Your reception area is the first point of contact for office visitors. As such, it plays a vital role in making a positive impression and helping office traffic run smoothly. Many offices are shifting toward automated reception (more on that later!). But plenty of businesses still have a person sitting at the front desk at least part of the time. This person becomes the de facto face and voice of your business whenever a guest walks through the door. Given the importance of reception, of course you want to: a) find the best person for the job, and b) help that person do the most productive work they can. Here are some tips for crafting an effective receptionist job description and making your front desk as efficient as possible.
Make sure the job description covers the basics
Receptionists typically welcome guests, direct visitors, and field phone calls. At a minimum, most receptionists’ job duties include:
- Greeting guests and connecting them with appropriate staff
- Managing visitor traffic
- Answering and directing phone calls
- Maintaining visitor security procedures (guest logs, visitor badges, etc.)
- Accepting and routing deliveries and/or daily mail
Customize the job description for your needs
Of course, a receptionist can also do much more than those basic duties. For example, many are responsible for additional administrative tasks, special projects, and support for individual executives. Here’s where you’ll want to customize the receptionist job description to fit your unique requirements. What other needs would you like the receptionist to fill? Scheduling? Copying and filing? Managing office supplies? Proofreading? Event planning? Light accounting or technical work? Clearly, the answers will depend on the size and nature of your business, as well as the expertise of your staff.
Identify valuable soft skills as well as technical know-how
When recruiting a receptionist, match the skills they’ll need with the job description you’ve created. This includes applicable technical skills, and it should also include “soft skills.” Many receptionist job descriptions include skills like:
- Written and verbal communication
- Software skills
- Attention to detail
- Time management
OfficeTeam has put together this list of attributes to look for in a great receptionist.
Capitalize on your receptionist’s skills and strengths
Once you’ve hired a receptionist, try to encourage them (and all of your employees!) to use the special skills and talents they have. As time goes on, this might mean tweaking the job description to play to your receptionist’s strengths. For instance, if your receptionist is adept with social media, maybe you’ll want them to participate in your social media strategy and execution. If they have website management skills, perhaps they can help support your online team. Et cetera. This strategy can pay off for both your receptionist and your business. According to Gallup, workers who use their strengths every day are happier, more productive, more engaged, and less likely to quit.
For maximum efficiency, automate where you can
Most companies automate at least some everyday office tasks in areas like accounting, data backup, and social media. Automation not only improves accuracy and speed – it also boosts productivity and profits. Your front office is no exception. Even if you have a receptionist, consider automating some reception tasks – such as check-in, badging, and employee notification. Automated reception increases efficiency by:
- Reducing interruptions for front-office staff
- Eliminating time-consuming paperwork
- Un-chaining your receptionist from the front desk
Use automated check-in to help your receptionist make the most of the job
We’re constantly hearing from customers who say that automated check-in helps their receptionists work better and smarter. For instance, Upland Software says that it frees up front office staff to focus on other work. And Sungevity says it has allowed the receptionist position to become more cross-functional in providing support throughout the office. Automated check-in allows your receptionist to expand their role in the office and make the most of their skills. Ultimately, it can help both individual staff members and your overall business succeed.