Getting ready to hire a new admin? These strategies can help you find just the right person for your team.
When we ask employers what they want when hiring administrative staff, they’re pretty consistent: Strong communication skills, technical expertise, great fit with the corporate culture and the ability to hit the ground running. Identifying candidates who are perfect matches, however, isn’t always easy. Here are some recruiting tipsthat can help:
• Know what you want. Make sure you’re using an updated job description that reflects what’s most important today. It may or may not be a carbon copy of the attributes of the last person in the job, so reassess carefully.
• Enlist help. Ask staff and professional contacts if they know anyone appropriate for the position. Your employees and friends aren’t likely to go out on a limb for people who would make lousy employees, so this can be a great source of leads. Also talk to administrative recruiters. They work with administrative talent day in and day out, and can help screen for the best fit for your needs.
• Pay attention to little things. Are candidates polite on the phone and in person? How are their verbal and written communication skills when interacting with you? How do they treat others in your company while at the interview? The answers offer helpful insights into what someone may be like on the job.
• Make them think. Skip the predictable, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and offer some challenge. Ask how candidates have or would handle certain situations. For instance, “A potential client calls to complain your company’s salesperson never showed for an appointment. What would you do?” You’ll clue in to the individual’s decision-making process.
• Look for the wow factor. One of the most valuable recruiting tips is to take note if an administrative candidate has gone above and beyond. This might be evident through pursuing additional training, maintaining a professional membership, earning an administrative certification or other steps that suggest “go-getter.”
• Check references. I know it can be challenging to get feedback from previous employers, but hear me out on this one. When you do get input, it can greatly affect your decision, either confirming you’ve found a star or letting you know you may want to pass. Try an honest approach and say something like, “I’m seriously considering hiring Amy for this role and I’d hate to have to let her go if she proves not to be a good match. I’d really appreciate any insights you can share about her.” Sometimes people will open up if you make them care about the consequences of your hiring decision.