What Does an Administrative Assistant Do?
An administrative assistant is a cost-effective, efficient way to get the on-demand help you need. Whether it’s during busier times of the year when you need a little extra help or for a few hours a day to tackle weekly upkeep, an administrative assistant can offer anyone from startups to larger organizations incredible ROI. Here, we’ll review just some of what a jack-of-all-trades admin can do for you, then give you a quick framework for writing up a great job description that will grab the attention of the best freelance admins.
An administrative assistant specializes in stepping in and taking on a variety of tasks so individuals and teams can focus on their jobs, not the hours’ worth of peripheral, but very necessary, tasks associated with their work. These days, getting overwhelmed with the day-to-day is nearly unavoidable. We’re more connected than ever, but with that connectivity comes a ton of communication, emails, voicemails, social media messages, online meetings, and more.
More than office support-style jobs like receptionists and office managers, administrative assistants are skilled and capable of taking on more sensitive work that requires great attention to detail and initiative. Many individuals, teams, or businesses across nearly every industry (legal, medical, educational, startups, sales—you name it) hire administrative assistants to handle things like:
- Calendar management for individuals or teams, coordinating meetings, appointments, calls, conferences, etc.
- Inbox assistance, reading, prioritizing, and responding to emails
- General CRM administration support
- Data entry and maintaining electronic filing systems
- Marketing support (e.g., posting to social media, scheduling posts, or responding to reviews or inquiries)
- Help setting up and managing business or marketing automation
- Industry-specific work (whether those are unique to your business or field, be it medical, legal, government, etc.)
How do I write an effective administrative assistant job post?
The description will definitely determine the quality of administrative assistant you’ll attract, so be thorough, clear, and concise with your project description. Include a list of any work they’ll be doing, mention the tools or programs they should be familiar with, your budget, and what availability you require of them.
Explain who they’ll be working with and what systems they’ll need access to. Give plenty of context around the work and how it will contribute to the overall productivity of the company, team, or office. Will they have a set amount of things to tackle daily or weekly or will you need to carve out some specific hours for you? In other words, is there an inbox full of emails they need to respond to each day or do they need to be on-hand to answer messages in real time?
Included the competencies that are must-haves for the role, too. For example, if you need an admin who’s well-versed in Excel and fluent in the terminology of your particular industry, state this upfront in your title—it will catch the attention of qualified candidates and ensure the proposals you receive are already filtered so you can move on to the interview phase. For more tips on writing a great project description, check out this article.
Sample project overview
Below is a sample of how a project description may look. Keep in mind that many people use the term “job description,” but a full job description is only needed for employees. If you think you might want an employee, check out Upwork Payroll. When engaging a freelancer as an independent contractor, you typically just need a statement of work, job post, or any other document that describes the work.
Title: Administrative Assistant to Handle Online Scheduling Tool for Medical Practice
Description: We are a mid-sized medical practice of general health practitioners who need an administrative assistant to handle a variety of tasks—primarily the management of our patient scheduling tool and online messaging portal. We use an electronic scheduling tool that receives scheduling requests from our website that automates replies and appointment reminders, but it requires monitoring, cancellation requests, and manual follow-up with patients about pre-appointment paperwork. We also use an online patient portal so patients can confidentially submit questions and requests to their physicians, which need monitoring and prioritizing so urgent requests are flagged for physicians and responded to appropriately. In addition, we need help with general filing, new patient paperwork, input and output from our lab, and prioritizing and routing of online contact form submissions. The role will support/work with the office physicians, nurses, insurance claims admin, receptionist, and our web design company.
Project Scope & Deliverables:
We are hoping to build a strong and lasting relationship with the right partner. This engagement requires the monitoring of messages and inboxes, so it may fluctuate on a daily basis. We have an after-hours receptionist to handle emergency calls, so won’t require 24/7 monitoring.
We are a medical practice affiliated with St. John’s Hospital, specializing in family and women’s primary care and internal medicine.