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Hiring the wrong office manager can be a disaster for any company. But for small business owners, finding the right person for the job is even more critical. You need to find someone who fits in with your existing staff but who is also proactive and dedicated to the long-term success of the business. But how do you know if you’re making the best choice? Here are six proven tips that will save you time, money, and lots of frustration and stress.

1.  Fill in the gaps.

Many business owners often make the mistake of looking for an employee who has the same personality traits and professional skills sets as they do. Hiring a new employee for any position is a wonderful opportunity to fill in the gaps and address those internal processes that you as the business owner have difficulty managing. Look for a candidate with individual strengths and weakness that are very different from you own, and together you might just form an unbeatable team.

2.  Remember that a job interview is a two-way street.

Small and medium size companies often find themselves competing for the same highly qualified applicants as the larger firms. While it’s important to interview each candidate, remember that the applicants are also interviewing you. Most candidates will also be interviewing with several other organisations. So, make sure to bring your A-Game and present you, your company and the office manager vacancy in the best possible way.

3.  Don’t ask only “yes” or “no” questions.

According to Forbes Magazine, business owners should test for the analytic skills of each candidate by asking more open-ended questions. Give them an example of a stressful situation that they might encounter on the job, and ask them how they would manage or resolve it. Do they stutter and stammer in their response? Or are they thoughtful and confident?

4.  Write an accurate job description.

The role of “office manager” can mean very different things to different people. Before posting the job opening all over the Internet, make sure to write a detailed job description and include it in the advertisements. When replacing a previous office manager, take the time to evaluate the old job description to determine whether you need to make any changes. By being as thorough as possible, you will be more likely to attract the best possible candidates.

5.  Get your staff involved.

You might even want to pass that new job description around to a couple of your most trusted employees. Is there anything that you are forgetting? Your current staff can also help you with the interviewing process. Have the most qualified candidates meet and engage with the staff. Ask your employees for their feedback. By allowing your employees to play a small role in the selection of the office manager, they are often more willing to accept the new hire more quickly.

6.  Time your time, but don’t procrastinate.

Hiring a new employee takes time and patience. You need to prepare for each interview by writing a list of specific questions that you will ask of each candidate. You also need to conduct the interviews, write the job description, and many other administrative tasks. Take your time in the preparatory stages, but don’t delay when you finally locate the ideal prospect. Then make the candidate an offer as quickly as possible before another company snaps them up.

When you’re ready to hire a new office manager, cast your net wide and deep. Post the opening on your website, local job boards, and online sites like or Once you find the perfect candidate, make an offer that is a competitive salary based on the prospect’s special talents and the going rate in your geographical region.  Avoid cutting corners, and you’ll be well rewarded in the long run.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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