Administrators are the unsung heroes of the business world. Without them, there would be no mail processed, no letters written (and mail merged, and put into envelopes, and stamped and addressed), no visitors signed in and catered for, and the photocopier would run out of paper and be replaced because it ‘didn’t work anymore’. Administrators are indispensable workforces; they know the company values back to front; they know how to operate the burglar alarm; they’re welcoming to the mailman and the CEO, and they know how to enjoy a joke.
But what do companies do when they haven’t got one? That depends on the size of the company and its needs.
Tasks but no Well-conceived Role
New start-up business owners often struggle under the weight of everyday administration tasks. Simply bottoming email can take all morning. Add a series of email related tasks to that, such as collecting email addresses, sending out a mail-shot, sorting the replies, and filing important emails, and that’s several days every week taken up.
The solution at this point may not be to employ a new member of staff. Far better is to write down a list of tasks that need to be done, consolidate them into themes, such as ‘email’ and ‘minute-taking’, and try out a bidding website for the short-term. You can work with someone on a task-by-task basis until you know you have an entire role available.
Too much Work for the Staff; not enough for an Entire Position
Medium-sized companies may not be sure that they have enough tasks to keep a full-time administrator occupied. A temporary contract could be perfect here, but recruitment takes time, whether the role is short or long-term, so the next best thing may be a recruitment agency. After a few weeks or months, it should become clear whether the company needs a new full-time, permanent administrator.
The alternative is to split the admin jobs between people who have other roles, but this can affect a business’ performance and productivity. Managers are not always talented administrators, and organization may not be their strong point. Administration is painstakingly hard and time-consuming for people who aren’t organized, and this way could provide the company with a lot of very expensive administrators and a loss in overall performance.
Basic Admin, or Specialized Administration Management?
Large companies tend to have more resources than smaller-sized businesses, so for basic admin needs, any of the above could apply.
However, if all the tasks added together create a more complex role – perhaps project management, supervision, and even some personnel management, it may be more lucrative to find a specialist administrator on a contractual basis. A recruitment agency is a great place to start.
If the administrative burden becomes too heavy overall an umbrella company is a sound option. Such companies will take over the administration of the financial side of a business running the payroll and dealing with tax affairs. They can also help with credit control, sales and administration.