy as you are reading cover letters and resumes and you should come up with some good questions to ask in the interview that will get them to demonstrate these qualities.
2. How much do you know about the job you want to fill? You should know exactly what duties you want the new administrative assistant to fill. Will they be writing newsletters or will they mostly be working with customers? Will they be mostly answer phone calls or will they need to communicate through email or other Internet technologies? Will they be updating a website? Will you need them to create or maintain databases? Do they need bookkeeping or accounting background? What kind of software and programs will they need to use? If you know the position and what you expect of them you will be able to evaluate their applications better and find someone that is best suited for the job.
3. How will you find people to apply? The newspaper is the obvious answer but there are many more options for finding employees today. You may want to integrate social networking into your search for a new employee, such as Facebook and Twitter. Another good resource for finding a good administrative assistant is local business colleges. They can often recommend students who have graduated that are looking for jobs. And remember, just because they recently graduated from a business college, doesn't mean that they don't have experience. Many graduates of business colleges have experience in a variety of areas already but have gone back to school to upgrade their skills and to get the formal education that many employers require.
If you are going to be hiring an administrative assistant make sure you put some time into thinking about the job and what kind of person you want to see in that position. If you do the work before hand you are more likely to find someone that will keeping your business running smoothly for many years to come. After all, an administrative assistant can be more than just the person who answers the phone – they can be the hub of your business!
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