Scaling is an exciting part of the growth process for every business. Setting up the stage at your company so you can move things to the next level can be challenging but with the right tools and mindset, you can handle it.
One thing we don’t often talk about is how employees of small companies have quite flexible job roles and often take on tasks beyond the necessary: Tidying up a bit, buying office supplies, taking this one phone call, or helping the new employee settle in, and more.
Most employees of small businesses are used to taking on such extra tasks, which helps create a collaborative working atmosphere. But if this happens too often, you’ll actually be preventing your team from actually doing the work they were hired to do.
You might think that hiring someone to do all these organizational office tasks will provide no return for its cost. The truth is that hiring an office manager frees your employees’ time and energy and enables them to be truly efficient in doing what they specialize in.
To hire someone with the right approach and skill set, it’s best to plan and optimize your hiring process. In our guide on how to hire an office manager, you’ll find out more about:
The duties of an office manager
The essential office manager skills
How to evaluate them with the help of pre-employment skills testing
What interview questions to ask
How much you can expect to pay, and more.
If running an office starts to feel too overwhelming, it might be time to hire an office manager.
For example, you might notice that diverse office and admin tasks are piling up. If that’s the case, asking all your employees to multitask and always do more than what they’ve been hired for is not the right answer.
Research shows that being constantly interrupted when focusing on a task builds up sadness and fear and creates a tense working environment.
An office manager might be the superhero you need to save the day and help run the office smoothly and efficiently – and make sure everyone has the resources and supplies they need to do their best work.
The job of an office manager is quite diverse and will depend on the needs of your business. That’s why one of the most important qualities of an office manager is flexibility. You need to hire someone who can adapt to your company’s requirements.
Some of the signs that you need to hire an office manager are:
High-performing and specialized professionals at your company are having a hard time focusing on critical tasks because they’re constantly being distracted
You’re hiring a lot of new employees
Your work environment is starting to become chaotic
An office manager should be a jack of all trades. Their main responsibilities are to:
Oversee the general functioning of the office
Manage and coordinate administration tasks
However, office managers should be open to taking on other duties as needed, such as to:
Schedule and plan meetings and events
Order and manage office supplies
Plan and monitor office maintenance
Do data entry and organize information
Pay office bills
Do reception work, such as answering calls, greeting clients and investors, and responding to emails
Coordinate the use of shared office space
Facilitate and coordinate group activities to maintain a positive and collaborative working environment
Manage office expenses
Assist with training and onboarding of new personnel
There are not many hard skills required for an office manager, as the job consists of tasks that mostly require interpersonal and organizational abilities. Still, there are some essential practical skills that every office manager should have.
An analysis by the National Skills Coalition (NSC) reveals that 92% of jobs require digital skills. Office managers are no exception to this. An office manager should be tech-savvy and know how to use all office equipment.
Office managers need to have:
Advanced computer skills
Experience with relevant software tools, such as Microsoft Office Suite, Zoom, Slack, Trello, QuickBooks, and more
Proficiency with time-management and scheduling apps, such as Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar
Willingness to learn how to use new software
Budgeting is a skill that is usually required of financial managers and people working in finance. However, some budgeting knowledge is necessary for office managers as well, because they will most likely be handling the day-to-day expenses of your office.
Hiring an office manager who knows how to budget means they can effectively:
Plan the use of resources
Negotiate rates with suppliers and find good deals
Keep all office processes running smoothly
Data entry can be quite tedious, so office managers often need to enter data for other team members. Deadlines may depend on having access to it as quickly as possible, which means you need to make sure your office manager can add it quickly and with no errors.
Key data entry skills include:
Typing fast and accurately
Attention to detail
Ability to research and collect data
Office managers’ tasks vary based on each company’s needs but one thing remains constant: They must organize an office and assist multiple people. This is why having strong interpersonal and organizational skills is crucial for them.
Impending deadlines can cause a lot of stress – and the main cause is often poor time management. Making sure everyone is able to plan their tasks and assisting with organization is one of the key tasks of an office manager. This helps create a calmer and more productive working environment.
A good office manager can:
Plan and schedule effectively
Set achievable goals
Efficient workplace communication is a critical skill for every office manager. They may report to upper management, communicate with stakeholders, and coordinate various office activities. This requires being able to communicate effectively.
Effective communication includes:
Detail-oriented people are able to make sure their work is accurate and thorough. They rarely make any errors and can reach deadlines consistently.
To improve workplace productivity and take care of things that other team members might overlook, office managers need excellent attention to detail skills.
An office manager needs to take on a variety of tasks, so they must be prepared to adapt to the circumstances. People who can manage chaos are better at this job than people who need strict routines. They are also better at problem solving, which is an essential function of every office manager.
Office managers must have strong leadership skills to inspire and motivate others who look up to them. A good leader must:
Display integrity and reliability
Solve problems effectively
Motivate their teammates to do their best work
Promote a collaborative work environment
Screening resumes is one of the most ineffective ways to assess your candidates’ skills for a few reasons:
People exaggerate or twist the truth in their CVs
There is no standard format
After you read a few resumes with long lists of bullet points, you start confusing them and your judgment falters
They open the door to biases
But what else can you do to shortlist the best candidates?
Pre-employment skills testing is the answer. It enables you to test your candidates for the same skills and compare their results for an objective overview of their current abilities. By using the same scale for everyone, you can see who excels in comparison to other candidates – and significantly reduce bias.
With TestGorilla, you can combine up to five tests in a skills assessment, so you can gain objective insight into your candidates’ profiles.
Some of the tests you can include in your office-manager skills assessment process are:
Budgeting: This test will help you find candidates who can understand and apply financial policies and plan budgets.
Typing speed: Evaluate a candidate’s ability to type quickly and accurately with capitalization and punctuation.
Attention to detail (textual): Find candidates who pay attention to details when they’re processing textual information.
Communication: This test will identify candidates who excel at professional communication.
Time management: Find candidates who can manage their time well and meet deadlines.
Problem solving: This test enables you to identify candidates who can quickly find solutions to complex issues.
Leadership and people management: Find an office manager who can support and guide others so they can help your business grow.
Once you assess applicants’ skills with skills testing, you’ll be able to identify your best talent quickly and efficiently.
Invite top candidates for an interview to see where their strengths and weaknesses lie. Here are some interview questions you can ask:
What software and office management tools are you familiar with?
How do you prioritize tasks during busy times when everything seems urgent?
How do you ensure smooth communication within the office?
How do you manage conflicting requests from two or more managers?
Describe a time when you had to organize a last-minute meeting or event. How did you handle it?
Have you ever had to handle a situation where office morale was low? What did you do?
Describe a time when you organized an office party. What was your process and what was the outcome?
Describe a time when you had to handle a crisis in the office.
How do you measure your success as an office manager?
What strategies would you employ to reduce office and supply expenses without compromising on quality or employee satisfaction?
How would you handle a situation where the CEO urgently needs a meeting room, but all are booked?
An employee confides in you that they are feeling overwhelmed and burned out. How would you respond?
If you need more inspiration, check out our interview questions for the role of an office administrator (which, while different, has a lot of similarities to the role of an office manager).
There are two options for hiring an office manager: hiring an independent contractor or recruiting a full-time employee.
Freelance office managers mostly serve as part-time assistants to other managers, who can delegate various administrative tasks and coordinating activities to them.
However, companies with a significant workload would benefit most from hiring an in-house office manager.
Some of the resourceful ways to hire a qualified office manager include:
Internal hiring: This method is especially useful when you’re looking to fill your vacancy as soon as possible. It’s beneficial to hire an office manager who is already familiar with the workflow and your company’s values.
Employee referrals: Your employees can help you find someone suitable for your company’s working environment and goals.
Job boards: Post job ads on various platforms. For in-house hiring, check out:
Betterteam, which sends your ad to over 100 job boards with one click
Ladders, which is a platform for management and leadership roles
AdminCareers, which is a platform for administrative jobs.
For freelance office managers, you might try Upwork, which is one of the most diverse and well-known job boards for freelancers.
Title: Office manager
Location: [City, State]
We’re looking for a skilled office manager to help run our office smoothly and efficiently – and make sure everyone has everything they need to do their best work.
Here’s what you'll do in this role:
Organize our office and make sure everything is running efficiently
Handle emails, ensuring they reach the right person
Manage office supplies to make sure everyone has what they need
Order beverages and food as needed
Manage the office's budget and track spending accurately
Coordinate meeting rooms' schedule
Book and organize events and parties in and outside of the office, including team building weekends
Handle all situations with grace and tact, ensuring the peaceful resolution of any potential conflicts
Skills and qualifications
For this role, we need you to:
Be flexible and adaptable to changing requirements and circumstances
Handle multiple tasks and projects simultaneously, ensuring you complete everything on time
Be an excellent problem-solver and communicator
Have familiarity with software tools such as [list tools you're using or planning to use]
What's in it for you:
A competitive salary ranging [from/to + range] based on experience and skills
Flexible working hours
Excellent health and dental coverage and a retirement plan
[describe other benefits you offer]
According to salary.com, the average salary for an office manager in the US is around $83,000 per year. The range typically falls between $72,546 and $95,749, depending on factors such as years of experience and in-demand technical skills.
It’s a new age in recruitment – and all thanks to skills testing, which enables thousands of companies to streamline their hiring processes and make them more objective and efficient. Check out our report on the state of skills-based hiring to find out more.
Implementing a data-driven skills assessment method will revolutionize your hiring experience and enable you to hire the right office manager for your business faster – and with no stress or bias.
Start today with TestGorilla’s free plan.
To address its increased recruitment needs and influx of applicants for roles that include customer support and leadership, Dyninno Group implemented TestGorilla. See how the Dyninno Group of companies improved candidate screening and recruitment productivity by 400%.
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