5 Skills Your Ideal Administrative Assistant Should Have
They’re the first contact customers, visitors, employees, and other stakeholders have with your business. They act as gatekeepers, planners, problem-solvers and general movers, and shakers when things need to get done. They fill a critical support role in enabling every other team member to accomplish their goals.
Who are these unsung heroes? Your administrative assistants, of course. If it’s time for you to hire one, what are the top skills you should look for in job candidates? Here’s a look at five of them.
A savvy administrative professional knows the three T’s of your industry – terminology, trends, and technology – and can articulate them and use them to full advantage on the job.
- Knowing the language of your business sector means your assistant can keep up with and contribute to conversations in the workplace. Being aware of industry trends and how they might impact your company is another valuable strength. And, you need a team member who is not only tech-savvy but also well versed in your company’s most used tools.
Attention to detail, organization, and multitasking are the hallmarks of a high-performing assistant. They must be able to focus on the task at hand while prioritizing their workflow. Their responsibilities include keeping not only themselves, but others organized as well – whether their job description includes schedules, events, filing systems, record keeping, bill paying, correspondence, spreadsheets or other functions.
The ability to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing, is another must-have skill in an administrative assistant.
- Administrative assistants serve as a communications hub, delivering information from the top of your organization down and vice versa. They have to think on their feet, know how to diffuse difficult situations and make customers and clients feel valued. They do this by practicing empathy and having well-honed listening skills.
Software and Social Media Expertise
Having the skills to perform data entry, manage calendars, create reports and perform similar technological tasks is critical in the role of administrative assistant. It starts with a thorough working knowledge of Microsoft Office and all its components and, in many cases, also includes the use of customer relationship management (CSM) systems, customer service platforms or virtual help desks.
- Social media expertise is an added plus. You may want your administrative assistant to take responsibility for building your company’s online presence, especially if you don’t have the resources to hire a social media specialist.
Every day, new situations arise in an office, requiring quick decisions and immediate action on the part of an administrative assistant. In a nutshell, they need to stretch beyond the wording in their job description to tackle the unexpected. This requires an exemplary level of emotional intelligence.
- It all comes down to resourcefulness and creative thinking. This is important every single day, especially if you’re away or otherwise unavailable and a crisis occurs. You need to feel confident that your assistant can triage the situation until you can step in.
As a staffing agency specializing in administrative placements, Frontline Source Group understands why it’s critical to find the right talent as you fill these roles. Let us leverage our experience, resources and candidate database to attract the right applicants, ask the right questions, and streamline the process for you. Contact us today to learn more.