What Does an Office Assistant Do?
Office assistants are responsible for performing administrative duties within an organization. Answering phones, responding to emails, filing documents, and scheduling appointments are just some of their responsibilities. They may also be responsible for maintaining office equipment and managing office supplies. Invoice processing and expense reports are also basic financial tasks these professionals may help with.
In addition to having strong communication and organizational skills, an office assistant should be able to work efficiently under pressure. It is also essential that they have solid computer skills, such as Microsoft Office, and experience with administrative tasks like data entry and record keeping. It is also imperative that they work well with a variety of stakeholders, including executives, employees, and clients.
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National Average Salary
Office assistant salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Office Assistant is:
Office Assistant Job Descriptions
It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring an office assistant. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.
A helping hand is key to a successful company, and a well-trained office assistant is the helping hand we need. Our company represents many individuals, which comes with a load of clerical needs, and we need an office assistant to help keep organized and provide support to staff and executives.
If you’re looking to become an assistant, you must have a desire to explain and break down information gathered and turn it into an accessible and understandable version. An office assistant with a charming and pleasing personality, with strong communication skills, is precisely who we need.
Your duties will be to handle all incoming phone calls, direct visitors to the right offices, greet clients, manage files, and update paperwork and documents. Your ability to write legibly and work proficiently with Microsoft Office is essential.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Update paperwork, maintain documents, and word processing
- Manage the organization’s filing system
- Record information as needed, especially during meetings
- Help organize and maintain all offices’ common areas
- Perform the necessary general office clerk duties and see to all errands
- Coordinate events
- Organize travel by booking accommodations and reservations when required
- Greet and direct clients and visitors
- Handle all incoming calls and other communications
- Schedule meetings and send invites for meetings to attendees
- Oversee all clerical tasks, such as sorting and distributing mail
- Maintain the supply inventory of the organization
Education and experience
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Less than 5 years experience
- No typical on-the-job training needed
Required skills and qualifications
- Great computer skills
- Knowledgeable Excel basics (formatting, copy, paste, sort, etc.)
- Experience in QuickBooks
- Exceptional phone skills
- Outstanding customer service
- Quick learner and ability to multitask
- Certified Microsoft Office Specialist
- Top-notch experience in computer skills and ability to operate general office equipment
- Excellent skills to prioritize and organize
- Comfortable working independently
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills and outstanding customer service
- Must be committed to details
This includes answering phones, preparing correspondence, taking meeting minutes, processing invoices, and other administrative functions. Additionally, this individual will assist in coordinating numerous events throughout the year.
- Complete Corps Cadet Roll Revisions, twice annually
- Handle filing of records and type correspondence
- Create territorial award certificates and congratulatory letters
- Work with the Media Specialist to keep information on the website up to date that relates to the various youth programs and special events
- Participate in event planning meetings and provide administrative support and assistance with logistics as assigned
- High School Diploma or GED
- 1-3 years of related experience
- Proficient in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, Outlook, Teams
- Excellent time management skills and ability to multi-task and prioritize work
- Detail-oriented and comfortable working in a fast-paced office environment
- Good organization and planning skills and dedication to completing projects in a timely manner
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Manage the reception desk
- Perform opening and closing duties, including light cleaning in common areas
- Local deliveries and pickups on an as-needed basis in and around Travis County
- Provide administrative support to firm management and paralegals
- Maintain library of publications and legal books
- Meter and log outgoing mail, sort, and route incoming mail
- Learn and practice the ancient art of anticipating your team’s snack likes and dislikes
- Perform large scale copy and scan jobs
- Maintain/update case database and physical files
- Open and close matters
- Maintain clean and organized kitchen, reception area, copy room, and conference room
- Manage offsite storage inventory
- Track expenses (copies/postage)
- Special projects and legal research as assigned
- Become well versed at operating all office equipment (copiers, postage machine, phones)
- Set up and break down conference room for meetings
- General administrative support and troubleshooting
- The occasional use of an animated gif may be required
Desired skills and characteristics
- Qualified candidates will be professional, positive, friendly, fun, dynamic, and able to multitask and take initiative in a fast-paced environment
- Must be able to work autonomously as well as in a team environment with a variety of constituencies, including clients, partners/attorneys, associates, legal assistants, and staff
- Detail-oriented, never satisfied with the status quo, eager to learn, and exceed expectations
- Excellent written and oral communication and interpersonal skills, both internally and client-facing
- High-motor work ethic in a fast-paced, growing firm
- Must be proficient in Microsoft Office, including Outlook, Word, and Excel
- Possess a valid driver’s license, a good driving record, and reliable transportation (other than an electric scooter)
- This job may include lifting items up to 50 pounds
An Office Assistant is part of a team that provides various administrative support to our clients, including copy, print, mail, hospitality, facilities, and receptionist services.
- Mail Services include metering, sorting, and distributing mail and accountable packages per schedule
- Copy Services includes accurately producing copy, print, and scan projects per written instructions
- Reception includes answering incoming telephone calls and routing to the appropriate person, will greet and announce visitors in a friendly and professional manner
- Hospitality Services include coordinator and upkeep of client conference rooms, common areas and kitchens. Inspect and ensure that all rooms are clean, stocked with supplies and ready for continual use. Organize and distribute client kitchen supplies. Maintain inventory control and order supplies as needed
- Floor Coordination includes the upkeep of copy rooms and stocking of general supplies, delivery of paper, and basic daily maintenance
- Facilities Services may include hanging pictures, small office moves, cleaning services, and communication with key client contacts regarding building/equipment concerns
Qualifications and requirements
- High School Diploma or GED
- Minimum of 1 year work experience in a customer services field
- Ability to multitask with attention to detail
- Ability to resolve issues with professionalism and tact
- Ability to lift or move 40 lbs. or greater
- Ability to grasp, lift, or carry packages on a standard wheeled cart with a load capacity of 75 lbs.
- Ability to walk, bend, kneel, stand or sit for an extended period of time.
- Successful candidates must be fully vaccinated from COVID-19 as a condition of employment prior to the start date
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). CNA provides opportunities to train candidates to be certified nurse assistants knowledgeable enough to work with other healthcare professionals and to offer quality care for elderly or sick individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, and at home. All candidates need to do is go through the training and pass the oral and written exams to be certified. The training allows them to be able to work in nursing homes, hospitals, and at home. A candidate’s certificate has to be renewed after a particular period, and they can work as an office volunteer, office support clerk, office specialist, American Red Cross, or certified nurse assistant.
- Microsoft Office 365. This is specifically designed for office workers, students, or instructors to navigate through the features of Office 365; these features include; Outlook Web App, Office Web Apps, Lync collaboration functionality, and SharePoint Online. Office 365 is popular amongst office clerks, office assistants, and majorly office workers.
- Microsoft 365 Ultimate Course 2021. Training of more than two years after high school is required, and an oral and written exam will be required to be taken for the certificate, which must be renewed after 5 years. The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Practice Tests on Udemy can be used for this training. The Microsoft 365 Certificate is popular among office administrators, office associates, administrative office assistants, and office clerks.
How to Hire an Office Assistant
Consider the following when hiring an office assistant:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. We recommend the following options when hiring an office assistant:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend CareerBuilder for office assistant openings:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- When you have competing demands on your time, how do you prioritize them?
- When handling sensitive information, like personnel files and financial records, how do you ensure confidentiality?
- In what ways do you handle incoming phone calls and emails, and what steps do you take to ensure timely and professional handling of all messages?
- Do you have experience filing documents, and what steps do you take to ensure that records are kept organized and accessible?
- What steps do you take to make sure that the office is always stocked with office supplies?
- Do you have any tips or tricks for scheduling appointments efficiently and without conflict?
- What experience do you have processing invoices and expense reports?
- To ensure effective and professional communication with executives, employees, and clients, what techniques do you use?
- Have you ever had to work under pressure, and how did you handle it?