Members quickly learn that thousands of potential staffers want to work for them. It is impossible to review every candidate, nor should you. The mission is to hire the best Chief of Staff possible and delegate the authority to manage and hire the rest of the team. Beyond the Chief, there are numerous key positions to fill. Every position is critical and every position is instrumental to the success of your operation.
Chief of Staff:
The Chief of Staff is your top staffer in the office. At the end of the day the Chief of Staff manages the entire team. The person that holds this position must be a good manager with a strong working relationship with the Member. Trust in this position is mission critical and the Chief of Staff must have perfect clarity on the Member’s goals and vision.
The senior advisor within the office is critical. It’s not possible to be a leading expert on every single subject. A senior advisor is utilized with the Member and makes a particular policy a top priority. There are senior advisors in every political category. There are also senior advisors focused on the media and press.
The Legislative Director runs the legislative operation and oversees the Legislative Assistants and Legislative Correspondents. Your LD needs to understand the legislative process and exercise excellent political judgement at all times.
The Press Secretary serves as the public voice or spokesperson for the Member and handles all press strategy. Your Press Secretary will work closely with reports and handles all press releases and weekly op-eds. Social media has grown exponentially over the years and virtually every Member has a social media profile. This also falls to the Press Secretary.
In most offices you have at least two LAs. The LAs track legislation, make vote recommendations, follow committee activity and run legislative initiatives. In many cases, LAs play a role in authoring custom constituent correspondence and work closely with the LC.
The LC is in charge of the entire constituent mail bag. Most correspondence is digital but there is still a great deal of traditional mail as well. The position received guidance from the LAs and LD. The is a great position for entry level staff because it provides the ability to learn about a wide range of issues.
Your Office Manager will keep track of all office budgets, financial accounts, equipment acquisition, inventory and maintenance of every office. The Office Manager plays a key roll in managed operational activity in the District Office. The position varies from office to office. A strong understanding of House rules and regulations are key to the position.
The Systems Administrator is in charge of all computer and tech operations to include the addition of names and address content, printing constituent response letters, targeted mailings such as 499s and technological trouble shooting. Not all offices have a Systems Administrator and this can often be a hybrid position.
Scheduler (All Hail!):
This is the most important position in the office. If you have a great Scheduler the entire operation will flow beautifully. If you are shorthanded in this linchpin position, the entire operation can suffer. The position is responsible for the Member’s daily calendar. The Scheduler responds to invitations, prioritized key events, monitors changes to the schedule and coordinates events with other Schedulers. In many cases, the Scheduler will often take a role in managing the Interns.
The Staff Assistant is in charge of all front office duties. These responsibilities include answering the telephones, opening incoming mail, responding to constituent requests, U.S. Capitol Tours, and U.S. flags flown over the Capitol. This is an entry level but key position that puts a staffer on a path to either policy, press, or scheduling duties.
Every semester new Interns come to Washington. In particular, the summer is a very busy time. Interns can have a wide range of duties from opening mail to stuffing envelopes. In many cases, Interns perform services in tandem with an educational plan. This often involves serious legislative research throughout the semester. Interns can be a tremendous benefit in the office on everything from basic research to core functions of the operation.