If there’s one thing most business leaders have in common, it’s the tendency to take on too much work. Of course, this tenacity and drive is part of what makes a great leader! It can also, however, be the downfall of the growth or success of your company if you’re not careful. At the least, taking on work as a manager or business owner that could be handled by a capable administrative assistant often means pushing off high-value work for the sake of low-value work. And while this doesn’t hurt much here and there, if it is a major part of the way you conduct business, you might just be shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to both your growth and finances. 

There is little sense in a business owner or CEO doing administrative tasks when they could train an assistant to do them. Having an assistant frees up time for owners and top executives to focus their time on high-return on investment efforts. 

A CEO who makes $1 million per year could hire an assistant for $80,000 per year. That CEO only needs to see an 8% productivity increase to make this hire worth it. 

Even in the case of smaller business managers, who aren’t making a million-dollar salary, hiring an assistant can be hugely important. In these cases, the time that is being spent on clerical tasks and scheduling could be much better spent focusing on growing the company.

So how do you know when it’s time to hire an administrative assistant?

Take an Inventory of Tasks

Make a point to write down exactly how you (and other managers or leaders in your firm, if applicable) are spending your time or a couple of weeks. Next, take note of any tasks that could be performed by an administrative assistant.

What Does an Administrative Assistant Do?

  • Scheduling appointments
  • Answering calls and emails
  • Clerical tasks such as filing, printing, and copying
  • Running business errands
  • Scheduling and organizing meetings
  • Ordering, picking up, and setting up lunches
  • Office management tasks such as ordering supplies and managing printer upkeep
  • Basic billing and accounting tasks
  • Booking travel for management team
  • Making reservations for business meals

If you find that you and/or other managers spend much time on these tasks, it is likely time to look seriously into hiring an administrative assistant.

It’s important to remember that you don’t personally need to be spending a full 40 hours per week on administrative tasks for it to make sense to hire an assistant. As touched upon earlier, you will be hiring someone who is making less money than you per hour, so this isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. You just need to take an honest inventory of everything that is being done by you and other mid-to-high-level employees that could be taken on by an administrative assistant, and decide whether looking to hire an administrative assistant makes sense.

What to Look for in an Administrative Assistant

Once you have decided that hiring an administrative assistant is right for you, it is time to start the search for a great employee. You may think that many people should be capable of performing these tasks, but you want to find someone who can do more than simply execute tasks. A great administrative assistant will be able to learn the job responsibilities quickly, interact in a professional manner with clients, vendors, and other managers, and maybe even help you revamp the processes for various tasks.

Some things to look for when hiring an administrative assistant include:

  • Technical aptitude
  • A college degree
  • Prior administrative work experience
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Organizational abilities
  • Time-management skills
  • A personality that meshes with your company culture
  • Industry-related experience
    • This is particularly important in tech startups and financial firms
    • Look for transferable skills if the precise industry does not matter

If you are looking to hire an administrative assistant, an experienced assistant staffing company like C-Suite Assistants can help you find the best assistant to meet your needs. We will draw from our extensive talent pool of both passive and active applicants to give you a number of qualified administrative assistants to choose from when conducting interviews, and can assist you every step of the way. Contact us today to get the administrative assistant recruitment process started!

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