How to Hire an Office Assistant

Does your growing business need an office assistant? Office assistants perform the routine clerical work that keeps your company on the right track.

Here are some tips to help you find great office assistant candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Office assistants searching for jobs on Indeed*

1,423,244

Job seekers that clicked office assistant jobs

189,788

Resumes for job seekers with office assistant experience on Indeed

17,875

Office assistant jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring?

  • Common salary in US: $14.24 hourly
  • Typical salaries range from $7.25$27.25 hourly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, office assistant jobs in the U.S. are less competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 80 job seekers per office assistant job.

Why hire an office assistant?

The need for new staff can affect both your existing team and bottom line. A great office assistant hire can help your business by:

• Composing messages, entering data, managing databases and producing presentations
• Negotiating with vendors, managing stockrooms and maintaining office supply inventory
• Operating and maintaining communal office equipment, such as fax machines and copiers

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance office assistant

Offices that experience an unplanned increase in work can hire a freelance office assistant temporarily to take on the extra responsibilities other members of the office don’t have time for. Freelance assistants can provide coverage for the current office assistant who may be on vacation or taking sick time. 

Freelance office assistants can also be hired virtually to perform some of the business’s digital responsibilities. 

Many offices hire part- and full-time assistants to take some of the stress off the office manager, accountants and salespeople. Some of the businesses that utilize full-time office assistants include law offices, health care facilities and government bodies. 

What are the types of office assistants?

Depending on the type of office they work for and the level of the person they work under, an office assistant can have different titles and various responsibilities. These titles include: 

  • Office assistant: Office assistants help other people in the office with administrative tasks. This may include organizing files, answering and redirecting phone calls and scheduling meetings and conferences.
  • Office administratorAn office administrator performs all the office assistant’s tasks, but they have additional responsibilities. They may greet visitors and show them where to go and order supplies for the office. 
  • Administrative assistantAdministrative assistants are very similar to office assistants. They handle administrative tasks, take notes during meetings and act as a point of contact for stakeholders. 
  • Executive assistantExecutive assistants typically work for mid- and high-level managers in the company. They perform administrative tasks, manage communication to and from their boss and train other staff members. 

Where to find office assistants

To find the right office assistant for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Hire a recruitment agency. Hiring a recruitment agency is often an effective way to bring in a couple of candidates for an open position.
  • Hire a temp agency. If you need an office assistant temporarily, working with a temp agency can give you an employee on short notice. 
  • Hang help wanted signs. Hanging help wanted signs can let the community know about the open position and bring in applicants. 
  • Ask around the office. Ask the employees in the office if they have any leads for potential office assistants. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your office assistant job on Indeed to find and attract quality office assistant candidates.

What are the types of office assistants?

Depending on the type of office they work for and the level of the person they work under, an office assistant can have different titles and various responsibilities. These titles include: 

  • Office assistant: Office assistants help other people in the office with administrative tasks. This may include organizing files, answering and redirecting phone calls and scheduling meetings and conferences.
  • Office administratorAn office administrator performs all the office assistant’s tasks, but they have additional responsibilities. They may greet visitors and show them where to go and order supplies for the office. 
  • Administrative assistantAdministrative assistants are very similar to office assistants. They handle administrative tasks, take notes during meetings and act as a point of contact for stakeholders. 
  • Executive assistantExecutive assistants typically work for mid- and high-level managers in the company. They perform administrative tasks, manage communication to and from their boss and train other staff members. 

Writing an office assistant job description

A thoughtful description can help find qualified office assistant candidates. An office assistant job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your office assistant job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on office assistant jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Administrative assistant
  • Office assistant
  • Receptionist
  • Clerical
  • Front desk
  • Administrative
  • Assistant
  • Data entry
  • File clerk
  • Front desk receptionist

Interviewing office assistant candidates

Strong candidates for office assistant positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• Previous experience as an administrator in an office environment
• Maintaining inventory of office supplies
• Managing logistics across numerous calendars

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of office assistant interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire an office assistant

What's the difference between an office assistant and an office clerk?

An office clerk primarily handles paperwork in the office. An office assistant does paperwork and has a variety of other responsibilities, such as answering phones, organizing the office and scheduling meetings. 

How do I choose between two quality office assistant candidates?

Because office assistants regularly have contact with other members of the staff, it may be best to hire the candidate who fits in better with the established team. You could also hire the applicant with more experience in related fields, such as data entry. 

What's an alternative to hiring an office assistant?

Many of an office assistant’s responsibilities, such as greeting customers and making appointments, can be done by other office staff. Others, including data entry and file organization, can be managed by software. 

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