As the saying goes, “it’s hard to find good help.” For any company, almost more important than the company itself are the pillars holding it up. For business big and small, there are few more vital positions than that of the secretary. Your secretary will not only serve as your personal organizer, but will also be one of the faces of your company. He or she will greet your clients, answer and filter phone calls, manage your meetings, receive mail, and manage your daily schedule. Having a secretary is key to keeping organized, on top of things and, most importantly, staying stress-free. But vetting candidates can be tricky. How do you find the ideal secretary? Here are some tips on hiring the ideal candidate.
While you will make your ultimate decision after you run the gauntlet of interviews, it is vital that you tweak your job ad first. Your job ad will serve to filter out unfit candidates, saving you the time and effort of interviewing them.
Your job advertisement should be as detailed as possible. Make a list of the duties you expect your secretary to complete regularly, such as writing emails, answering phones, etc. Do you expect your secretary to also deal with personal tasks, such as making reservations, picking up dry cleaning, and so on? Make that clear in the job ad, so that candidates will have an honest explanation and description of what is expected.
Qualities of the perfect secretary
When interviewing candidates and making a final decision, look for the below qualities.
Well-managed. The perfect secretary should be organized and detail oriented
Clean look. He or she should be professional in appearance—that is, they should be neat, clean, and put a good face to your company.
Pleasant demeanor. The ideal secretary should also have a pleasant demeanor and calm voice. He or she should smile freely and answer the phone or greet visitors with a smile in his or her voice, as well.
Intuitive. A secretary should be a quick learner, with the ability to make decisions on your behalf. They should not quibble over the small stuff, or come to you for clarification on every task—this eats time away from your day and causes unnecessary run-around. Keep in mind that it might take a few weeks for a new secretary to become accustomed to your office system and to become comfortable enough to make decisions on their own.
Communicates well. The ideal secretary should have excellent verbal and written communication skills. He or she should have superb spelling and grammar skills. He or should be able to send professional emails without errors, and should be able to offer professional communication over the phone.
Thick-skinned. A good secretary knows that criticisms are meant to be constructive, and doesn’t take them personally. Such a secretary implements changes when necessary and continuously improves their performance, especially when asked to do so, in so far as possible and with a good attitude
With my past experience of secretaries it is crucial to take you time to find the right person for the job. This next sentence may come across possibly as sexist, but this is a real fact. If your going to hire a female secretary I suggest you find one with years of experience and who dresses very modest and one who is married with a husband who visits at lunchtime. You can read between the lines on that one. Male employees who have to deal with a young and beautiful secretary on an hourly basis will find reasons to not leave the office. That is from personal experience. Trust me on that!