Hiring an Administrative Assistant: Job Description, Salary, & More

graphic of an administrative assistant next to a calendar

Administrative assistants are essential to your office’s daily routine and reputation. These individuals manage fundamental organizational tasks, like answering phones, scheduling appointments, greeting staff and guests, and keeping minutes during meetings. A competent administrative assistant handles the bustle of everyday duties, thus giving company leaders more time to innovate, grow, and problem-solve.

Hiring administrative assistants that fit well within your company’s culture and efficiently manage the day-to-day can take some time. To help get you started on the process, consider the following recommendations for hiring an administrative assistant.

Why Hire an Administrative Assistant?

Administrative assistant roles and responsibilities vary greatly depending on what your company needs. In most office settings, administrative assistants manage daily communications, from greeting clients to answering phones to drafting emails.

These individuals may facilitate necessary fiscal tasks, like sending invoices and balancing budgets. Or they may help plan company events or coordinate conference travel. Indeed, this is a catch-all position for all your clerical needs. Without an efficient administrative assistant, your other staff absorb the responsibilities for these daily functions, taking valuable time away from their actual jobs.

What to Include in Your Administrative Assistant Job Description

While creating your administrative assistant job description, you may need help capturing this position’s broad responsibilities. List the essential competencies vital to this role’s success to get started. The modern-day administrative assistant should excel in word processing and spreadsheet software, cloud-based systems, video and teleconferencing resources, and potentially fiscal applications (such as QuickBooks). Here is a list of other primary responsibilities:

  • Respond to phone calls, take messages, and forward calls as needed.
  • Make and manage employee schedules and set meetings accordingly.
  • Greet clients and help answer any basic questions.
  • Maintain an organizational system for paper and computer files.
  • Keep minutes at staff meetings.
  • Assist with accounting functions.
  • Maintain and keep an inventory of office supplies.
  • Contact and schedule maintenance technicians when needed.

RELATED: Executive Assistant vs. Administrative Assistant: What’s the Difference?

What Skills Does an Administrative Assistant Require?

Successful administrative assistants possess both technical and personal skills. They are highly efficient with office software and can learn technical assets as needed. More importantly, they facilitate positive, helpful communication with staff and clients. This combination of expertise builds your company’s reputation as an inviting, professional brand. Look for individuals with the following skills:

  • Communication: Administrative assistants manage the initial in-person, email, and phone interactions. A positive and professional communication style is essential.
  • Writing: Administrative assistants keep meeting notes, craft emails, and draft reports. They should have a natural aptitude for correct spelling, grammar, and tone.
  • Problem-solving ability: A great administrative assistant can prioritize everyday issues and troubleshoot independently. You don’t need to know every time the printer jams; your ideal administrative assistant has already called the repair technician before you’ve even noticed the issue.
  • Organization: From old paper files to computer-based shared drives, your administrative assistant has an infallible system to help you find the necessary records.

RELATED: 25 Essential Administrative Assistant Interview Questions

 What Qualifications Should I Look for?

Administrative assistants should demonstrate advanced competency with office software (especially Microsoft and Google products) and communication platforms. They should also be able to type at least 60 words per minute. Modern-day administrative assistants are familiar with presentation-based tools (i.e., PowerPoint). You might ask for a writing sample or have them do a mock presentation. Seek personable, professional individuals with related work experience!

How Much Should I Pay?

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the median annual wage for administrative assistant positions is about $40,000. However, individuals with more experience, advanced degrees or certifications, and executive-level roles can earn more!

What Interview Questions Should I Include for This Position?

Asking the right administrative assistant interview questions can help you understand each individual’s personality and natural competencies. Here are a few examples of questions to ask:

  • What are some of the strategies you employ to keep yourself organized?
  • How do you handle a call or an email from an upset client?
  • How would you describe the role of an administrative assistant?
  • Can you give me specific examples of your familiarity with office equipment?
  • What would you like to accomplish within your first week of working here?
  • The CEO walks in and asks to speak with the manager, who is in another meeting. How would you respond?

Hire Top Administrative Assistants with Insight Global

Administrative assistants fit effortlessly into your company’s structure and take small responsibilities off your plate. Their organizational prowess will help each day run smoother, saving you time and money in the long run.

Need to hire an administrative assistant?

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