The Administrative Assistant profile is part of the Administration department. Almost all companies employ administrative staff. Administrative assistants play a vital role in the smooth running of their activities. It is difficult to establish a list of tasks for an administrative employee. The function differs from one company to another and its responsibilities depend on the department, the organization of the team, the level of function, etc. Here are some examples:
Administrative assistants are also known as Secretary, Administrative Secretary, Personal Assistant, Finance Assistant, Human Resources Assistant, Technical Secretary.
Administrative Assistants Description
The Administrative Assistants are responsible for ensuring the proper functioning of an office or company by performing administrative tasks, such as filing, planning and coordinating the general activities of the office, in addition to writing the corresponding reports. In certain cases, especially when dealing with small companies, Administrative Assistants can become responsible for tasks related to Human Resources, such as payroll, recruitment, and logistics.
Difference between Administrative Assistant & Executive Assistant
The main difference between an Administrative Assistant and an Executive Assistant are their supervisors. The latter are basically personal assistants and are in charge of a single person, instead, an Administrative Assistant works for a team, department or office. In addition, their responsibilities and functions vary respectively; that is, the tasks of an Executive Assistant are less administrative and more autonomous, they only affect one person; while those of an Administrative Assistant affect all the operations of the company or organization.
It is also important to mention that the term “Secretary” has been slowly replaced by “Assistant” over the years since the former is currently considered as an inappropriate and outdated term.
Responsibilities of Administrative Assistants
Here are the most common functions of an Administrative Assistant:
- Receive visitors and guide them to their corresponding destinations.
- Manage all calls, emails, correspondence and incoming and outgoing faxes:
- Monitor, reply and forward incoming emails constantly.
- Coordinate the courier and courier services.
- Receive, filter and distribute correspondence among staff members.
- Locate and restore customer proposals (designs and reports).
- Write, file and review documents, such as receipts, reports, memos, spreadsheets and other administrative documents:
- Collect information from different tools in order to study the data and generate the corresponding reports.
- Write, review and distribute correspondence.
- Update and keep current procedures and guides, contact lists, among others.
- Archive and organize documents, both physical and digital, including emails, receipts, reports and other administrative documents:
- Scan documents in physical form to back them up digitally.
- Provide assistance recording information and performing database maintenance.
- Coordinate and schedule business meetings, interviews, appointments, corporate events and other related activities:
- Manage the calendar and coordinate work with business meetings.
- Generate the agenda for meetings with the objective of carrying them out efficiently.
- Reserve the necessary conference rooms or other venues.
- Confirm the reservation of rooms or premises and coordinate the meal, in addition to taking care of the logistics of the corporate event.
- Take notes during work meetings, generate a summary and distribute it to the corresponding people.
- Take care of travel arrangements for executives of the company or organization.
- Interact with customers and third parties, manage your files and resolve your complaints or handle your requirements effectively:
- Carry out follow-ups and maintain good relationships with customers.
- Write and deliver documents to clients requesting information about projects and follow up properly.
- Ensure that the projects in process are completed in accordance with the established time.
- Take care of the general coordination of the office and solve any problem or administrative requirement:
- Request and agree on the repair and maintenance of office equipment.
- Request new supplies and take over the inventory, replacing materials and equipment when necessary.
- Make expense reports.
- Keep your work area clean and tidy.
- Manage all calls, emails, correspondence and faxes, both incoming and outgoing, as well as taking care of the general agenda.
- Interact with customers and answer questions.
- Archive, organize, save and review all types of documents.
- Make photocopies.
- Request supplies and agree to the maintenance or repair of office equipment.
- Organize meetings and take care of logistics.
- Process and record information by updating databases or computer files.
- Keep your work area clean and tidy.
Administrative Assistant Required Skills
- Telephone exchange management:
- Have a clear speech.
- Handle calls respectfully, eloquently and effectively.
- Excellent communication skills, service vocation, customer orientation and proactivity:
- Communicate clearly, both in writing and orally, with third parties, customers and other employees.
- Have customer service skills, be patient and protocol.
- Being able to create and maintain lasting professional relationships.
- Being able to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team.
- Organized and able to manage your time effectively:
- Be organized and detailed, able to prioritize tasks properly.
- Being able to handle several tasks at the same time and work under pressure in a dynamic and active environment.
- Ensure that follow-ups are carried out in a professional and effective manner.
- Being able to archive documents and keep the work area clean and tidy at all times.
- Analytical ability and ability to resolve conflicts:
- Read and interpret information effectively.
- Resolve conflicts efficiently and quickly.
- Anticipate the needs and expectations of customers.
- Detailed and meticulous:
- Ensure that project specifications are met.
- Being able to stay focused when performing repetitive and monotonous work.
- Administrative Capabilities:
- Process texts, use spreadsheets and manage databases.
- Type 40 to 60 words per minute.
- Know how to use and manage office equipment (photocopiers and printers).
- Honest, discreet and with high levels of integrity:
- Being able to handle confidential and sensitive information.
- Motivated, determined, responsible and able to adapt to different situations.
- Inventive and ingenious, with general knowledge of procedures, processes and office equipment.
- Have a good presence.
Administrative Assistant Requirements
- Administrative Assistants should pay special attention to the way they are perceived by other people, therefore, it is essential to have excellent customer service skills
- The perfect candidate must be polite and observe protocol at all times, smiling and demonstrating a positive and enthusiastic attitude.
- Previous experience in project management, sales and customer retention are considered a great advantage for the candidate who applies for this position.
- The minimum educational level to obtain the Administrative Assistant job is to have finished high school. However, nowadays, more and more employers tend to prefer candidates with degrees in Administration, Communication, Business Administration or related careers. Having this type of education or something more advanced (postgraduate or master’s degrees) is of special importance for candidates who wish to advance in their careers and eventually become Executive Assistants. The Administrative Assistants can decide to specialize in some area, working for a Law Firm or in a medical office, in these cases, they must know specialized terms and carry out specific tasks in the area.
- Most Administrative Assistant jobs require 2 to 3 years of experience in the area and a domain of the Office package (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
- Mastering a second language such as English can be very beneficial for the candidate who applies for this job.
- Receptionists must be willing to work regular office hours, these will depend exclusively on the business hours of each company, organization or office.
- You should be able to stand or sit for an extended period of time.