6 tips to help you hire great admin staff

Quality administration staff are essential to the smooth running of any business. Follow our six steps to find the best people for your admin job vacancies.

According to the 2015 Robert Half Salary Guide, demand for administration staff is strong. Around 90 per cent of Human Resources (HR) directors surveyed plan to maintain or expand their permanent admin and office support teams this year, highlighting a competitive hiring environment for business leaders.

The upshot is that hiring managers need to be ready to move quickly to attract quality candidates. However, neither the hiring process nor recruitment choices should be rushed. Finding top staff for admin jobs can come down to six critical steps.

1. Know what your firm needs

This year, hiring managers are looking for reception and sales or project administration candidates. Also favoured are candidates with business qualifications such as Certificate 3 or 4 in business administration.

When it comes to technology skills, experience with Excel, SAP, Pronto, Oracle and Microsoft Office are all keenly sought after.

Knowing and describing the specific skills, attributes and experience that your firm requires today – and in the future, will ensure you are attracting people who genuinely fit your business needs.

2. Cast your net wide

The wider you cast your net, the greater the likelihood of securing a candidate who is an ideal fit for the role, or even better, who exceeds your expectations.

Let your current Robert Half OfficeTeam contact know you are recruiting administrative staff. Recruitment consultants know how to attract the best talent as they have extensive networks, and they work with administration professionals on a daily basis.

Also let people within your professional network know. These referral sources are unlikely to recommend candidates who could disappoint you.

3. Pay attention to detail

The little things can make a big difference when assessing administration staff. A candidate’s phone manner, the presentation of their resume and personal communication skills can shed some light on how well they will contribute to your firm.

4. Make the interview count

Skip the clichéd interview questions like, “where do you see yourself in five years?” Instead, try posing some real life scenarios and competency based interview questions to see how candidates rise to the occasion. For instance, ask them what they would do if a client phones to complain that your firm’s sales rep hasn’t turned up for an appointment. A candidate’s response can speak volumes about their maturity and professionalism.

5. Look for the ‘X’ factor

The top administration talent goes above and beyond, and has something more to give your firm than simply meeting the job description. A candidate who has used their initiative to complete additional training, or acquire further qualifications, or who has maintained memberships to professional organisations could be the star performer you have been looking for.

6. Check references

When contacting referees and past employers, be honest in your approach. Explain that you are considering the candidate as an integral part of your administration or office team and that you would appreciate any insights about the person as an employee. Sometimes people will open up if you make them aware of the consequences of their feedback. Here’s some reference checking tips.

What strategies did you use to build a quality administration team? This article originally appeared as Recruiting tips that can help you hire a great admin on the Robert Half OfficeTeam blog.

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