Receptionists are a crucial part of any business since they’re one of the first representatives of the company that people interact with. Therefore, a significant part of the receptionist’s responsibilities is to uphold the company’s reputation. 

In this receptionist job description guide, we’ll discuss the roles of a receptionist, the skills every receptionist needs to have, and the salary and expectations.

What is a receptionist?

Receptionists are administrative assistants responsible for managing the front desk of a company. Receptionists could be called the director of first impressions since they are typically the first people visitors see when they walk in through the front door and the last person they see when they leave.

A receptionist handles incoming mail, answers enquiry calls, schedules meetings, welcomes visitors, verifies their identification, issues visitor badges, answers any queries they may have, and directs people to where they need to go. 

What does a receptionist do?

A receptionist acts as the point of contact between a business and the customers. They’re multi-tasking employees who also assist with typical administrative tasks like handling transcription, photocopying, printing, taxing, sorting and distributing mail, making travel arrangements, and supporting the HR department. 

Duties and responsibilities of a receptionist

The duties of a receptionist will vary from one business to another. However, most receptionists have a diverse list of roles and responsibilities they need to take care of.

Here is a list of tasks that a Receptionist job description typically includes: 

  • Answering, screening, and forwarding calls.
  • Taking messages and ensuring they are passed on to the right staff member in time.
  • Welcoming visitors and accompanying them to specific locations
  • Alerting staff when their visitors have arrived
  • Monitoring security and telecommunications systems to increase the company’s security
  • Coordinating internal and external events
  • Handling complaints and queries via calls, emails, and general correspondence
  • Obtaining and sharing data through emails or other modes
  • Managing administrative tasks like maintaining appointment calendars
  • Filing and maintaining documents and records
  • Helping the HR department with the hiring, onboarding, and firing procedures
  • Managing travel plans and documents
  • Keeping track of office supplies, furniture, and equipment
  • Sorting, delivering, and preparing mail and courier deliveries
  • Managing the availability of the meeting/conference rooms
  • Supervising office services such as cleaners and service maintenance staff
  • Maintaining the reception area’s safety and cleanliness standards

Receptionist qualifications

Each company hiring for a receptionist job role may have its own set of qualification requirements. However, the most common qualifications that most businesses look for while hiring a receptionist are:

  1. Proficiency with Microsoft Office
  2. Experience with multi-line telephone networks

Depending on the industry, organisations may also list familiarity with industry-specific software applications. 

Receptionists are employed in nearly every industry. You don’t require formal qualifications to apply for a receptionist job role unless it’s for companies in sectors like legal or healthcare. 

Therefore, if you don’t have formal receptionist experience, you need to showcase hospitality or customer service experience like working as a waitress or a member of the cabin crew. If you’re a graduate, highlight your experience working with the student union.

How much does a receptionist earn?

The average salary for Receptionist jobs is around £30,000 – £45,000 per year within private equity and alternative investment firms.

Key skills required to become a Receptionist 

1. Technical skills

The receptionist job role includes various administrative tasks like email correspondence, data entry, scheduling appointments, answering phone calls, and more. Furthermore, with businesses worldwide going digital, receptionists are expected to have a working knowledge of different hardware and software applications. At a baseline, receptionists should be familiar with phone systems, copiers, printers, scanners, and software applications like Google Sheets and Docs. 

Depending on the industry, companies also expect receptionists to have knowledge of industry-specific software solutions. For example,  a company may use specific software tools to streamline meeting appointments, like Google Calendar or Calendly, or a visitor management system to sign in visitors.

While the software applications vary from company to company, a good front desk operator should be able to quickly adapt and learn how to use a new software application. 

2. Time management 

Receptionists juggle a multitude of tasks throughout the day and are expected to be jack-of-all-trades within the workplace. This makes it vital for receptionists to have excellent time management skills to handle all these different tasks efficiently. 

Receptionists need strong time management skills to prioritise important tasks and manage a busy workplace with new and urgent tasks alongside their clerical work. Time management skills not only allow receptionists to complete their tasks on time but also boosts efficiency and focus.

3. Great soft skills

A receptionist is a customer-facing job role. Therefore, it goes without saying that a good receptionist needs to have excellent soft skills and emotional intelligence. While hard skills and tangible work experience is essential, you need soft skills to be successful as a receptionist.

Receptionists are the first in line to deal with customer grievances, which is a tough job. Customer service experiences can be long-lasting, especially if they’re negative. According to the CX trends report of 2022, nearly 61% of customers say they would switch to a new brand after a single negative customer service experience. One bad customer service experience can lose you a loyal customer forever.

A good receptionist knows how to be empathetic and has critical relationship-management skills. They have the emotional strength to put themselves in the customer’s shoes and manage a difficult situation with professionalism.

People can learn skills like handling software and time management with time. However, learning soft skills like emotional intelligence and building connections with people are difficult. That’s the primary reason why soft skills are one of the top things companies look for while hiring for a receptionist job role. 

4. Relationship-building skills

A skilled receptionist should be able to build quality relationships with important clients and guests. Additionally, receptionists should get along well with the rest of the employees.

This is especially crucial if the company expects the receptionist to assume the roles and responsibilities of an office manager. The receptionist has to ensure that the company staff feels comfortable enough to turn to them for assistance with supplies, equipment, or other duties.

5. Communication skills

The main part of a receptionist’s role is to communicate with visitors who enter the office, manage tricky phone calls, deal with problematic customers, and share clear and concise messages with employees and customers verbally or via text.

Receptionists need to be active listeners and have excellent writing and editing skills to draft professional emails. Therefore, having robust communication skills to efficiently manage these varied responsibilities while constantly being interrupted by urgent tasks is critical for receptionists. 

6. Independent worker

A receptionist’s job role requires them to constantly engage with people; however, at the same time, the front desk can be an isolated space. While most jobs allow people to work in an environment surrounded by their colleagues, a receptionist’s job is not one of them. 

Therefore, it’s essential for receptionists to have the ability to work independently. Receptionists should be able to think on their feet and come up with innovative solutions to solve problems independently since the customer is usually right in front of them, and they don’t have co-workers they can bounce ideas off.

Final thoughts

With businesses going back to their offices after the pandemic, the receptionist is one of the most in-demand job roles in the administration services sector. Companies have realised the importance of providing quality customer service and how customer-facing roles can impact the business as a whole.

Therefore, businesses are looking to hire qualified professionals with all the key skills needed to perform their duties effectively.

Want to learn more about receptionist jobs in top equity and alternative investment firms? 

You can take a look at our live vacancies or chat with our friendly consultants about your upcoming career steps. We’re waiting to help on 020 3096 7050 and hello@josssearch.com.

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