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What makes a standout office administrator?
The role of office administrators and administration assistants has shifted over the years alongside the many technology and workplace changes that businesses have endured.
While Australia continues to grapple with the most recent disruptive event, the global pandemic, roles for office administrators, office managers and administration assistants are still being advertised, particularly as office lockdowns begin to lift in different cities.
Despite the changed world, office administrators are still primarily responsible for the efficient running of the business’s administrative activities, generally through administrative support, coordinating office operations and implementing structures to ensure the smooth running of the company via technology solutions, processes and schedules.
Meanwhile, office managers – who take care of the “people” processes – are also in need to ensure continued running of policies and initiatives that enable good work to happen.
Essentially, administrative and clerical professionals are highly valuable to the smooth running of a business and its offices.
Office administrators are even marked as a crucial first hire by many executives, because their skills are so heavily replied upon in order for executives to do their jobs effectively and make a significant contribution to the overall efficiency of the workplace.
What skills do office administrators and administration managers need?
To create value for their organisations and thrive within their roles, office administrators, administration managers, office managers and administrative staff who are starting out will need:
- Strong organisational abilities. This is the cornerstone of the administration profession. It means staying on top of diaries and calendars, keeping paperwork (whether digital or physical) filed, and anticipating what’s next.
- Exceptional time management. Closely linked to possessing great organisational skills is the requirement of time management. Without this, the business executive and office will not function efficiently. Office administrators and administration managers need to understand how to set a schedule (which still needs flexibility), know how to prioritise tasks and requests, and, at times, multi-task.
- Clear communication skills. Administration assistants absorb all the communications that executives don’t have time to deal with. They often have to answer emails and take phone calls on behalf of executives so the ability communicate effectively (both written and verbal) and having a warm, welcoming disposition are all essentials.
- Initiative and drive. The best office administrators and administration managers aren’t just reactive and respond to needs as they come in. They are always looking for ways to create efficiencies, streamline operations and implement new programs to benefit themselves, their executives and the business as a whole. Top administrative professionals are also results-focused, so that all actions align with reaching success.
- IT literacy. This is highly essential to an administration role. Proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite and any other tools that might be used in the organisation (such as project management programs) are a must.
- Honesty and discretion. Administrative professionals are often privy to confidential communications, strategy meetings, business performance figures and other classified information. They need to be trusted to keep this information confidential.
Business support competencies can vary as no company operates exactly the same, so there are also considerations around the business mission and culture that need to be considered.
But these are the desired must-haves when it comes to crucial administrative skills, whether you’re at the start of your career journey or beginning to climb up the corporate ladder.
Employers also look for stability on an office administrator’s CV, as this demonstrates highly valued attributes like resilience, commitment, proven value-add over time and reliability.
Looking for your next great an administration job? Take a look at our current opportunities here.