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Four Tips for Hiring the Right Receptionist

A receptionist is the face of your organization. Often, they are the first point of contact for an outsider, and this encounter can have a lasting effect. Finding the right person is incredibly important.

Hiring for any job can be a challenge. So, how can your company achieve the best results? Use these four steps to help you recruit and identify the perfect fit.

Define the Position

Especially in today’s rapidly changing business environment, the term receptionist is somewhat ambiguous. Therefore, your organization must know exactly what type of employee you need. Someone whose primary duty is to answer phone calls requires a different skill set than someone who must answer phone calls, greet visitors, respond to emails, book appointments, coordinate schedules and assist with office work. Start by making a list of everything the job involves. Then, write a job description that accurately reflects the position. Be sure to include all the necessary technical and soft skills.

Pay Attention to First Impressions

Although first impressions can interfere with an effective hiring process (Wired, 2015), the receptionist position presents a slightly different challenge. Your ideal candidate must personify your organization at a glance. You want someone who is professional, well-groomed, friendly, confident and enthusiastic about your company. The best receptionists leave you with a positive feeling.

Evaluate Skills

Even if a candidate seems like a good fit, you must make sure they can do the job. Of course, communication skills are vitally important for great customer service. Top receptionists are well-spoken and good listeners. They should be able to write well, explain processes clearly and pick up on non-verbal cues. Consider using aptitude tests to formally assess writing and technology skills during the interview process. Work sample tests, where the candidate performs basic on-the-job duties in a simulated work situation, may be useful also.

Look for Calm, Cool AND Collected

Chaotic situations are not unusual in the life of a receptionist. They may have to deal with an angry customer on the phone, an important visitor who just entered the office and co-worker who needs a meeting rescheduled ASAP all at the same time. Be sure to find someone who is ready for the challenge. Maintaining composure is not enough. The right candidate must have the ability to remain unruffled while handling the unexpected, solving problems and juggling tasks. This skill is a bit trickier to judge until your new employee really is under fire. However, work sample tests that require completing multiple tasks at once may provide part of the answer. Situational and behavioral questions may offer insight too.

Finally, be efficient in your hiring process. Talented receptionists are in high demand. You don’t want to discover your first choice just accepted another offer.

Could your company use help finding top clerical and office support? At Aventure Staffing and Professional Placement, our recruiters have cultivated an impressive network of experienced candidates who can make a positive impact. Contact us today to learn more.

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