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  1. #1
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    Hiring an Administrative Assistant or... ?

    Okay, I've been debating on hiring staff for a while now and I've already interviewed several designers and developers in my area. I want someone local who can work at our office, so that limits me somewhat. We're not in a very big area, so the number of skilled people in the web development field is very low.

    But I started thinking - why am I trying to hire a designer anyway? I thought I wanted to hire a designer so that I could take over most of the business related issues - but most of them are just mundane! Returning phone calls, setting up meetings, sending invoices, etc.

    So I thought instead I might hire an administrative assistant part-time (20-30 hours a week). I was just wondering what your thoughts were. Has anyone hired an administrative assistant first, instead of hiring people with technical skills? I can always outsource some of the technical work to subcontractors, but having someone do filing, phones, invoicing, helping w/ the books, and doing basic communication between clients would really free up a lot of my time to work on projects and meet with potential clients.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    How about getting an intern from your local university that has some technical skills, but would be willing to also do administrative work.
    Sara

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    Another great thing about getting an intern is they get university credits and you don't have to pay them anything. The biggest benefit though is you get to try them out and if they are great workers you can hire them after they graduate.
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  4. #4
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    I had thought of that - and am looking into it also. Unfortunately I don't have time to hand hold or train someone. The colleges and universities around here don't have web design/development courses. They teach basic HTML in the computer science courses but that's about it. I guess I could get an intern and let them answer the phones, file, etc. but I think that would be pretty boring for them...

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    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    No matter who you hire, you will need to allocate time for training whether it's an admin assistant or a tech person.

  6. #6
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beley
    I had thought of that - and am looking into it also. Unfortunately I don't have time to hand hold or train someone. The colleges and universities around here don't have web design/development courses. They teach basic HTML in the computer science courses but that's about it. I guess I could get an intern and let them answer the phones, file, etc. but I think that would be pretty boring for them...
    As far as I know, very few computer science programs teach much web development. You get the basic understanding of client-server programming, but not how to make a website and everything else that goes into it. In my case I had to teach myself about websites after I finished my degre

    What you could do is pay the person for their time involved in doing the administrative tasks and let them use your office to teach themselves. Buy a few books for the person and let them use your programs, although I would imagine they would have the right to most software through the college.

    Worth a shot I guess. Good luck.
    Sara

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ses5909
    As far as I know, very few computer science programs teach much web development. You get the basic understanding of client-server programming, but not how to make a website and everything else that goes into it. In my case I had to teach myself about websites after I finished my degre
    This is all too true unfortunately, even in other majors. You could get a designer in college who needs to be taught Illustrator! Sounds odd but true. When I was taking a Graphic Design Studio class in college (a 300 level course) there were students in the class that had to ask how to use Illustrator or would question how we did a gradient fill on something ... I couldn't believe it! Because our field can be so broad, academics for some of the "necessary" things in the working world can be overlooked. A CIS major may learn Java in their classes but never have an spec of basic web knowledge.

    I suppose this would come up in an interview process, finding out where their overall competence level is in all the areas you are lookin for.

    As for having an intern doing basic stuff, that's not necessarily a real bad thing especially if they are a 2nd/3rd year student. I had many friends who worked at printing houses as maintenance, receptionists and other grunt workers just so they could learn about the industry. All they received was a few hands-on experiences and an inside look at how the business runs. It's not something you'd do your final year of college just before graduation, but could be something for the students looking to get their feet wet at a "real" business and see how things are run. Just a thought.
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    Thumbs up Paid Interns

    Hey this is my first post on here. I've mainly been a lurker.

    I think interns are a great choice for that sort of thing. However, I would at least pay them minimum wage or something. Usually interns are treated like garbage and they are tasked with the crap jobs that no one else wants. Remember, however, that these are still necessary tasks and that the completion of them could help your business run better. The result of which, could mean a lot more productivity and money for you. I think that is worth minimum wage and a little appreciation. Hell, if they are good at what they do and you take care of them well, they might come work for you for less than they could get at somewhere else. Loyalty is a funny thing.


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