How Do I Hire a Good Administrative Assistant?
Do you seem to have a never-ending list of essential yet low-level tasks? Are these tasks taking you away from your core functions, like running your business and finding growth opportunities? Then it’s time to hire an administrative assistant.
Finding the right administrative assistant for your business is essential to ensure its success. Their support can help clear your desk and mind for high-level responsibilities. But before you get into the recruitment process, you may ask yourself, “How do I hire a good administrative assistant?” But don’t fret. Hiring the right talent may be challenging, but it’s not impossible as long as you are clear with your business needs and ready to delegate effectively.
What is an Administrative Assistant?
An administrative assistant is someone who provides support to a team, individual, or business. They typically handle various tasks, such as managing emails, scheduling appointments, making travel arrangements, managing databases, and providing general administrative support. The duties of an administrative assistant may vary depending on factors such as the following:
- Industry or Specialization
- Size of the Organization
- Immediate Superior’s Scope of Work
Want to learn about what remote administrative assistants can do for your business? Visit our Virtual Staffing 101 page or schedule a free consultation with our Growth Experts today.
Who Needs Administrative Assistants?
Hiring a great administrative assistant can benefit businesses or organizations of any size. Whether you’re a team of one or an executive with many direct reports, an administrative assistant can provide valuable back-office support. They’ll take on the routine, time-consuming tasks, so you can focus on your core responsibilities.
Three Signs You Need an Administrative Assistant
The administrative assistant position is an important role. However, not all executives or managers think they need one for themselves or their team. If you’re still on the fence about hiring an administrative assistant, here are three tell-tale signs you need to look out for:
Sign 1: Administrative Tasks Dominate Your Work Day
If you find yourself constantly trying to juggle important yet low-level tasks, it may be a sign that you need an administrative assistant. Having an extra pair of hands to take on some of these routine office tasks can alleviate the stress and make it easier for you to focus on the bigger picture.
Sign 2: Communication and Organization Are Suffering
If you’re finding it hard to keep up with emails, reply to messages in a timely manner, or stay on top of important deadlines, you can hire administrative assistants to help. They can handle communication needs like responding to emails, setting reminders, and coordinating with other departments.
Administrative assistants can also keep your files and calendar in order. They have the necessary skills to help you stay on top of your schedule and responsibilities. You don’t have to worry about missing another meeting or getting lost in translation with a great administrative assistant.
Sign 3: Burnout Seems Inevitable
Burnout is especially common among executives and managers who don’t delegate effectively. This can be due to various reasons, from staffing shortages to the inability to let go of routine tasks. But no matter the reason, taking on too many administrative tasks on top of your executive responsibilities will result in burnout.
An administrative assistant can be the key to freeing up your plate and avoiding burnout. By delegating to your administrative assistant, you can perform your duties better without sacrificing work-life balance.
Two Main Types of Administrative Assistants
When you’re ready to hire a new administrative assistant, you can choose from these options:
In-Office Administrative Assistant
An in-office administrative assistant works from a physical office or workspace. Depending on the business needs, they may work on a full-time or part-time basis. They may provide administrative support to one executive or a business unit with multiple team members.
Remote Administrative Assistant
A remote administrative assistant provides admin support from anywhere around the world, armed with a stable internet connection, of course. Because they have their own remote office, clients don’t need to provide them with physical work desks, additional office supplies, or other work tools. They can accomplish the job of an in-house administrative assistant but without the associated overhead costs.
Benefits of Hiring a Remote Administrative Assistant
A remote administrative assistant or virtual assistant (VA) can provide a wide range of benefits to every business. Here are some of the top reasons why you should hire a virtual administrative assistant:
Hiring remote workers to be administrative assistants is a cost-effective, flexible solution. They can help to reduce overhead costs associated with the office space, supplies, and other resources needed to support an administrative assistant in-house.
Scalable and Flexible Staffing Option
Remote administrative assistants can provide flexibility and scalability to help businesses adjust to fluctuating workloads. They can be hired on a part-time, project-based, or full-time basis. Additionally, remote assistants don’t need any physical infrastructure or office space, so you can quickly expand your team of administrative assistants as your business and staffing needs grow. You can do this without worrying about finding additional desk space or making adjustments to your physical office.
Access to a Global Talent Pool
Hiring remote administrative assistants means opening your business to a larger talent pool. You have more chances to find administrative assistants that fit your key requirements without being limited by their location or nationality.
Additionally, they can add to your team’s diversity. This is an essential value for any modern business, as having a diverse group of people can help you get new perspectives, improve problem-solving, and encourage collaboration and open-mindedness among team members.
How to Hire a Good Remote Administrative Assistant
When hiring a remote administrative assistant, it can be easy to get it wrong. To help you avoid VA hiring mistakes and set your new administrative assistant (and your business) for success, here are seven essential tips:
Enumerate the Tasks You Will Delegate
It is also important to enumerate the tasks and responsibilities you will delegate to the remote administrative assistant. This will help ensure that the remote assistant is aware of the tasks that must be completed and can prioritize them accordingly. Additionally, it can help to give clear instructions and provide any necessary resources or guidance to ensure that the tasks are completed correctly and in a timely manner.
Here are examples of day-to-day responsibilities an administrative assistant can do for you:
- Scheduling Meetings
- Expense Reports
- Answering Phone Calls
- Business Correspondence
- Office Management
- Organizing Files
- Collating and Preparing Reports and Meeting Notes
- Monitoring and Ordering Office Supplies
- Other Admin or Clerical Tasks
Specify Required Technical and Soft Skills
You must also specify the preferred skills and qualifications required for the job. This will help you to find the right candidate for the position and make sure they have the suitable skills and experience to complete the tasks effectively.
Your required skills and qualities may vary depending on the actual job duties, but some of the essential skills for an administrative assistant include:
An administrative virtual assistant must be proficient with computers to perform their job. They need to be comfortable using computers and the typical tools used to generate reports, schedule appointments, organize files, etc. Examples of such tools include:
- Microsoft Office
- Google Workspace
- Project management apps like Asana
- Communication apps like Slack and Skype
A virtual administrative assistant should have good communication skills so nothing gets lost in translation. Whether learning about a new task or taking phone calls from business partners, their communication skills will come in handy. Having a good communicator for an administrative assistant will ensure all business communications are accomplished in a clear and professional manner.
Aside from being able to converse professionally and clearly, your administrative assistant should also be a good listener. Listening well allows them to comprehend instructions and expectations well. They must also know how to ask the right questions to ensure they can turn in assignments on time and up to the client’s standard.
Time Management Skills
Administrative assistants help their clients stay on top of their schedules and workload. To do this, they must have excellent time management skills. It’s best to look for an administrative assistant who can independently manage their own tasks, prioritize urgent assignments, multi-task, and stay organized.
Staying organized is another important skill your administrative assistant should possess. The remote administrative assistant needs to be able to keep track of emails, documents, appointments, and other information related to their job. A highly-organized person can quickly locate the correct file or information the client is asking for.
Want more information? Find out if the VA you’re hiring has these must-have administrative assistant skills, or claim your free consultation with our Growth Experts!
Create a Complete Job Listing
If you want to find administrative assistants that match what you’re looking for, you need to be specific in your job listing. Your administrative assistant job description and ad should be clear and have all the required information. By providing a complete job listing, you can help administrative professionals see your job and assess if they qualify for the role.
Before posting on job boards, make sure your job listing communicates the following essential information:
- Job Title
- Job Description
- Preferred Technical and Soft Skills
- Educational Requirements (e.g., College Graduate, Associate’s Degree, High School Diploma, etc.)
- Scope of Work
- Salary Amount or Salary Range
- Start Date or Availability
- Job Type (Full-time, Part-time, Project-based, etc.)
- Short Background on the Company and Industry
- Application Procedure
To make the application process easier for everyone, post job ads with complete details and clear instructions.
Get the Word Out Through the Right Channels
Once you have crafted a complete job listing, it’s time to get the word out. You can use job boards, social media, or both to reach out to potential remote administrative assistants. Make sure to research the most popular and effective career portals for remote job seekers. This way, you have a bigger chance of reaching the best applicants and finding the most suitable match for your business needs.
Have a Thorough Screening and Recruitment Process
Screening and reviewing applications is another important part of the hiring process. You need to review applications from the various administrative assistant candidates. In this step, you need to be very thorough to make sure you’re getting qualified candidates that match the job description and requirements.
You, the hiring manager, or your recruitment lead must ensure the shortlisted candidates have the relevant skills, experience, and expertise needed to do the job. To help learn more about the shortlisted candidates, you can conduct interviews and administer test tasks. You can ask questions about topics that the resumes don’t usually uncover, like their adaptability, ability to communicate effectively, problem-solving skills, and the like.
Don’t Skip Onboarding
Just because you’ve hired the most suitable candidate for the job doesn’t mean you can skip onboarding altogether. You still need to formally welcome the new member, introduce them to other team members, and align expectations with them.
It can also help to provide any additional training or resources needed to help the remote assistant become familiar with the tasks and responsibilities. It’s also important to ensure that the remote assistant is comfortable with the technology and tools they will need to use to effectively do their job.
Seek Help from Remote Hiring Experts
The administrative assistant hiring process can be time-consuming and challenging regardless of the position you’re looking to fill. It can also be especially difficult if talent acquisition is not your core strength. You can consider working with a remote staffing agency to make the hiring process more convenient and effective.
A full-service remote staffing company like 20four7VA can help you save more money in the long run. Their experience in finding the most suitable remote talent will benefit their client. Many clients have experienced employees leaving due to the wrong job fit or unclear expectations. This will force them to restart the recruitment process, requiring additional labor hours and training costs.
Additionally, a full-service company like 20four7VA provides end-to-end services, including HR services, remote talent management, and in-house training. With all these additional functions included in the package, you can get the best remote staffing experience without overshooting your budget.
Save Time and Energy
Working with an experienced remote staffing company can be cost-efficient. They have the right expertise and network to find the right person for the role in the most efficient way possible. You don’t have to spend your valuable time and energy finding an administrative assistant since you can count on your remote staffing services provider to do it for you.
Get Access to Pre-Vetted Global Talent
Aside from their expertise, one way an experienced remote staffing company can find the best talents quickly is their global talent pool. These talents have already undergone the company’s screening process and are ready to be matched with a client.
20four7VA remote assistants have undergone the company’s meticulous 8-step screening and vetting process. We have a thorough process to ensure all clients have access to top-notch talent and that our remote talents are equipped with the right tools to succeed in their next remote assistant role.
Ready to hire a remote administrative assistant? Book your free consultation with our 20four7VA Growth Experts today.