THE EVER-EXPANDING ADMINISTRATIVE ROLE

More Responsibilities, Improved Career Prospects for Support Staff, Survey Shows

MENLO PARK, CA -- With Administrative Professionals Week (APW) around the corner, executives will be thanking their “right-hand” person. This year they may have more reasons to thank them, a new survey shows. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of managers polled said responsibilities for support professionals have increased in the last five years. Fifty-seven percent of executives also said administrative staff have greater career options than five years ago. 

The national survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 150 randomly selected senior executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, “During the past five years, how have the responsibilities for administrative assistants changed?” Their responses: 

Increased significantly..............   23%
Increased somewhat.................   50%
No change...................................   14%
Decreased somewhat...................   11%
Decreased significantly.................   2%
    100%

Executives also were asked, “Does an administrative assistant have more or less of a career-growth track than five years ago?” Their responses: 

More.....................................   57%
Same......................................   25%
Less........................................   17%
Don’t know.............................   1%
    100%

“Efficiencies created by technological advancements have allowed administrative assistants to take on a wider range of tasks, including managing budgets, negotiating vendor contracts, overseeing projects and maintaining websites,” said Dave Willmer, executive director of OfficeTeam.

Willmer added, “Administrative assistants can achieve seniority within their role or profession, or leverage their specialized skill sets to obtain supervisory positions in administration, human resources or other departments. Administrative Professionals Week is an ideal time for managers to discuss the career opportunities available to their assistants.” 

OfficeTeam offers the following ideas for recognizing support staff during APW (April 20-26):

  • Give thanks. Express gratitude for your assistant’s contributions and achievements in person or with a handwritten note.
  • Do lunch. In addition to thanking your assistant, take time to discuss his or her professional goals and potential career paths.
  • Host a party. Plan a companywide event to recognize all administrative staff.
  • Encourage networking opportunities. Offer to pay for your assistant’s membership in relevant trade and professional associations.
  • Provide ongoing educational opportunities. Encourage and, if feasible, pay for your administrative personnel to attend professional development seminars and conferences. Support your staff in pursuing industry certifications and relevant coursework.

About OfficeTeam

OfficeTeam provides businesses with the highly skilled administrative talent they need to maximize productivity, achieve cost efficiency and support full-time staff. The staffing firm has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.


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