Tips for Improving the Office Support Recruitment Process
Office support recruitment is a huge market. From personal assistants and office managers to customer service and front of house staff, there are so many possible jobs and so many candidates vying for those positions. But with a seemingly endless list of jobs and candidates out there, it can be difficult to match the right two together in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Difficult does not mean impossible, however. With just a little bit of coordination and some clever tweaks, you could minimise your recruitment efforts and maximise your gains.
So, what steps can you take to streamline your office support recruitment procedures?
1) Draft a plan
Whether you’re a big or small organisation, it’s worth taking a step back and writing a plan before you start any kind of recruitment. You may already have a HR department with their own procedures and if so, it’s worth sitting down with them or giving them a quick call to find out what their processes are. Don’t be afraid to tweak things to suit your specific needs. Do you really need 3 separate, highly formal interviews for this particular office support professional or would one relaxed interview over coffee and a quick typing test do the trick? Not every job is the same and not every hiring manager is either. Everyone works a little differently and a change in recruitment tactic right from the start may well save everyone a lot of time and effort.
If you’re recruiting for the first time without a ready-made framework, then make sure you sit down and think through exactly what you’re going to do. From writing the job advert to interview strategy to background checks, make a list of every little thing you’ll need to do before the candidate can start. Then, look at that list and start nit-picking. Do you really need to do every single thing on that list? Are there some things you can streamline, change, or even remove completely? Now is the time to think, re-think and think again.
Although it might seem like a waste of time, taking a couple of hours to think things through right at the very beginning will actually save you a lot of time, hassle, and effort in the long run.
2) Think of your job advert as a sales pitch
Too many employers assume that throwing any kind of advert up on a job site will get them plenty of applicants. And whilst that may be true (especially in a seemingly candidate-rich field like office support), it won’t necessarily get you the right support professionals.
When it comes to administration and office support recruitment, your advert is your chance to sell your organisation as well as the role itself. It’s your chance to entice high quality candidates and to make them excited about working with you. Take a step back and think about what type of person you’re trying to attract and then consider what might be important to them. Duties of the role and desired experience is important but remember to think about what they will get out of the role. What kind of career progression can you offer? What kind of company culture will they be joining? Will they work within a supportive team? What values are important to your organisation? The best adverts will find the balance between being clear about the specific skills required and selling the job to the reader.
Top tip: Don’t be afraid to put some personality into it! It’s possible to be both professional and warm at the same time.
3) Choose your job boards carefully
Posting your advert on every board imaginable will get you plenty of applications but, once again, they may not be the right ones. And whilst you might think it’s great to reach a wider audience, you will regret it as soon as thousands of irrelevant applications appear in your inbox.
If you are recruiting for office support in the Non-Profit, NGO or Social Care sectors, then you most likely want to reach someone with an interest in your industry. Someone who is driven by helping others, even it’s from behind a desk and not out in the field. So rather than sending a job alert to all of Australia’s job boards, choose one or two that are specific to your field. That way you’ll get access to people with previous experience in that industry as well as those with office support experience in the private sector who are actively looking to move into the non-profit space.
In short, if you want relevant applicants… make sure you advertise in the relevant places!
4) Make it easy
Office support is a competitive market for both candidates and employers. Great candidates get snapped up quickly so don’t waste their time by making the application process unnecessarily complicated or difficult. You can ask for something specific to make sure that they’re not just copy-pasting generic cover letters but don’t expect candidates to jump through hoops for no good reason.
5) Think ‘big picture’
Most employers only think about recruitment when they actually need to recruit. And whilst that seems like the obvious thing to do… it’s not the smartest way to get things done. Think about your recruitment process — and the successful candidate — as a long-term investment.
Someone who has years of experience in an office environment may look good on paper, but the better candidate could well be a fresh-faced newcomer who is eager to learn and able to use initiative. It’s tempting to take the ‘easy’ option and hire someone who has an endless list of office support jobs on their CV but in the long run, it could be more beneficial to have someone with no experience who can grow with the company. This isn’t always the case of course. Sometimes, the experienced candidate is the best candidate for a number of different reasons (including a great attitude of their own) but the point is to keep an open mind. It may take a little bit more time to train less experienced staff at the beginning, but it could be well worth the investment.
It’s also worth taking some time reflect on your recruitment process after the successful candidate has been found. Take some time to provide feedback to those who made it as far as your final shortlist and ask for their feedback while you’re at it. From the application process itself to how you came across at interview, find out how you can make it better next time around. It will help you to streamline procedures as well as make a better impression on prospective employees.
Another aspect to consider is investing in systems and technologies that could streamline your application process. Simply having thousands of office administration applications in your inbox is enough to slow anyone down never mind the process of actually reading them. It’s therefore worth exploring various automated HR tools. It’s not something to dive into without careful consideration but there are various products available on the market which could revolutionise the hiring process and save you countless hours of painstaking work.
In short, don’t be afraid to think long term and invest. Invest energy in training new staff who are likely to stick around, invest time in learning from your mistakes and invest in technology to make your life easier.
6) Engage office support recruitment agencies
A recruitment agency can be a fantastic way of streamlining the hiring process, especially if you don’t have the time, money, or energy to invest in fancy automated HR tools or sift through endless applications. Partnering with someone who specialises in office support recruitment allows you to attract higher quality candidates whilst doing a fraction of the work. So, if steps 1-5 sound like a bit too much effort… a recruitment agency is the best option for you!
Looking for office support staff?
At ABRS, we have a team of recruitment experts who are dedicated to Corporate Services and Business Support within the Social Care sector. For more information, please contact 02 9218 2334 and ask to speak to our Corporate Services specialists.