Hiring TipsIf you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, drowning in emails or you’d just like to work less hours in your business this year, it’s time to hire an admin assistant and follow these hiring tips. An administrative assistant has often been referred to as the office juggler — managing several tasks and wearing many hats at once.

Whether you’re a startup company or you are a seasoned entrepreneur, hiring the right person for the administrative assistant position is crucial. Here are four basic criteria to assess when interviewing potential candidates. This will help you save time, money and headaches from hiring the wrong person.

Hiring Tips # 1 – Consider the Appearance

The first person clients see when they walk into the office is likely going to be your assistant. This means whoever you hire for this position needs to make a good first impression, as well as effectively represent your company’s ethos and brand.

The old rules of office dress code — pantyhose, pencil skirts, neckties — no longer apply, in most work environments at least. But he or she needs to understand your corporate culture and embody it, dress included. This persona is hard to teach, but invaluable to have, so consider your candidates carefully before selecting one.

Clothes and accessories say a lot about how candidates feel about themselves, and what they value in life. Outward appearance speaks to who is inside.

Hiring Tips # 2 – Take Note of Verbal & Nonverbal Skills

When someone has good verbal skills, it’s easy to tell. And having the qualified candidates interview with several different people on your team will give you a quick look at how each applicant adapts to different people, personalities and situations.

Non-verbal cues are a bit more difficult to detect, but can be even more revealing. A great assistant will make eye contact often, mimic your body language and smile regularly. You want someone who will make everyone at your business feel at ease. Your administrative assistant needs to, above all, be approachable and inclusive.

Hiring Tips # 3 – Personality

Not only does a personality test reveal things about ourselves that we were unaware of, it can also provide insight into how an employee learns, functions and grows. Great leaders create other leaders, not worker bees.

If you can figure out what makes your prospective administrative assistant tick, what makes him passionate or what makes her react positively, then you can get a better idea of how the person will fit into your corporate culture, interact with co-workers and handle stress. While you don’t want to be hiring a mini you,  you also don’t want to hire someone whose personality clashes with you and your team.

Hiring Tips # 4 – Preparedness

One of the best ways to weed out the less serious candidates is to make a very simple request before the interview. An example email request: “Please bring a copy of your résumé to the interview.” Or “Please review our company website prior to your interview.” With just one question during the interview, you’ll be able to discern how detail-oriented the candidate is and it’s a great starting off point for an honest, productive hiring atmosphere.

QUESTION: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to finding a great admin assistant? Please share your comments and questions below.

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