Administrative staff play a crucial role in any organization, serving as the reliable go-to people who ensure things get done. From executives to front-line workers, everyone relies on administrative team members for assistance and support. However, when faced with sudden growth or the absence of a key team member due to leave, it can be challenging to maintain workflow and organization. One effective solution is to hire temporary staff who can step in and provide additional assistance during these times of transition. In this article, we will explore the benefits of hiring temporary administrative staff and how they can help bridge the gap in your workforce.

Smiling male sitting at his dining table with a drink and his laptop. Looking away. Kitchen in the background.
Smiling male sitting at his dining table with a drink and his laptop. Looking away. Kitchen in the background.

what to look for when hiring temporary administrative staff

Hiring temporary administrative staff does require thinking about some specific skills and ensuring the people you bring on can truly fill the gap.

Even if you're hiring temporary workers for positions such as administrative assistants or accounting clerks for a few weeks or months, you need someone who can start out strong and carry on through the term of their assignment. Otherwise, you risk a critical touchpoint in your organization breaking down.

Here are six things to look for when hiring administrative staff to take on temporary assignments in your business.

administrative experience

Having already done something successfully is one of the best predictors that a hire will be able to repeat their performance. You don't need someone with the exact experience you're looking for, as skills definitely transfer. But the closer someone comes with their previous experience, the faster they'll come up to speed in your organization.

If an individual has experience in data-entry within accounting departments, those skills can easily transfer to other similar roles. While the specific systems may vary, someone who excels at entering accounting data for one business is likely to succeed in doing so for another.

The same principle applies to administrative assistants. If someone has experience organizing an IT department by managing support tickets and scheduling field service appointments, they can easily apply those skills to support field technicians in a different business.

organizational skills

No matter what type of administrative staff you're hiring, organizational skills are essential. Your temporary hire can't just be adept at organizing themselves, either. The point of most admin positions is to support other business functions and keep teams, documents or processes in order.

Here are some signs that indicate someone has strong organizational skills:

  • They have experience coordinating communication between different departments, teams, or individuals.
  • They are responsible for managing calendars, documents, or projects on behalf of others.
  • During a job interview, they can provide specific examples of how their organizational abilities have enhanced processes, supported colleagues, or resolved issues.

demonstrated time management skills

Chances are you're hiring administrative staff who need to be able to switch between tasks seamlessly, wear multiple hats and remember to circle back to unfinished tasks to get them done.

Look for evidence on resumes and in job interviews that candidates have these critical skills. Some indicators that people are good time managers include:

  • Successfully managing different tasks
  • Handling busy reception desks
  • Successfully managing multiple obligations, such as school and full-time work

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When hiring someone for administrative positions involving payroll, bookkeeping, or as a temporary stand-in, it is crucial to consider their ability to maintain discretion. Administrative roles often involve access to sensitive information that should not be disclosed to others.

During the interview process, inquire about candidates' previous experience handling confidential information and how they managed those responsibilities. Additionally, present hypothetical scenarios to assess their approach to confidentiality. For instance, you can ask how they would handle a situation where a colleague from another department asks about the schedule of a high-level executive for whom they are responsible for managing the calendar.

problem-solving capability

There's reasons administrative professionals are the go-to people for their bosses, teams and departments. These individuals are often asked to figure out tasks that no one else knows how to do or is trained for.

For example, an administrative assistant may need to figure out how to manage hotel and airline accommodations for a dozen visitors or trouble shoot a basic video conference or presentation technology.

Look for candidates that are confident in their ability to figure things out, learn on their own and call on resources throughout the organization to get things done.

strong communication skills

Having strong communication skills is essential for individuals in administrative roles. When hiring temporary workers, it is important to prioritize candidates who can express themselves clearly and professionally both verbally and in writing.

Additionally, pay attention to their ability to effectively communicate their needs and comprehend your instructions during the application and interview processes. This demonstrates their proficiency in communication and their capability to follow through on tasks.

Ready to interview your first candidate, here are 12 questions to ask in an interview when you hire administrative professionals.

connect with an HR expert to find the right administrative candidates

If you're looking to hire administrative candidates to fill temporary positions, consider working with Randstad. We have:

  • A large network of pre-vetted candidates to fill your job openings quickly
  • Experience working with urgent timelines
  • The ability to streamline processes to reduce hiring costs and time-to-hire rates
  • Knowledge of local laws and regulations to keep you compliant with temporary hiring

whether you're looking for temporary or permanent hires for your customer service team, let us assist you every step of the way

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find the right candidates who will contribute to a positive customer experience and drive your business success.

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