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Office Support

Hotspots of skills in demand

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New Zealand’s office support job market currently offers multi-skilled administration and support professionals a wealth of solid career opportunities across the public and private sectors.

In greatest demand are multi-skilled hybrid candidates. The adoption of technology and automation has fuelled this demand. With office support professionals utilising automation for routine processing tasks, such as records management, data entry and transcriptions, their time is freed up to focus on other job responsibilities that deliver greater value to their organisation.

This is leading to demand for candidates with an aptitude to learn and take on additional responsibilities. For example, Receptionists who are also responsible for facilities administration and PAs and EAs who can support projects, manage change and provide finance or HR support.

Demand is also high for skilled Receptionists capable of both administration, facilities and customer service duties. Such candidates are often required at short notice. Receptionists with medical and legal experience are also highly desired. While jobseekers are available, employers look for highly-skilled candidates with a proven track record in reception, impeccable corporate presentation and excellent verbal and written skills.

There is also a shortage of higher-level Executive Assistants who have worked in a large organisation and have realistic salary expectations. Employers look for candidates with relevant industry experience. Executive Assistants are required for both temporary and permanent roles, with a shortage of immediately available candidates and career contractors.

Data auditing, analysis or manipulation is also now a standard component in PA and EA roles, whereas traditionally data entry was the focus. This is leading to demand for suitably experienced candidates.

EAs and PAs with experience supporting multiple managers or directors in large organisations are sought too. However, candidates require realistic salary expectations to be successful.

At the entry-level, Administrators with advanced Microsoft Excel skills and Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics or MYOB expertise are in short supply, particularly from accountancy and legal firms.

Blended entry-level roles are becoming more prevalent, often involving reception, administration, accounting support and data entry. Such roles require a varied skillset and candidates who have upskilled.

Legal Secretaries who have one or more years of experience are sought too. Firms will not consider candidates who lack professional services experience as the environment is very different to a commercial organisation.

There is also a shortage of strong administration candidates for part-time roles.

Office support professionals are needed in the construction industry. To be successful, candidates must have prior industry experience.

In the public sector, we’re seeing strong demand for permanent skilled Team Administrators, Project Coordinators and Personal and Executive Assistants.

Salary trends

Given the demand for hybrid multi-skilled candidates, we’re seeing modest upward salary pressure for such professionals.

Salaries for general Administrators have also increased slightly, with companies offering career progression to retain employees.

In contrast, the large number of EAs and PAs looking for their next role has seen salaries fall slightly in some cases.

Jobseeker advice

Office support roles have evolved over recent years. Employers have sought to gain greater value from their support staff by increasing their duties and responsibilities. This trend accelerated dramatically over the last 12 months, with technological transformation and automation taking over lower skilled roles. Consequently, jobs such as Data Entry Operators and Typists are becoming redundant. Candidates must therefore upskill to remain employable and suitable for a multi-disciplinary role.

Candidates who can multitask and who have proactively taken on additional responsibilities are now presented with the best opportunities.

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