Changing Hiring Roles and Trends in Administration and Customer Support: Q&A with Stephanie Naznitsky, Executive Director, Robert Half
Welcome to Robert Half’s Q&A for thought leaders, a series of expert commentary that has made our company a great place to work and a leading provider of talent management solutions.
Stephanie Naznitsky has spent the past 20 years with Robert Half, starting as a Manager of Talent Management Solutions, then taking on roles of increasing responsibility including Regional Vice President for several West and East Coast offices.
Now, as Executive Director of Administrative Practice and Client Support for Robert Half, her in-depth knowledge of the job market and workplace trends makes her a trusted thought leader in this field.
Here are some questions we recently asked Stephanie, along with her answers.
Administrative and customer support roles have changed dramatically over the years of rotary phones and steno blocks. Since then, these positions have continued to evolve. What are the most important changes that you have observed recently?
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a huge evolution in the administrative field, especially with regard to the technologies used for remote and hybrid work. Administration professionals had to mobilize to support their services with videoconferencing, meeting planning, virtual integration of new employees and training for teams working at home or in the office.
With customer service and support roles, employers are looking for candidates at higher skill levels to help them deliver high experiences to their customers. To support the boom in online shopping since the onset of the pandemic, businesses need professionals with specific experience in e-commerce customer support. They are looking for masters of multitasking who also have excellent written and verbal communication skills. Personality, empathy and strong communication skills are important qualities that recruiters look for in these candidates today.
What are the most important trends affecting the hiring environment that employers and job seekers need to know about?
One trend that stands out is the amount of influence that job applicants have in this talent-strapped market. Because workers have so many options available to them, hiring managers should focus on what sets their business apart by honing their pitch when hiring. What story do they want to tell about their organization, their service and the vacant position? What can they do to explain how essential the open role is in supporting the customer experience and, in turn, the bottom line of the business. What professional development opportunities does the company offer? These are especially important for job applicants today.
Employers should also ensure that wages are competitive by consulting resources such as Robert Half Salary Guide for the latest news in compensation and benefits.
For their part, job seekers should take advantage of the same trend: the current candidate market. I feel like applicants may ask for more, whether it’s salary or benefits, or the flexibility offered in the work environment. They must also weigh factors such as the values of the organization and the related corporate culture. How do these things relate to their own long term career goals and where do they see themselves in the organization?
Before accepting a job offer, which might come sooner than expected, they should consider the factors most important to them and then bring them up during job interviews and career discussions.
A few years ago you were interviewed for a blog post on work in partnership with your executive assistant. You were one of the early adopters of remote working because you and your executive assistant worked in separate states. What are the keys to establishing a successful teleworking business relationship?
At the time, we were talking about what it was like to work in different parts of the country. I’m in New Jersey, and my executive assistant, Lani Sykora, is in Ohio, so I was on a teleconference with her all the time. Now we have the luxury of video. So, I guess the only tip I would add for working remotely is to create a connection with video conferencing. With the video, my children know Lani and I know her children. I got to see her new black lab puppy. I don’t think we would be this close without those video conference calls while we are working from home. This connection helps us a lot when we work together.
Find out more Robert Half Remote Talent Solutions.
What other workplace trends you see as we head into a new year?
Organizations have made huge changes with remote working, and it will be interesting to see the hybrid models that evolve in the workplace as we move forward.
We’re also seeing innovations in human resources in the areas of employee engagement, benefits and rewards, and diversity and inclusion. Companies are expanding their HR teams and actively recruiting assistants, benefits specialists, directors, generalists, managers and recruiters. More and more HR professionals are taking on hybrid job responsibilities that include administrative and payroll duties and work involving health and safety programs and company policies and procedures. HR has also become a critical advisor to the executive suite.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I remember saying that on my 20e anniversary, almost a year ago, and it’s true today: be authentic yourself. Be true to who you are in all aspects of your life. I feel fortunate that Robert Half promotes individuality and his people and has set the industry standard for ethics, integrity and innovation. I am able to live according to these values.
Follow Stéphanie on LinkedIn.
Meet other thought leaders at Robert Half, such as Jamy sullivan and Dawn Fay. Ssubscribe to Robert Half Bulletin for future episodes of our Q&A series and for more unique stories, experiences and perspectives on the latest hiring trends.