Monday, April 23, 2012

Administrative Assistants: A Professional Revolution

On the 60th anniversary of Administrative Professionals Day, Randstad Canada talks about how the administrative assistant role has evolved over the years

TORONTO, April 23, 2012 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - As technology and corporate cultures continue to evolve almost daily, so too is the job of an administrative professional. Today the role of the administrative professional is light years away from the letter-typing and coffee-fetching duties seen on shows like Mad Men.

In a recent study conducted by The International Association of Administrative Assistants (IAAP), approximately two-thirds of administrative professionals report that their level of workplace autonomy and authority has increased in the last five years. About 80 percent say their overall contribution at work has also increased during the same period.

As the role has changed to include a whole new range of responsibilities, Randstad Canada has seen an increasing demand for support staff: in the first quarter in 2012, the demand for administrative assistants more than doubled compared to a year ago.

"Managers can do more themselves today with the help of tools and devices such as Blackberrys, iPhones and iPads. But, with the increasing amount of simultaneous and instantenous tasks comes the need for a different kind of support to help managers remain on track, stay organized and keep an eye on the big picture," says Marc-Étienne Julien, President, Staffing, Randstad Canada. "That's where the administrative assistant becomes a key partner: they handle data mining and record keeping, event and activity planning, and communications tools designing, while continuing to liaise with customers, clients and employees".

According to Statistics Canada, there are 476,000 administrative professionals employed today in Canada, including 365,670 secretaries, 26,390 executive assistants and 84,140 clerical supervisors.

In the Ten-Year Outlook for the Canadian Labour Market (2006-2015), Human Resources and Skills Development Canada states that "shortage pressures among human resources and business service professionals are expected to remain as employers continue to place greater emphasis on recruiting and retaining quality employees to handle the increasingly complex jobs of our economy''.

"In our fast-paced business world, a number of hot skills are sought-after by employers when recruiting administrative assistants: multitasking, excellent organizational and time management skills, ability to prioritize tasks, strategic thinking, ability to work with new technologies, etc. Recognizing this, Randstad is offering training sessions to make sure that administrative assistants have an up to date skills sets and are highly qualified to undertake a large amount of responsibilities'', explains Julien.

"At Randstad, we know how crucial the role of the administrative assistant is, and are proudly celebrating their contribution to every business's successes. They truly are, as expressed by the IAAP as the theme of the Administrative Professionals Day, the pulse of the office.''

About Randstad Canada:

Randstad Canada is the Canadian leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services. As the only fully integrated staffing company in the country, we understand the recruitment needs and demands of employers and job seekers across all levels and industries. Through our insightful knowledge of local markets, employment trends and global network of recruitment experts, we are shaping the Canadian world of work. Visit

1 comment:

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