In addition to the skills that are required for a particular position, what knowledge and personality traits are needed?
Let’s look at the skills that would be needed for an Office Manager:
• The ability to manage others.
• The ability to assign specific tasks within certain time requirements and the ability to follow up to ensure the tasks are executed.
• The ability to observe what’s happening in the work environment and to take action, delegate and ensure things get done quickly and efficiently.
There are other skills but let’s take a look at the knowledge that’s required:
• An Office Manager of course needs to know what a smoothly running office looks like.
• She should have a good knowledge of what each position beneath her does and how each individual contributes to the overall scene.
• She should know how to utilize each individual to get the most out of each and so that they “stay in their lanes.” In other words, a good Office Manager doesn’t have Mary do things that Tom should be doing. This may be necessary in time crunches, but overall, having people do THEIR jobs and not someone else’s is important for an Office Manager to know and respect.
What about the personality requirements for a position? For the Office Manager, ideally the person:
• Should be able to get along well with others. Not necessarily to be everyone’s friend, but certainly should have genuine affinity and empathy for the staff.
• Be able to communicate VERY well. This includes giving and receiving communication. Some Office Managers excel at “giving out communication” or issuing orders, but are poor in receiving or allowing communication FROM the staff. This is a major weakness. If the staff can easily communicate their observations, difficulties and suggestions to the Office Manager — and ideally if this is even welcomed — you have a far more effective Office Manager.
• Patience. An Office Manager often needs things done right away, especially if there are customers (or patients) making their way through the workspace. But an impatient Office Manager will actually make it more difficult for the staff to get things done in the long run. They’ll be more likely to just “get it done” then learn new and more efficient ways to carry out day-to-day tasks.
Who would you rather work for? Someone impatient and for the most part demanding that you get things done? Or someone who, yes, does need and want things done in a timely fashion, but is also willing to help you through your mistakes and shortcomings so that you get better at your job?
I just broke the surface for skills, knowledge and personality traits. There are of course others and they are going to vary for each position.
Put together a list of the skills, knowledge and personality traits needed for each key position in your company. Then compile questions that will help you determine if your applicants have these qualities. Take these questions with you to the interview.
This approach will help you get past the “fluff” and get a much needed objective look at your applicants.
As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.
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