by Eileen Moloney, Head of Marketing at Brightwater
As recruiters, we sometimes get to hear very frank and honest (if somewhat misleading) views of jobs both from job seekers and employers. One of the pet hates of our Business Support team is when they get asked to recruit for a receptionist and are told to find someone who can answer phones and look presentable! A receptionist is SO much more than that! On the flip side, we also get lovely employers who ring up in a panic wondering how they’re going to replace their receptionist with just one person!
A multi-tasking wizard
There are very few jobs nowadays that don’t require some level of multi-tasking. No-one has the luxury anymore of just focusing on one task at a time. There are many roles that require varying degrees of multi-tasking but none that epitomises this more than the role of receptionist.
The best ambassador for your business
A receptionist is essentially the frontline ambassador for any organisation. They’re the first person a client sees when they walk in the front door, usually the first person who answers the phone and someone who has more client-facing opportunities than anyone else in a business. However, a receptionist does not just perform front-of-house duties. As well as handling visitors and telephone calls, receptionists usually have to take on administrative duties such as data entry, scheduling meetings, ordering taxis, distributing mail and other clerical tasks.
Juggling balls in the air
One of the biggest challenges of the job is to manage the constant interruptions in performing their duties. Demands come in from all sides and a receptionist has to handle them in a pleasant, helpful and diplomatic way. Communication, diplomacy and prioritising are skills that every receptionist has (or should have) in abundance. They’re also required to make judgement calls (putting calls through, dealing with difficult/irate customers in person and on the phone) so a high level of common sense is also essential. However because of the demands on their time, receptionists are often called upon to perform a multitude of the aforementioned tasks almost simultaneously!
We’ve probably left out half the things a receptionist does in our list above as the job varies from company to company. But remember, a receptionist is NEVER just someone who answers phones! They are the ultimate in multi-tasking wizards!