What is an Office Assistant?
An office assistant handles many clerical tasks in an office setting. They typically handle the incoming and outgoing mail, maintain the office inventory records and order new supplies as needed, handle incoming phone calls, and schedule meetings and appointments for management. They must be organized, reliable, and have good attention to detail. Familiarity with computer software, such as MS Office and ERP, is essential. Office assistants must have good communication skills when interacting with management, office staff, vendors, and customers.
A good understanding of office management procedures and superior time management skills are necessary for this role. Office assistants also need to have good problem-solving skills and a friendly personality. They may have to troubleshoot issues with office equipment such as printers and copiers and fix the problems or contact help. Some office assistants attend meetings where they take minutes and distribute them to all parties after the meeting.
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Average Salary and Compensation
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:
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
- You intend to hire on a temporary, contract, or contract-to-hire basis and direct the work activity
- You are hiring a direct employee 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
There are many career sites out there. Here are the two we recommend for an office assistant opening:
LinkedIn is a social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses. With this popular job site, you can enhance your brand and advertise your open position to a wide audience of motivated, qualified candidates. Job postings on LinkedIn are also extremely streamlined and user-friendly, making it even easier for candidates to apply. Additionally, applicants can use their LinkedIn profile instead of a resume to expedite the process.
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 Job Descriptions
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
Sample Interview Questions
- Why do you want to be an office assistant?
- What do you know about being an office assistant?
- How good are you at communicating with people, especially strangers?
- What interests you about working in our company?
- What are your unique qualifications?
- How quickly can you learn new software?
- Can you share your experience as an office assistant?
- What are your greatest strengths?
- How will your greatest strengths help you as an office assistant?
- How many years of experience do you have?
- What tools are you familiar with that can help you in the position of an office assistant?
- How will your administrative skills contribute to our team?
- Describe a time you received negative criticism you’ve gotten from your experience as an office assistant. How did you handle it?
- Why did you leave your previous job?