Seeking Administrative, Clerical or Customer Service Hires? Here are Six Things to Look Out For

When you need to bring in the best talent to fill an administrative position, your approach will be vastly different than hiring for other skilled workers or executives. There is a unique set of characteristics you’re looking for, not to mention certain personality qualities to ensure a good fit. You might benefit from reviewing the best practices for hiring administrative, clerical or customer service staff before you begin the process.

Write up the qualities of your ideal candidate before you review resumes and conduct interviews.

Create an imaginary person who would be perfect to fill the position you need filled. Jot down notes on all the qualifications this employee must have, as well as other qualities that are desirable. This process will help you develop a job description for screening purposes.

Start off with email communications.

This tip is one of the best practices for hiring administrative, clerical or customer service staff. Emailing back and forth will give you an idea of how well this employee communicates with others, which is likely to be a large part of their daily tasks.

Consider personality when hiring an administrative, clerical or customer service employee.

It’s up to you to decide the personality traits that you value for your employees, so think about what type of person suits your company. If your own personality is serious and no-nonsense in the office, you’re not going to be happy with someone who’s more free-spirited and has a sense of humor. Determine the personality type which would be the right fit before you start conducting interviews.

Look for a problem solver who can work independently.

While an employee in an administrative or clerical position will require some guidance from you, it’s also important for him or her to think independently under the right circumstances. Someone who’s constantly asking questions before undertaking routine tasks or waiting for instructions isn’t ready for responsibility. You want a person who can act when necessary and solve problems without the need for hand-holding.

Don’t underestimate the significance of references.

You’ll obviously want to reach out to the people a candidate presents as references, but you need to dig deeper when hiring for an administrative employee. Ask colleagues in your industry whether they’re familiar with the references and can verify who they are.

Keep in mind that you’re hiring your replacement.

Whether this person actually does replace you at some point in the future, you should still approach the hiring process as if they will fill your shoes eventually. This methodology moves your business forward, as constant promotion from within is one of the characteristics that raises a company above the rest. You would look for leadership skills, dedication and commitment in hiring your replacement, and you should do so as well for an administrative position.

Of course, you might find that partnering with a staffing firm is one of the best practices for hiring administrative, clerical or customer service staff for your company. These agencies can be useful for busy business owners who can’t invest the time and money involved with hiring an ideal candidate for the job. Please contact the experts at KP Companies for all your administrative staffing needs. We also specialize in recruitment in the fields of accounting, legal, IT and executive search.