With a wide range of roles within the business support sector, it can be hard to understand what type of support you need and hence, what type of position you need to recruit for.

Do you need to hire a PA? Or perhaps you need secretarial staff? The below guide briefly explains the scope of each role and how they may help your business.



You Should Hire an Office Junior If….

You need general administrative support in an office environment, with tasks like sorting, receiving and sending mail; screening calls and taking accurate messages; stationery inventories; photocopying, faxing, binding and filing company documents and providing support to reception during periods.
An office junior can also cover staff absences, take on ad-hoc secretarial duties and will work closely with an office manager. It is often a candidate’s first job in a corporate environment.

Find out more about hiring an office junior.

You Should Hire an Office Assistant If….

You need an office administrator with a little more experience. The responsibilities of an office assistant grow on those of an office junior, with additional responsibilities. On top of answering phones and taking detailed messages, an office assistant will undertake basic invoice and expense management; book, prepare and clear meeting rooms; manage inboxes, and collating and preparing presentations, proposals and contracts using the Microsoft Office suite.

If there’s an internal marketing department, an office assistant may also assist the marketing manager with mailshots, printing, events and other ad-hoc tasks. A candidate for this position often has a little experience in the corporate environment.

Find out more about hiring an office assistant.

You Should Hire a Receptionist If…

You need someone to be your front of house. A receptionist is often the first person a newcomer will interact with in your business, so it’s essential they give off the right impression. They will be responsible for meeting and greeting all clients, visitors and staff courteously; answering calls efficiently and taking messages; managing a switchboard; booking meeting rooms and organising refreshments, and monitoring and ordering supplies.

As the reception area is often the first part of the business visitors will encounter, this candidate will also be responsible for keeping the reception area tidy.

Find out more about hiring a receptionist.

You Should Hire a Junior Secretary If…

Your secretary needs additional support. A junior secretary can perform the administrative functions for the wider secretarial team, with tasks like implementing and maintaining an effective filing system; photocopying, binding and storing documents; answering phones; managing post and deliveries and supporting a senior PA with admin and document overflow.

A junior secretary may also do some diary management as and when required, including organising travel and accommodation.

Find out more about hiring a junior secretary.

You Should Hire a Desk Assistant If…

You’re working in an investment bank or hedge fund and need additional support with administration on the trade floor. A desk assistant will act as the first line of escalation, assisting business leaders with day-to-day administration support. They will be comfortable working with the Microsoft Office suite and can write, proof, create and distribute client packs, contracts and similar documents.

This candidate should be an excellent multi-tasker and incredibly organised, as they will be required to organise multiple diaries and co-ordinate complex and detailed travel itineraries.

Find out more about hiring a desk assistant.

You Should Hire a Team Assistant If…

Your team needs some additional administration support. As the name suggests, this role involves a candidate supporting a team of professionals, helping to manage diaries and inboxes, book travel and manage the office. They can liaise with colleagues and clients, forming and maintaining strong professional relationships through their strong verbal and written communication skills.

Within the office, they can attend meetings to raise and action agendas and provide general administrative support. Essentially, a team assistant will be the support platform for a team, freeing them up to focus on other elements of their role.

You Should Hire a Personal Assistant If…

You need a right-hand man or woman. A personal assistant can look after both your professional and personal affairs, looking after you (and possibly your team’s) diaries, creating detailed travel itineraries, managing your inbox, answering calls and overseeing the creation of contracts, client packs and other documents. They can also organise your meeting, booking the venue, ordering refreshments and ensuring minutes are taken.

Depending on the role, a PA can also look after personal errands, arrange social events and process expenses where necessary.

Find out more about hiring a PA.

You Should Hire an Executive Assistant If…

You’re a senior businessperson looking for advanced assistance in both your professional and personal lives. An executive assistant builds on the responsibilities of a personal assistant and includes more senior responsibilities, such as client management and business administration.

Just like a PA, an executive assistant will be responsible for extensive diary management, making travel arrangements, overseeing expenses, scheduling appointments and conducting administrative tasks as needed.

Find out more about hiring an EA.

You Should Hire an Office Manager If…

You need someone to look after everything office related autonomously. An office manager is responsible for general office management, monitoring and ordering office supplies, implementing and sustaining filing systems, managing the IT and telecoms functions, office maintenance and overseeing first aid and health and safety checks. If you have an office move coming up, an office manager can oversee all elements, ensuring a seamless move.

They can also arrange team events and depending on the size of the office, assist with marketing or HR tasks. In larger businesses, an office manager may oversee a team of office assistants, juniors or other support staff.

Find out more about hiring an office manager.

You Should Hire an Administration Manager If…

You need someone to lead a team of administration assistants, overseeing all administration needs. The administration manager is responsible for maintaining the smooth running of the administrative function, supervising the front office and support staff and generally keeping everything in check. They will often work closely with an operations manager to ensure the effective flow of resources and that the needs of each business department are met.

In a smaller business, it may incorporate HR, bookkeeping and operations duties as well, including, but not excluded to, recruitment, training of new employees, reference collection, holiday management and updating the company database.

Find out more about hiring an administration manager.

You Should Hire a Business Assistant If…

You need assistance with your business activity. A business assistant typically works closely alongside a director or management team, attending key meetings and overseeing general business activity. Often, they’ll be the right-hand person to the director and can manage key projects, offer valuable business insights and assist with budget management and reporting.

A business assistant may also perform some personal assistant duties, including diary management and extensive travel and meeting co-ordination. They can provide line management to the administration and operations managers, conducting staff appraisals, performance issues and task delegation.

Find out more about hiring a business assistant.

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