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The hiring manager at the front desk

2 min read


At most medium to large employers, hiring is a group decision. Candidates interview with their prospective boss, an HR rep, maybe a senior manager. But there’s another person who often holds considerable power over hiring decisions, even if they don’t have an official say: the administrative assistant.

A recent survey by staffing company OfficeTeam found that 61 percent of executives considered the opinion of their assistant “very important” or “somewhat important” when making hiring decisions. More shocking to me was that one-third of the executives did not take their assistant’s perspective into account.

Here are three things you should ask your assistant  before making an offer.

  • How was he on the phone? People should be on their best behavior when they call an employer. If a candidate was rude or unprofessional in representing themselves to your assistant, how do you think they will represent your company if you hire them?
  • Did she ask any questions? A smart job seeker knows that administrative assistants can be a great source of information about a potential employer. A candidate who politely introduces herself to the assistant and asks relevant questions is demonstrating that she’s resourceful and motivated to work for you.
  • Is this someone you would want to work with every day? This is an open-ended question that allows you to get a feel for how well someone clicks with your organization’s culture.

Do you seek your assistant’s input in hiring decisions? What kinds of questions do you ask?

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