Back office careers tend to center on taking care of the duties that keep a company running. For this reason, the typical back office executive often deals with phone calls, data entry and faxing. Helping the office manager take care of inventory is another common task and may involve ordering supplies and keeping track of office equipment usage. Additionally, the back office administration may take part in human resources (HR), which could include helping to interview, manage and possibly discipline employees.
Many of the typical back office executive duties involve using technology to keep the company organized from behind the scenes. For example, someone in this field may answer and transfer phone calls, enter data into the computer and manage emails. An executive of this type often needs to know how to use various types of office technology, such as a copier, fax machine and printer, and is often expected to keep these systems in good working order for other employees. When repairs are needed for these machines, an experienced executive is usually expected to troubleshoot or to a repair person to resolve the issue.
In addition to keeping the equipment in working order, the typical back office executive also usually expected to keep office supplies stocked. For instance, many offices go through paper, pens and printer ink quickly, which is why at least one person needs to count how much of each item the company has, compare it to how much it needs, and then order more based on that number. Many companies employ an office manager for these duties, but the executive is usually expected to help or even completely take over this task when the manager is not available.
In addition, many companies assign at least one back office executive to HR tasks, sometimes making that person the company's human resources "department" by default. For this reason, people working in back office jobs may be appointed to go through resumes and select candidates most appropriate for available positions. Executives may then call and schedule interviews with the HR manager, though they also may be expected to interview candidates on their own. Once employees are hired, the typical back office executive may train, discipline and, if necessary, terminate employees, especially in companies otherwise lacking an HR department.