What makes an amazing administrative assistant?  Beyond the administrative and office skills, there are soft skills that amazing administrative assistant exhibit? You may be asking, what are soft skills and how do they differ from the hard skills.  Well, soft skills are those character traits and interpersonal skills that elicit certain behaviors.  Character traits tend to be ingrained unlike occupational or hard skills, which are learned and honed over time.  Not everyone can be an administrative assistant. It takes a very specific set of skills and personality traits to assist an executive or manager.  The following soft skills make for an amazing assistant: time management, strong communication, active listening skills,  a flexible personality, and attention to detail.

1. Time Management

An amazing assistant needs to know how to prioritize and keep everything on schedule because the job of assisting an executive or manager includes scheduling his or her meetings, events and other means of spending time.    Every day in the life of an Administrative Assistant is likely to be different, therefore the ability to coordinate and react quickly to changes as they evolve without getting frazzled is essential to effective time management.

2. Strong Communication

Communication is key.  The Administrative Assistant is expected to communicate either written or verbally on behalf of the manager or executive.  Administrative Assistants need to communicate effectively to customers, clients and business partners, which includes both the ability to understand them and the ability to be understood.

3. Active Listening Skills

Listening leads to learning.   Therefore, listening to gather information to learn and solve problems will result in a better understanding the direction the executive is heading.   This understanding allows the administrative assistant to have a greater impact on the growing partnership with the executive.

4. Flexible Personality

An amazing assistant must have the skills to interact with all people.  Either in person or over the phone, the assistant must remain flexible and patient with all people.  This skill requires adaptability to respond to various situations and different personalities in ways that are effective.

5. Attention to Detail

Assistants must pride themselves on noticing things others do not. Amazing assistants have an eye for all details great or small setting themselves a cut above the rest.  This trait needs to be evident in their accuracy of work.  They are often perfectionists who don’t like to make mistakes and take specific steps to ensure their work is accurate.

So how do you go about hiring an amazing administrative assistant?  When hiring, it is important to structure your interview to include questions related to these traits.  Behavioral interview questions that are designed to ask about experiences and responses related to work in each of these areas is one way to effectively evaluate a job applicant’s traits.  Identifying predictive responses that are indicative of these traits will improve your ability to make “the right hire”.   If you are new to behavioral interviewing, you may want to contact a HR and Recruiting firm who can help you craft the questions and responses or vet your candidates for you.

If you are considering adding an Amazing Administrative Assistant to your team consider Premier Professional Services.  Premier Professional Services is a new division of Premier HR Solutions consulting and recruiting services.  Premier Professional Services was established as a need that we identified with our clients and small business owners.  A need for professional administrative assistants who can help the business owner with administrative duties on a part time basis. As one business owner stated, why would I continue to do administrative tasks when I could be growing my business?  Others see the important and cost savings of utilizing their time on sales, marketing, and management  duties rather than administrative duties.

Premier Professional Services

Placing thoroughly vetted administrative assistants either part time or full time basis. Premier Professional Administrative Assistants work on-site.