Going beyond the call of duty – 20
THE days of office receptionists and administrators sticking to tasks outlined in their job descriptions appear to be over, as more employers demand they do work above and beyond traditional duties.
While employers may ask administrative staff to perform additional tasks, some employees become more involved themselves. For example, some receptionists assist with marketing and public relations
Recruitment firm Hays says employers are showing a preference for multi-skilled office support staff.
Hays director Nick Deligiannis says employers want highly-skilled candidates who can manage multiple responsibilities.
‘‘They want to gain maximum value from their hire and they expect new staff to be able to add value at a faster and more significant rate than before the global financial crisis,’’ he says.
‘‘ Some employers have also merged roles, which also creates a need for candidates with all-round skill sets. For example, an employer might ask for a candidate that, in addition to the primary responsibility, can assist with reception, administration or junior accounts procedures if and when required.’’
Mr Delingiannis says this trend has been noticed in some areas of accountancy and sales and marketing. ‘‘In order to secure (a versatile) candidate, employers are providing benefits such as flexible working hours,’’ he says.
‘‘Some even offer a key performance indicator bonus for those candidates that do go above and beyond.’’
The importance of employing staff with talents in various areas has become increasingly important as many sectors struggle with skills shortages.
An Australian Industry Group/ Deloitte CEO survey, released earlier this month, found more than one third of businesses were concerned that skills shortages would impact negatively on their operations this year.
Deloitte Consulting Asia Pacific regional managing partner Gerhard Vorster says standing still is not an option for employers.
‘‘The good news is that Australia’s education and training providers are keen to collaborate with business to help secure a pipeline of skilled talent,’’ he says.
‘‘Those who fail to innovate around processes, systems and working practices are going to face a very bleak future.’’
Kelly Services administrator Kim Shields has spent 19 years with the company and says she has always been encouraged to do tasks beyond her job description.
‘‘I’ve always loved the role because there have always been new challenges,’’ she says.
‘‘I do a lot of administration, reference checking and I look after the database. I have been offered consultancy positions but I amvery happy with my role.’’
Ms Shields says the team-focused environment at Kelly makes it easy to get involved in many different areas.
‘‘If you can broaden your horizons, it makes it much more interesting and challenging,’’ she says.
‘‘From my experience, it’s always appreciated if you put your hand up and say you are willing to do more.’’
In an Australian Workplace Series study, Hays found that 41 per cent of employees receive no training and development.
Hays director Jacky Carter says it is imperative to invest in training and development.
Kelly Services administrator Kim Shields enjoys the challenge of performing tasks beyond her job description.