A switched-on employer knows that a great receptionist is an essential asset to their brand.
Receptionists are powerful people because they control the impressions of everyone who walks through the door – staff and visitors alike. We’ve all been uplifted by kind, friendly receptionists who treat us like real people, and we love the brand for it. And we’ve all felt humiliated by receptionists who demonstrate how bored they are that we even exist. Receptionists are super important people. The best ones are super-skilled, too. So here’s why a receptionist job should be top of your list:
A receptionist job makes you the face and the voice of your employer. And that’s an important role. You’ll be the first person that a visitor meets. Every visitor that walks through reception will form a first impression of your company through how you behave. And they’ll be attached to their initial impression – in psychology it’s called the primacy effect. Create a good impression and they’ll be all warm and fuzzy towards your company forever. Create a bad first impression and that’ll stick, too. The primacy effect is bookended by the recency effect – the strength of our last impressions (yep, we forget stuff in the middle). The same theory applies – you’re the last thing a visitor interacts with on their way out of the building and so the impression you give will stay with them.
Reception is a busy hub. Things are happening all the time; visitors coming and going, switchboards exploding, rooms booked and unbooked, meetings arranged and changed. Add to this list daily chaos: Jose of Important Client Inc wants to get in touch with Elena but Elena is in a meeting with Bob; Izzy the director is stuck in traffic and ten people are waiting for her, and the meeting in Room S32 is overrunning so we’re gonna need to order lunch for 25 and, hey, are any of them gluten intolerant?
Great receptionists are the circus ringleader, directing, controlling and making sure that no one falls off the trapeze.
Receptionists are special people. They’re in a position to observe what’s going on, what works well and what doesn’t. They’re in prime place to suggest improvements to systems and processes.
Some receptionist jobs are specialised, so you might need skills like a second or third language but all the best receptionists are:
Yes, you’ll be clean, tidy and presentable. That’s a given. You’ll be dressed well, in the manner of your company culture. Not every receptionist will be suited and booted; there are plenty of receptionist jobs where jeans and t-shirts are the norm. And it’s not just about dress. It’s about attitude. An open, warm, friendly persona gives a great first impression.
The best receptionists aren’t afraid to take the initiative to solve problems, to help people obviously needing help and to suggest improvements.
A receptionist will know what the company produces, and who the key players are. A good receptionist will know who’s responsible for what and how to get in touch with them. A great receptionist will know all of this and also be a living example of company values and Principles.
A great receptionist keeps personal stuff at home. No matter how rubbish they’re feeling, they’ll hide it and continue to show an open, friendly and considerate persona, even when it hurts. They’ll acknowledge how they feel but be able to compartmentalise their emotions. The show must go on.
And, of course, interpersonal skills are vital. Skilled at active listening, teamwork, verbal and written communication and with a great phone manner, the best receptionists have extremely sophisticated soft skills.
We haven’t even touched on the salary, perks and career potential of receptionists that work for great, positive employers. That’s another story! But we hope that we’ve convinced you enough to take a peek at some great receptionist positions that are available right now.