Administrative Assistant Job

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The Turner Construction Company has a new job opening for an administrative assistant or a secretary. The company is located in North Carolina. It started its construction work in the 1920s. Its first successful project was a concrete-frame textile mill in Gastonia, North Carolina. Since then, it has increased its range of projects. The heart of the operations of the company is rested on the platform of innovation and creativity as the main strategies for gaining competitive advantage. This dedication has seen the company grow into an international organisation.

To keep in pace with this growth, an opportunity for a secretarial position has emerged within the human resource department. A candidate who qualifies for this position will have his or her office based in North Carolina, particularly Charlotte, Raleigh.

This paper uses this job position to prepare a thorough job analysis, job description, and a description of the person who best fits the job. It describes ways of collecting the necessary information for the job analysis and methods of recruiting a pool of applicants, including the advertisement for the job position. Selecting the best candidate to fill the job opportunity at Turners Construction Company requires a thorough assessment of the candidate. For this reason, the paper finds it plausible to discuss measurement issues, validity, and reliability of the candidate. After selecting the candidate who has the requisite set of knowledge, skills, and ability to fill the position, it is important to retain the employee in the long term. In the final section, the paper discusses ways of maximising the chances of the candidate’s success in the job.


The objective of the HR department within any organisation encompasses handling employee-related issues. Functional responsibilities of the HRM in an organisation include training and development, conducting job analysis, and recruiting and selecting an employee. They also involve employee conflict resolution, deriving worker motivation and job satisfaction programmes, and taking an active role in establishing remuneration programmes among other employee-related issues (Ollapally & Bhatnagar 2009).

This paper focuses on job analysis, recruitment, and selection as the major functional responsibilities of strategic human resource management. Employee success is a function of individual workers’ commitment and motivation. For organisations that seek to build their success in the short and long run, the human resource segment is organised in a manner that permits all employees to develop skills and knowledge. Highly skilled employees can deliver optimally the expected outcomes of various tasks that are allocated to them within the shortest time possible and the set quality standards. From this context, this paper confirms the importance of considering KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities) in the job analysis, recruitment, and selection process.

Job Analysis, Job Description, and Person Description

Job Analysis

Job analysis marks the beginning point in the selection and recruitment process. It refers to the purposeful and systematic approach to collecting information that relates to the work components of a given job opening. It defines various work activities, tools, equipment that will be deployed in the work, work context, and the requirements of people who are expected to perform a given job (Barrick, Field, & Gatewood 2011).

The job analysis data is collected based on the role and functions of secretaries in the construction firms that form part of the Turner Construction Company. Such roles have to be in line with the company’s unique goals and objectives. Hence, the secretary should work in a manner that enables him or her to contribute towards achieving the company’s competitive advantage through innovation and creativity. The job analysis data will be instrumental in specifying the KSAs that are considered necessary for the candidate’s success in the job. Secretaries or administrative assistants play pivotal roles in every organisation. Such roles include doing clerical and administrative functions (Bureau of Labour and Statistics 2012).

These roles should correspond to Turner Construction Company’s goal of remaining competitive in its market segments in the short and long term. The job analysis data should be inclusive so that it does not lead to the seclusion of otherwise qualified people. To comply with legal standards for job analysis, the data will be collected from various current and updated sources that detail the role, functions, and abilities that are required for administrative assistants (Kang & Ritzhaupt 2015). The secretary should portray critical knowledge, skills, and abilities that can enable him or her to succeed in the job.

The required knowledge encompasses office administration and understanding of policies and procedures of the company together with the legal standards in handling information and its distribution. He or she should demonstrate team-building expertise and analytical skills, efficient decision-making tactics, and effectively communicating and listening techniques. Others include computer proficiency, time management tactics, and a high degree of stress management. He or she should demonstrate the ability to guarantee strict discretion, credibility, integrity, suppleness, sound job ethics, cultural forbearance, and sensitivity to diversity. He or she should also be respectful and attentive to details.

Job Description

At Turner Construction Company, the human resource secretary (administrative assistant) will conduct official duties, including file maintenance tasks that range from organising the company’s files, for instance, payroll files, service provider invoices, and keeping a summary of the organisation’s projects bills. He or she will also handle invoices for the company’s contracts with suppliers. The office of HR handles a large number of information concerning employee documentation, including billing and analysing of accounts that are payable to employees. Being an administrative assistant, the secretary is expected to help in these roles by conducting chores such as reviewing invoices and clarifying the accuracy in calculations of material and subcontracting costs (Christensen & Media 2013). The sectary will also review employee timecards. He or she will review and update the expense reports and payrolls.

For successful performance in his or her range of chores, the secretary will also conduct extra duties such as using software applications to track and update all costs concerning the employees for the company’s projects within North Carolina. The secretary will also help HR to update information that will be required to construct proposals and budgetary reports. Knowledge of software applications in the HR department is also a crucial requirement for the human resource secretary since the successful candidate will use the application programmes to update and track the cost of the materials used in building and executing the company’s projects.

Working in a robust and dynamic construction company will involve interacting with people from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds. An essential component of the secretarial job will entail interacting with these people and ensuring ardent communication on key areas where the secretary must provide her or his input. To ensure the company’s projects advance as planned within the available time constraints, part of the secretary’s work will entail providing information, whether in the form of filed sketches, maps, thumbnails, technical drawings, or any other form. This information has to be given speedily and consistent with the company’s ethical standards of accountability and confidentiality to preserve the organisation’s knowledge bases, intellectual rights, copyright, and patents.

Person Description

For successful job performance, the person who wishes to apply for the position should meet various requirements. The person should be a USA citizen or from any other nation if he or she has the permit to work in the USA for not less than 10 years. Turner Construction Company recognises the need for embracing the diversity of its employees. Therefore, a person of any gender, race, colour, religion or national origin is eligible to apply. However, the company does not employ minors. Hence, the person must have attained the age of 18 years to 35 years. He or she should be open-minded and ready to work in a dynamic organisation while emphasizing teamwork, information, and knowledge-sharing culture. Proof of good interpersonal and intrapersonal communication skills is mandatory since he or she will handle employees directly in some instances to the extent of documenting their pleas before they are forwarded to HR.

The preferred person needs to have experience in letter drafting. He or she should possess skills in the administration of various tasks such as the management of payrolls and supplier invoices. He or she should have the capability to work in standalone environments professionally. He or she should depict an ability to produce timely supplies reports when needed. The candidate should work with information secretly and in an undisclosed manner if directed by the company. Skills in time management are required to help him or her to know the priorities for effective work.

Working as a secretary in the office of human resources at Turner Construction Company requires a successful applicant to display accuracy in document typing at a speed of 55-70 words per minute. The person should be highly knowledgeable in computer applications in the HR department. The applicant must possess a degree in business administration and a one-year experience of handling construction-related secretarial duties. Familiarity with the local and international copyright and patents laws is mandatory. The company’s human resource segment values the policy of internal recruitment to facilitate upward career mobility for its employees. Therefore, people who meet these qualifications and/or have been working with Tuner Construction Company are encouraged to apply.

Recruitment Methodology

After collecting the job and person description, the next step will be the recruitment process. Recruitment refers to the process of identifying a qualified person. The person can be obtained internally or externally to fit a job opening cost-effectively. Barrick, Field, and Gatewood (2011) assert that the process entails analyzing the requirements of a given job, potential employee attraction to it, hiring after the selection and integrating successful candidates into an organisation. This process may deploy different methodologies such as training and experience evaluation or the use of application forms and resumes among others.

Recruiting the administrative assistant for Turner Construction Company will require the training and experience evaluation methodology to be deployed. The particular approach focuses on the KSAs of the desired employee. Appendix 1 shows a form to be availed online for a range of KSAs as described in the job and person description section. The KSA under examination is substituted as appropriate. In addition, the applicant must upload his or her resume detailing past work experience, copies of the original academic certificates, and testimonials. The company will attract applicants to the job through online and local print media. The job advert is shown in appendix 2.

Selection Procedure, Assessment, and Measurement

Upon successful listing of a pool of candidates who meet the person and job description, filling the job opening at Turner Construction Company requires selection and hiring. The selection process encompasses a mechanism for collecting the appropriate information for completing the evaluation process to extend employment to the successful candidate. The new job opening at Turner Construction Company will deploy complex structured interviews that will involve the administration of amplitude tests for determining the ability of the interviewee to tolerate stress.

The first primary goal of the interview process will entail certifying that the applicants meet the KSA requirements. It also involves nullifying potential fraud such as inflation of academic credentials, omission or inconsistencies in the dates of past employment, and exaggeration of experience or expertise levels based on the resumes. To accomplish this task, the interviewing panel will certify the authenticity of testimonial and claimed experience or training via the identified referees as shown in Appendix 3.

The selection is the process of assessing and measuring the candidate’s ability to do the job. The secretarial job involves dealing with people from diverse backgrounds, different professional training, and ways of interpreting different issues, which may be opposed to the candidates’ opinions. Therefore, the applicant must possess the ability to withstand stress. To assess this attribute, the panel will ask him or her some offending questions such as ‘we consider your claimed experience as undesirable for the company. Do you think they are?’ Such questions should focus on areas that the interviewee believes he or she is well qualified and can demonstrate such qualifications and experience. The intention is to tear him or her emotionally to make it possible to determine the candidate’s ability to tolerate stress. Depending on the composition of the responses, the panel rates him or her as low, average, or high-stress tolerant. The candidate’s honesty can be determined from coinciding information as provided by the job applicant, the referees, and/or as it can be confirmed from the interview results. For example, fraudulent resumes are an indication of dishonesty.

Reliability and validity constitute key considerations for all employee assessment methods, whether during recruitment and selection, assessments conducted while developing incentives and rewards systems, or for employee promotions and succession plans. The validity of employee assessments refers to the degree of accuracy in the results of the assessment in terms of realising what was intended to be measured relative to the actual assessment results. While conducting the selection assessments, validity may take the form of construct soundness, criterion-oriented legitimacy, and content legality (McDonnell et al. 2010). Reliability implies the consistency of results when an assessment is administered more than once under similar conditions. The company uses various assessment tools such as aptitude tests that are tailored for each position in the organisation.

Other tools include structured interviews, knowledge and skills tests, talent measures, and integrity tests. For example, when administering the amplitude assessment test, the candidate for the secretarial job at Turner Construction Company should portray the same emotional response when exposed to similar conditions that are meant to arouse or stir up their emotions. This way, the amplitude test serves as a reliable and valid way of measuring the ability of the employee to withstand a stressful work environment. The recruitment forms and collection of the potential employee resume help in generating background information of the applicants, especially on their KSAs.

Although the validity and reliability of this methodology may be influenced by incidents of fraud such as overstating one’s qualifications in the resumes, the interview process helps to identify and improve the validity of the two methodologies. The interviewing panel will ask the successful applicants questions that relate to their claimed KSA’s and qualifications. This way, it becomes possible to identify any inconsistency between the information in the resumes and the application forms. Hence, by running different methodologies in parallel to supplement one another, it becomes possible to increase the validity and reliability of the recruitment and selection techniques that are deployed in filing the position of administrative assistant at Turner Construction Company.

Maximising the Chances of Success


Guaranteeing success for employees in the new job position after a successful selection is necessary for Turner Construction Company to gain from their knowledge, skills, and abilities. The company should provide appropriate compensations and remuneration packages while at the same time ensuring that the candidate develops professionally through additional training and development programmes. The Turner Construction Company is focusing on ensuring that new and existing employees succeed in their roles. The company has an elaborate training programme that ensures that new employees understand their roles well while at the same time ensuring that they gain the right skills to perform to the company’s expectations. In this case, apart from in-house training programmes for each role, the company sponsors external training opportunities where employees can continually upgrade their skills to meet the changing demands of the work environment.


The role of coaching and mentoring in today’s business world cannot be ignored. Coaching and mentoring allows new and young employees to learn from senior and experienced individuals on key areas of the job such as work ethics, integrity, and company values among others. At Turner Construction Company, coaching and mentoring form an important process of ensuring that new employees are fast-tracked to adapt to the organisational culture, which allows them to deliver their roles within the shortest period.


Turner Construction Company understands the role of a motivated workforce. Consequently, it has put in place various measures, both financial and non-financial, to ensure a motivated workforce. One of the non-financial measures of motivation is a strict policy on workplace discrimination. Further, the company has put an open door policy where employees’ opinions can be communicated easily to the senior management. Opportunities for growth through promotion and training are also other avenues of motivation at the company. On the financial measures of motivation, the company provides various benefits to the employees. Remuneration is important for the new employee’s motivation and work commitment. Indeed, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory argues that for new employees, money is the primary motivational factor, which increases opportunities for job success (Wright & Gardner 2005).

How much should the secretary earn? What should his or her compensation and benefits package look like? Should he or she receive an amount equivalent to her last job salary or wage as provided by the information in appendix 3? Bonuses based on the performance of the organisation, as well as at individual levels, attract bonuses to employees. The company also offers competitive salaries and other benefits that make it stand out from its competitors (Lambert & Vicki 2012). Offering an appropriate compensation and benefits package constitutes the first step for ensuring the success of a new employee in a job. Employee compensation and benefits package comprises a myriad of facets such as ‘variable pay, compensation based on equities, guaranteed pay, and benefits’ (Lambert & Vicki 2012, p.307).

Guaranteed pay involves all monies that are accorded to an employee in terms of wages or monthly remuneration. For the proposed secretarial position, the guaranteed pay is the basic salary arrived at from the minimum statutory pay set in the state of North Carolina as prescribed by the US Bureau of Labour and Statistics. This salary is $30,830 (Christensen & Media 2013). Indeed, secretaries in construction companies are paid the same amount of wages as other industries.

The United States Department of Labour (2012) confirms that the national hourly rate for administrative assistants is 16.67USD for secretaries in the industry of business, labour, professional, and similar organisations. However, based on the data provided by the United States Department of Labour (2012), in North Carolina, where the administrative assistant will work, the hourly rate of pay for this job is 15.47USD.


To ensure that employees perform their roles to the thresholds expected at the company, there is an elaborate evaluation/feedback mechanism in place. The company has various departments where the managers are mandated with providing occasional feedback on employee performance. The company has an effective appraisal system that ensures that employees can be assessed and their performances communicated to them easily. Feedback is very important in each role. The company demands supervisors and managers to provide feedback on a timely basis on each activity undertaken by the employees.

Goal Setting /Inclusion

The company understands that employees are a useful resource but not an expense to the organisation. As such, the company promotes the involvement of employees in sharing and believing in its vision and mission. Employees are actively engaged in setting their individual and organisational goals against which their performance can be evaluated. The organisation further promotes teamwork where individuals come together to achieve the goals of a specific project.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Techniques used in the above Sections

Training and experience, including tools such as KSAs, are advantageous technique that determines whether an individual is minimally qualified for the secretarial new job opening. The technique functions as the tool for ordering various applicants on a scale of low to high, depending on the training and experience scores. The method makes it easy to select a suitable candidate based on the highest score. Since the process of recruitment and selection should be cost-effective, training and experience methodologies are necessary before a time-consuming and expensive methodology can be applied where two or more applicants score equally.

In the selection process, the structured interview technique was proposed. Compared to the unstructured interviews, the deployed technique is advantageous in terms of its reliability. Interviews utilise different independent rates, which raise the interview reliability. They are also fair to candidates. Similar questions developed from job analysis are asked. However, they are disadvantageous since choices of the collection discussion can result in incongruent handling or a blueprint of contrasting impacts. They are also hard to defend where non-job-related questions are asked.

Hunter and Schmidt (2008) show shat amplitude tests are accurate in the process of predicting employees’ potential for success. They provide fair accuracy when assessing the weaknesses and strengths of candidates. They provide an applicant with room for the re-examination of the requisite set of skills that a given job requires. They increase the chances of success in the job. However, they have the disadvantage of high administration costs. They are time-consuming. They can increase stress levels for candidates. This situation underlines the necessity for an interviewer to account for variations in the candidates’ responses to the tests when they are administered together with structured interviews.


The Turner Construction Company capitalises on innovation and creativity as the source of its competitive advantage in the construction market segment. Currently, it has a job opening for the administrative assistant in the HR office. The paper has described the person who fits the specified position. It has also identified techniques for recruitment, selection, and ensuring the candidate’s success. The paper has confirmed that firms that wish to succeed in their areas of specialisation must invest in providing proper details of the jobs they are offering together with specific information concerning the person who they deem fit to hold the vacant position. Turner Construction Company is among the successful companies that have lived to this goal of offering clear details of what they offer and/or who fit in their shoes.


Barrick, M, Feild, H & Gatewood, D. 2011. Selection in Human Resource Management, South-Western, Sydney.

Bureau of Labour and Statistics. 2012. Occupational Employment and WagesWeb.

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Hunter, J & Schmidt, F. 2008. ‘Quantifying the effects of psychological interventions on employee job performance and work-force productivity,’ American Psychologist, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 473-478.

Kang, Y & Ritzhaupt. 2015. ‘A Job Announcement Analysis of Educational Technology Professional Positions: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities’, Journal of Educational Technology Systems, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 231-256.

Lambert, C & Vicki, M. 2012. ‘The Top Three FLSA Violations and How to Avoid Them’, Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 306-313.

McDonnell, A, Lamare, R, Gunnigle, P & Lavelle, J. 2010. ‘Developing tomorrow’s leaders—Evidence of global talent management in multinational enterprises, Journal of World Business, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 150-160.

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Appendix 1
Appendix 1.

Appendix 2


Are you willing to work in a dynamic organisation in the construction field offering both competitive remunerations for your knowledge, skills, and abilities in administrative assistant and a chance to advance your career? Then Turner Construction Company must be looking for you. The company has a new administrative assistant job opening in the office of human resources.


  1. Experience in letter drafting
  2. 18-35 years
  3. Possess skills in the administration of various tasks such as management of payrolls and supplier invoices
  4. Work in standalone environments and a professional manner
  5. Produce timely supplies reports when needed
  6. Work with information secretly and in a private manner
  7. Skills in time management to him or her know the priorities for effective work
  8. Accuracy in document typing
  9. Highly knowledgeable in computer applications applicable in HR department
  10. Possess a degree in business administration and one year of experience in handling construction-related secretarial duties.

The person

  1. Proven interpersonal and intrapersonal communication skills.
  2. High-stress tolerance.
  3. Honest and trustworthy.

Application procedure

If you meet the above requirements, please forward your resume, copies of original academic certificates, and testimonials to the office of HR, Turner Construction Company, Charlotte, Raleigh. In addition, you should also complete the KSA form available on the company’s website. Your application should reach the office of HR on or before 31st December 2015. All listed applicants will be contacted through email or their telephone numbers provided in the resumes.

Appendix 3: Review and confirmatory questions addressed through telephone to identified referees by applicants for the administrative assistant’s job opening
Appendix 3: Review and confirmatory questions addressed through telephone to identified referees by applicants for the administrative assistant’s job opening.

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