Aside from the management and employees, a company has other key staff most people might not know about.
Meet the administrative assistant—someone who works in the background to ensure things go smoothly in the office.
Here’s everything you know about them – and how they can benefit you and your business.
What is an Administrative Assistant’s Job Description?
An administrative assistant is someone who provides a company with clerical support. They also typically liaise with employees and other third parties as well.
In short, administrative assistants are responsible for making sure that an office is running without a hitch.
What’s more, with today’s technological advancements, an administrative assistant does not have to be physically present in the office – but can actually offer assistance from a remote location.
What Duties Does an Administrative Assistant Have?
Admin assistants perform a wide variety of administrative duties within an office, such as:
- Taking phone calls;
- Scheduling appointments;
- Writing and responding to emails;
- Ordering office supplies;
- Making travel arrangements;
- Maintaining office policies;
- Communicate any requests from higher management to the rest of the office; and
- Provide general administrative support.
What Responsibilities Does an Administrative Assistant Have?
While we have previously mentioned the various tasks that administrative assistants might undertake, their day-to-day responsibilities are likely to vary, administrative assistant roles largely depend on the industry their client or company is involved with.
Administrative Assistant Skills and Qualifications
When determining if a candidate would be well-suited for the position, here are some of the skills you should look out for.
First, administrative assistants need to be computer literate. They need to know their way around computers and office software they need to complete their tasks, especially if data entry will be involved. This is also vital as they will be working from a remote location.
Second, they must be proficient with MS Word and Excel or any other similar tools, which are still used widely by many companies.
Third, they should have excellent verbal and written communication skills. The administrative assistant will be corresponding with clients on their client’s behalf, so they should be able to convey information in a clear manner.
Education and Experience Requirements
To become an administrative assistant, applicants need to have at least a high school diploma. But you have the prerogative to request job seekers with a college degree in case the job requires it.
As for the experience, it may not be much of a requirement in other staffing agencies.
However, at Remote Staff, the candidates in our database already have at least one year of work experience.
This way, you won’t need to expend as much time and effort in training your administrative assistant. While they may need the usual onboarding to get them acquainted with your company’s processes and procedures, these admin assistants pretty much know what to do and are ready to take on the job.
What Makes a Good Administrative Assistant
Apart from the qualifications previously mentioned, here are some other factors that make for a good administrative assistant.
One, administrative assistants must pay close attention to details. While errors and mistakes are normal, checking any document or file thoroughly before they are dispatched gives your business more credibility and professionalism. Not to mention preventing mistakes that might end up costing the business dearly.
Two, an excellent admin assistant should be great at managing their time. Many often multi-task. Thus, they must ensure they can meet deadlines while still maintaining a high standard for their output and overall productivity.
Three, they should show initiative. Issues and concerns are a given in any company. However, a good administrative assistant can often anticipate what the employees or their bosses need – and then act on these accordingly.
Working Conditions For an Administrative Assistant
Administrative assistants can be found in almost any industry. They typically work in government, private companies, and even legal offices and medical clinics.
After all, they primarily handle the back office—where they work tirelessly to keep everything functioning like a well-oiled machine.
Lastly, admin assistants work in fast-paced environments so they should be proactive and sharp.
Employment Opportunities For an Administrative Assistant
Companies often have different requirements for their assistants, so you can hire an administrative assistant to work either full-time or part-time.
You can hire one yourself- but you’d have to scan countless profiles and resumes on various platforms. (As well as vetting and verifying each one.)
Or you can make the process virtually painless by partnering with a reliable staffing company that can produce a short list of suitable candidates for you, like Remote Staff.
Business owners still have to deal with clerical work – but you can delegate this to an administrative assistant.
Doing so can take the more tedious tasks off your hands, allowing you to dedicate more time to critical decision-making and to activities that directly affect your bottomline.
However, Australia is currently grappling with labour shortages. Hence, you might want to consider hiring from elsewhere, like the Philippines, to address the gaps.
One advantage of recruiting from the Philippines is the country’s high literacy rate. Most of its population is also fluent in English, so a language barrier won’t be an issue.
Outsourcing to the Philippines also enables you to scale your business faster, partly because you can extend your operating hours thanks to the slight time difference (if your business is based out of Sydney and Melbourne, that is).
Further, Remote Staff has been in the outsourcing business for 15 years (and counting!) and has matched Australian small and medium business owners (SMEs) with the right remote talent.
What sets Remote Staff apart from other staffing agencies is that we continue to provide support to our clients, even after we’ve matched them with the perfect candidate.
So, wherever you are in Australia—whether in Sydney, Brisbane, or somewhere else—Remote Staff is here to help you scale your business faster and in a more sustainable way.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve compiled the most frequently asked ones to provide you with more clarity.
What Does a Typical Day Look Like For an Administrative Assistant?
Administrative assistants usually start their day by sorting through and responding to their emails. They also route any important correspondence to their bosses.
After, they go through their daily to-dos, such as creating reports, scheduling meetings, making phone calls, etc.
They also handle travel arrangements for their bosses who need to travel from Sydney, for instance, to a different part of the world.
Of course, they also have to address any issues or concerns from employees they liaise with or at least, forward these to the appropriate person on the management team.
Can an Administrative Assistant’s Job Description Vary Depending on the Company They Work For?
As previously mentioned, each administrative assistant job is unique as the extent of their administrative duties is determined by what their clients or companies need or want to achieve.
For instance, the tasks of an administrative assistant who works for a legal office would be vastly different from someone who is assigned to a medical clinic.
A full-time administrative assistant would also take on more responsibilities compared to a person working part-time.
Who Does an Admin Assistant Typically Work For?
In smaller companies, providing support to an entire office or department is an administrative assistant job.
The administrative assistant also typically reports to a supervisor or manager unless they are exclusively supporting a CEO or any other upper-level executive (i.e., as an executive assistant).
What is the Average Pay For an Administrative Assistant?
Let’s take a look at the average administrative assistant salaries from three different locations in Australia, namely Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth:
In Sydney, an administrative assistant earns around $65,580 per year. Meanwhile, in Melbourne, they make an average of $63,539.
However, in Perth, an administrative assistant’s earnings fall somewhere between the rates for their counterparts in Sydney and Melbourne—around $64,676.
As an entrepreneur, you get excellent value for money if you outsource your business needs outside the Australian labour market.
For instance, you can hire a competent candidate from the Philippines while still benefiting from the high-quality performance of their counterpart from Sydney, while still paying them a competitive salary, especially for full-time employment.
Is Being an Administrative Assistant Considered a High-Level Job?
While an administrative assistant may seem like an entry-level job, this is not always the case.
As with any other profession, administrative assistants also have a hierarchy. This mostly depends on the skills and experience of the candidates involved.
Further, an admin or executive assistant may also serve as a de facto gatekeeper, which means they can grant or withhold access to high-level executives.
What Is the Difference Between an Administrative Assistant and a Secretary?
Most people don’t know the difference between an administrative assistant and a secretary. After all, some of their tasks that involve providing administrative support may overlap.
On the other hand, a key distinction between the two is that a secretary is strictly confined to performing clerical work only. They often cannot make critical decisions within an office.
Meanwhile, the administrative assistant job can extend well outside the usual office tasks. Administrative assistants can often make independent decisions, albeit with the approval of their direct supervisor. They can also take on long-term projects for career growth, which most bosses would not assign to their secretaries.
So, if you need someone to take on basic back office duties or perhaps to take on tedious yet necessary tasks at work so that you can zero in on the ones that really drive the needle forward, perhaps you can consider hiring an administrative assistant.
Schedule a callback today and let Remote Staff help you get started.