What skills are employers looking for in support staff?

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Continued growth in the market means employers are now looking to increase support for their divisions and more job opportunities have become available. We discuss some of the skills sets that are currently in demand.

Do you have specialist skills? 

Employers are still seeking core skills such as strong numeracy, time and diary management, and both written and verbal communication skills. However, along with this broad expertise, employers are also highlighting specialised skills which set professionals apart from competition in their job search.

“Additional European language skills are always a positive when searching for work, especially French, German and Italian” says Sally Martin, Director of secretarial and support recruitment at Robert Walters.

Demand for systems experience

Employers are also looking for strong systems experience, with Microsoft Word, Office, Excel and Powerpoint among the most desired. For clerical positions a typing speed of 60 wpm and accuracy of 70%+ is extremely advantageous.

Along with skills, sector experience can help set you apart from other candidates. Employers are looking for people who will hit the ground running in their jobs, which previous experience can allow.

Additional European language skills are always a positive when searching for work, especially French, German and Italian. 

Progress your career

“Secretarial and personal assistant candidates with 3-7 years experience, especially from a financial services firm, are currently in demand. We are also seeing candidate shortages in the property, oil and gas, professional services and legal sectors” adds Sally.

The lack of candidates for these roles is another reason companies are seeking professionals with the strong transferable skills mentioned earlier. Investing in these skills provides professionals the opportunity to progress their career when exciting new opportunities arise.  

Looking for a new opportunity? View the latest secretarial and support opportunities via our jobs search page.

Or if you have a friend looking for a new job, why not be rewarded for recommending Robert Walters? Learn more about our excellent referral scheme and refer your friend today.

Additionally, find out how much you're worth with the Robert Walters Salary Survey. 


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