Administrative assistants of all kinds are essential workers in many corporate structures. They ensure that visitors and callers are well looked after, that schedules are set and kept to, and that all manner of administrative tasks is completed without a hitch. Here is a very brief guide to some of the kinds of administrative assistant jobs available today.
A front-of-house receptionist operates as the first port of call for visitors to a business’s premises and the person most likely to field calls and general emails being directed towards their place of work. In-person receptionists typically help keep a tab on who is entering and exiting the building and help to organize timetables and diaries. Most large businesses would be at sea without the help of a dedicated front-of-house receptionist in fielding calls, checking mail, greeting visitors, and seeing that shared timetables are updated.
Not all companies can afford to keep an in-person front-of-house receptionist on the books. Companies that are growing fast might have too much work for their receptionist to take on. In both cases, companies can call upon the help of a third-party virtual receptionist service. These services offer remote receptionists that can field calls, screen emails, and produce timetables from afar. They operate in a similar way to an employment agency but specialize in only providing administrative assistants. Virtual receptionists are often hired as a temporary measure by companies that have been unable to hire a trained receptionist during a spurt of growth.
Administrative clerks perform many of the same duties as front-of-house receptionists, but their role is focused more on the organization of the office. This can include fielding payment requests, answering emails, organizing office cleaning, and ensuring that meeting rooms are booked correctly. Administrative clerk roles often lead to more senior administrative work in the future, as they offer a great deal of office organization experience.
Administrative Support Assistant
Administrative support assistants help to coordinate meetings and projects. They may be assigned to work with project managers to monitor and administer the work of staff conducting research or development. They may work more generally in the maintaining of proper scheduling and goal setting within a company. Administrative support assistants gain valuable experience in the management of projects and schedules.
Executive Assistants – otherwise known as Personal Assistants – have the task of helping executive staff with whatever they need. This can include diary maintenance, communication with other executives, public relations work, and mail screening. Most high-level executives working in administration keep an assistant on the books so that they do not become entirely swamped with work. There is a misguided assumption often made about Executive Assistants – that they are in a dead-end servile role. This is not the case. Executive assistants often go on to have senior roles in corporations and are regularly mentored by their superiors.
There you have it: the five kinds of administrative assistant roles available today.