How To Hire A Secretary

Complete with job descriptions, skill profiles, and interview templates. Use this Secretary hiring guide to help you make the right decisions, fast.

Secretary Recruitment Guide

What does a Secretary do?

A Secretary provides administrative assistance such as typing documents, answering phone calls, and organizing appointments. A Secretary can report directly to a senior executive but not necessarily required. Most of the administrative tasks tend to be routinary and have less value compared to an Executive Assistant’s role.

Day to day tasks of a Secretary

Skills assessment

Secretary definition

A Secretary’s primary responsibility is to provide clerical support to someone else in the company. Usually this support entails typing or data entry, scheduling of appointments, and managing phone calls.

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HIRING PROCESS

Secretary Hiring Process

Step 1: Understand the role
Step 2: Source Applicants
Step 3: Skills Assessment
Step 4: Interview
Step 5: Hire

Build the Ideal Candidate Profile​

To find the best person for the role, you need to understand what the role involves. You can complete this with the hiring manager to define the role, its contribution, and the skills needed.

Write A Job Description Based On Skills

Once you understand the requirements for the role, you’ll need to understand the skills for success. You can then write an effective job description to promote your role.

Selecting The Ideal Candidate

See which applicants have the right skills for the role. Send all your applicants a Vervoe skills assessment from the expert library, or customize one for your organization.

Interview Top Performers

Your skills assessment results will identify top performers. Focus your time on interviewing those that have met or exceeded your requirements. Assessment results will also help guide which skill areas to focus on in the interview.

Making An Offer

Once you assess your candidates against these skills, you’re ready to offer the top performer(s). You should base your offer on the value that the candidate would bring to your team and your business as a whole. It is also important to ensure your compensation and benefits packages are competitive in the industry and help you attract and retain the top talent.
Build the ideal candidate profile

Skills needed for a Secretary

A secretary must be organized and has good communication skills. As you will be providing clerical support to someone else, to do so, you must be able to work in an organised manner. You should also be able to communicate well as you will be working closely with your boss.

Pro Tip

For entry-level roles, you may receive a huge number of applications compared to more senior roles. Make sure to specify the skills and qualifications needed for the role, and offer an insight on what it takes to perform well in the role so that applicants will be able to gauge if they are a good fit.

WRITE A JOB DESCRIPTION BASED ON SKILLS

How to write a Secretary job description

Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position. Here’s what to include in your Secretary job description:

Job Title: What position are you hiring for?

Summary: What makes your company unique? What would it be like to work for you?

Responsibilities: An overview of the role’s day-to-day activities, and how the position contributes to the organization

Requirements: Skills a candidate must have to perform the job successfully

Benefits: Details of compensation, benefits, and any perks on offer

Pro Tip

In building your candidate profile, remember you’ve already identified what skills are needed to succeed in the role. Here’s where to list your “must-have” skills and maybe a couple of “nice-to-have” skills. For example, a Secretary must be efficient in most clerical tasks, but it would be nice to have project management tools experience.

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SELECTING THE IDEAL CANDIDATE

Sample skill tests for a Secretary

Create a free account today to access the full assessment and more from our library

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Question 1

Assertiveness

Question Type: Audio

As a Secretary, you will be pulled in multiple directions. You’re finding all staff are coming to you for small tasks that are taking up a lot of your time.

Imagine Leon has asks you the following:

“Hey, can you photocopy this report, scan it and send it to all of the directors? I’m heading out for lunch. Thanks!”

You already have enough on your plate and are not able to continuously help other employees with their photocopying needs.

Record your response to Leon.

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Question 2

Communication

Question Type: Video

It’s your first day at your new job. At the Monday morning meeting you are asked to introduce yourself to the rest of the team, including the Director who is sitting in on the meeting.

Please record and upload a video of yourself doing this.

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Question 3

Attention to Detail

Question Type: Text

Sometimes you will be asked to manage the CEO’s appointments.

You are given a phone number and told this person wanted to set up an appointment with your CEO to have him come in.

The gentleman who wants to set up an appointment is also located 3 hours away in the heart of NYC.

What are the steps you would go through to set up this appointment?

INTERVIEW TOP PERFORMERS

How to interview a Secretary

Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The interview should focus on any skills that require development that were highlighted from the skills assessment.

Now you know that candidates can do the job, the interview becomes more of a relationship building exercise where you can get to know the candidate on a more personal level, understand their motivations, and how they would fit in with the team.

Making An Offer

How much does it cost to hire a Secretary?

The US average for a Secretary is $34,100 as reported by Glassdoor.com. Meanwhile, Talent.com reports it at $67,638. The lowest salary reported is at $24,000, while the highest is at $156,000. Some companies offer additional pay through cash bonus, tips, and profit sharing.

Secretary Salary United States

Secretaries’ average salaries in the United States range from $34,000 – $67,638. Entry level may start in as low as $24,000, while most experienced ones can be offered as much as $156,000. Salaries can also depend on the educational background, additional skills, and the location.

Secretary Salary United Kingdom

Secretaries’ average salaries in the United Kingdom range from £22,150 – £32,368 (GBP). Entry level may start at as low as £16,000 (GBP), while most experienced ones can be offered as much as £44,000 (GBP). Salaries can also depend on the educational background, additional skills, and the location.

Secretary Salary Australia

Secretaries’ average salaries in Australia range from $60,565 – $70,005 (AUD). Entry level may start at as low as $54,000 (AUD), while most experienced ones can be offered as much as $109,000 (AUD). Salaries can also depend on the educational background, additional skills, and the location.