Finding Better Assistants

Joe Weinlick
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An administrative assistant is essentially your liaison to the world. While hiring someone who has completed executive assistant training is a good idea, it's more important to find a highly capable person who can be a positive representation of you and your company. Here are a few tips for finding better assistants.

Define the perfect candidate – Before you go on the hunt to find the administrative assistant of your dreams, you should first develop a clear job description. What types of tasks do you expect the new hire to complete? Is the person required to have completed executive assistant training or at least taken a few administrative assistant classes? Is the position strictly one of support, or would the candidate essentially be your stand-in when you are out of the office? Defining your needs at the outset will make it easier to find candidates who match them.

Consider existing employees – Your organization is filled with talented people who would make great administrative assistants. They are already familiar with your business, which means they won't need as much training or time to acclimate to the company's culture. Place an internal job announcement before opening the position to the public. Don't be surprised if you get several employees with executive assistant training applying for the job.

Ask for recommendations – Reach out to business contacts and ask for recommendations of people who have executive assistant training or equivalent education and experience. Chances are good you'll get a few names. A primary benefit of going this route is that, if the person doing the recommending knows the candidate well, you can learn more about the individual to determine if he or she is a good fit for the company.

Recruit from other companies – Sometimes the best candidates are people who already have jobs. If you come in contact with administrative assistants at other companies who would make great additions to your office, feel free to look them up. Check out their LinkedIn profiles to learn about their education, work experience, and whether they have any executive assistant training. Discreetly send out recruitment offers to the ones you like.

Use social media – Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites are great places to search for potential assistants. These sites can spread your recruiting message further and faster than traditional methods. Additionally, connecting with candidates on social networking sites also gives you a chance to see how they interact with others, which can help you filter out potential PR disasters.

Finding good assistants involves more than looking for people who have taken administrative assistant classes or completed executive assistant training. You want someone with the knowledge and skills to get the job done and the ability to represent the company well when interacting with internal and external customers. Take your time finding that perfect person.


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