How to Compete for Today’s Professional & Administrative Staff

How to Compete for Today’s Professional & Administrative Staff

Conference rooms booked? Check. Travel arrangements made? Check. Paperwork organized and completed? Triple check. A well-oiled workplace requires the handiwork of professional and administrative staff. They are the unsung heroes of the business; fielding calls, promoting the company’s brand on social media, creating presentations, and ensuring the office’s day-to-day operations run smoothly.

In today’s competitive marketplace, hiring and retaining professional and administrative workers can be quite tricky. According to Jobvite’s Job Seeker Nation Survey, 82% of U.S. workers reported that they were open to new job opportunities even though 64% of those individuals cited being satisfied with their current role. So, where is the disconnect?

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting over 3.9 million job openings for Administrative Assistants alone, finding the right talent is becoming an increasingly difficult task for many employers.

The modern workplace has shaped the administrative field, creating new challenges for employers seeking to attract individuals with these highly desired skills sets. Here’s what’s changed and how your company can work to overcome these hurdles.


The Evolution of Administrative Professionals

Professional and administrative positions have progressed over time, with technology-related advancements causing workers to assume more job responsibilities than ever before. While the breadth and scope of work will differ from company to company based on the industry, employer size, and on a more granular level, the department they are servicing, employers are united in the types of challenges they face recruiting these professionals.

Amid the growing skills gap and low unemployment rates, employers are struggling to find individuals with the right combination of soft skills, technical skills, and overall experience. The job market is replete with competition, meaning you now have to sell your brand, company culture, and offer enticing perks and benefits to win over top talent. According to a recent Glassdoor study, 67% of workers listed salary and 63% listed benefits as key factors that influence their decision during the job search process. Other notable areas were work-life balance (43%) and work from home flexibility (41%).

Gone are the days when a recruiter or hiring manager could throw together a quick job description and sleep easy knowing candidates would find their ad and apply. Sure, you’ll still get applicants, but it’s likely that you’ll be bombarded with a mountain of unqualified resumes. Sifting through resume after resume is both time-consuming and frustrating.


Combating Challenges

Stay Updated on the Particulars

Connect with department heads and other key personnel to get a comprehensive picture of role expectations, how the potential hire's performance will be measured, the types of software or technology they will be required to use, and what type of qualifications they will need in order to be successful. By gaining an in-depth understanding of the particulars of the role, you will have a good grasp on whether the workload calls for a permanent hire, multiple employees, or if you will only need someone on a temporary basis.

Enlist the Help of a Recruiter

Find a strategic staffing partner to help overcome your hiring challenges. In addition to gaining timely access to quality talent, working with a staffing agency can help reduce overhead, boost retention rates, satisfy diversity goals, mitigate employment risk, and satisfy compliance standards. The vetting process can be extremely time-consuming and enlisting the help of an outside recruiter can help free up your time to focus on other pressing efforts.

Get Social (Online & Offline)

Start spreading the news ♪♫♬. The best way to garner interest from candidates and maximize your potential referral sources is to hit the World Wide Web and broadcast your open opportunities on social media. While the internet alone isn’t going to serve as a be-all-end-all solution, it’ll certainly broaden your reach and get more eyes on your open positions. Online recruiting should be used in conjunction with face-to-face, in-person networking. Attend local professional and administrative-based events, reach out to your network for referrals, and encourage your internal staff to spread the word amongst their professional circles. 

Set Realistic Expectations

Among the many questions you should ask yourself, is how you’re measuring up to your competition. Whether you conduct a bit of market research or choose to seek guidance from your staffing agency, understanding average pay rates, supply and demand stats, what workers in the professional and administrative space place value in, and the types of benefits packages companies in your field are offering is an essential part of winning top talent.

Employers should also evaluate their internal training programs and the potential career pathing opportunities that are available to new hires. Professional development is not only vital for reducing turnover rates, but it’s an essential part of ensuring administrative professionals within your organization can continue to advance with market needs and expanding responsibilities. To complement changing company demands, employers will need to up-skill their workforce, actively encouraging their staff to adapt to new trends, technology, and role requirements.


Final Thoughts

Professional and administrative staff play a direct role in every organization's growth and success. Not only do employers need to stay current with market demands in order to implement effective recruitment strategies to attract these workers, but they also must adapt their internal practices to fulfill the changing needs of their administrative staff and mitigate turnover.

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