How to Hire a Receptionist

At many businesses, the receptionist is the first person a customer meets. That’s why the receptionist must be top-notch at customer service. But that’s not all. In addition to being skilled at customer service, the receptionist must also be able to multi-task while remaining calm and focused. For example, the receptionist may be busy with computer work, scheduling appointments for the sales staff, and answering phones and greeting customers.

Not just anyone will do in the receptionist role. We’ll give you the information you need to take the right steps to find the ideal receptionist for your business.

How to Hire a Receptionist

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Crafting the Perfect Receptionist Job Description

As you write the job description, mention all the tasks the receptionist is expected to do.

For example, the  receptionist job description could include duties such as greeting visitors, answering phone calls, managing emails, scheduling appointments, and handling administrative tasks.

How to Hire a Receptionist

Depending on the specific needs of your business for the receptionist job, you may want to include additional responsibilities like managing office supplies, making travel arrangements for employees, or assisting with basic data entry.

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The ability to adapt as responsibilities change is important. The receptionist also must be able to multitask several responsibilities at once, such as answering the phone while performing administrative tasks.

How to Hire a Receptionist

Hiring a Great Receptionist

Some key traits that make a receptionist exceptional include excellent communication skills, professionalism, a friendly and welcoming demeanor, organization, multitasking abilities, and attention to detail.

A person who has above-average skills in these areas will be a terrific representative as the face of the business. The receptionist can have a big impact on client and customer relations and add great value to the company.

How to Hire a Receptionist

Where to Hire a Receptionist

You can find great receptionist candidates through various channels, including online job platforms such as Indeed and LinkedIn. You can also reach out through social media platforms, including those hosted by your company. If you’re looking to get creative, you could explore unusual ways to promote a job opening.

Your company can participate in networking events such as job fairs. You can also work with recruitment agencies specializing in administrative roles, which is where many businesses find receptionists.

When you’re posting a job opening online, don’t neglect the importance of SEO. Without that, the candidates won’t find your posting.

How to Hire a Receptionist

How to Hire a Receptionist: Step by Step

Now you’re ready to make a job post for a receptionist.

Crafting Effective Job Postings to Find a Receptionist

Before you post a job, read through what you’ve described. If possible, let others read the job post you’ve developed and add input. It’s important to craft clear and detailed job postings that highlight the responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations for the role.

Use inclusive language and emphasize the company culture.

How to Hire a Receptionist

Promoting Inclusivity in the Hiring Process

Encourage a diverse pool of applicants by promoting inclusivity in your job postings and during the hiring process. To do that, you must use non-discriminatory language and post on diverse job boards.

Ensure that your selection criteria are fair and non-discriminatory for your receptionist position.

How to Hire a Receptionist

Recognizing and Valuing Certifications

Depending on the industry, certifications such as Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) or Certified Receptionist (CR) can be valuable for receptionist jobs.

Mention these certifications in your job posting if they are preferred or required.

How to Hire a Receptionist

Screening and Interviewing: Ensuring You Hire a Receptionist Who Fits

Screen applicants based on their resumes, cover letters, and qualifications. At this stage, you may also send out an interview rejection letter to applicants who didn’t make the cut.

Conduct interviews to assess their skills and interpersonal abilities and fit with your company culture.

In addition to basic questions, ask relevant questions to the actual day-to-day job. For example, how would the receptionist handle things if a client arrived for an appointment with a sales rep, but the rep was late? How would the receptionist handle an irate customer?

Red flags are large gaps in a resume, with no employment, as well as no gaps in employment but a series of jobs held for just a short time.

As you interview, try to get a sense of the candidate’s personality and potential to become a valued employee of the company.

In addition to basic questions, you might consider implementing some practices to reduce hiring bias.

How to Hire a Receptionist

Making the Final Decision: What to Consider Before Hiring a Receptionist

Check all the information provided on a resume and contact references to verify employment. You can also conduct a background check and drug screening. As you make your final selection, consider the question, “should I hire a family member?

QualityDescriptionHow to EvaluateWhy It's Important
Communication SkillsAbility to communicate clearly and effectivelyConduct an interview; ask for examples of past communication experiencesFirst point of contact; represents the business
ProfessionalismMaintains a professional demeanor and appearanceObserve interactions with staff and during the interviewSets the tone for the business environment
Multitasking AbilityCan handle multiple tasks at the same timeAsk about prior experiences juggling multiple responsibilitiesOften required to manage calls, greet guests, and handle admin tasks simultaneously
Organizational SkillsKeeps work area and tasks organizedAsk about systems used in past jobs to stay organizedHelps keep the front desk and its associated tasks running smoothly
Technical ProficiencyFamiliar with basic computer and phone systemsGive a simple test or ask about prior technical experienceRequired for tasks like appointment scheduling and data entry
Positive AttitudeExhibits a friendly and positive demeanorNote enthusiasm and positivity during the interviewAffects the experience of customers and sets the mood in the office
Attention to DetailNotices and takes care of small detailsAsk for examples of when this skill was applied in the pastEnsures fewer mistakes in tasks like message-taking and appointment-setting
Problem-Solving SkillsAbility to handle unexpected situationsAsk how they have solved problems in past rolesHelps when dealing with difficult customers or unexpected issues
ReliabilityConsistent and punctualCheck references for information on reliabilityEnsures that the front desk is always adequately staffed
DiscretionCan handle confidential informationDiscuss hypotheticals and ask about past experienceImportant for maintaining the privacy of clients and colleagues

If you’re also considering other roles, you may want to look into what are virtual receptionists.

How to Hire a Receptionist

Onboarding and Training: Setting Your New Receptionist Up for Success

Develop an onboarding process that includes training on company policies, software tools, and customer service expectations. This includes a training plan template and onboarding process that includes training on company policies, software tools, and customer service expectations. Here’s a guide on how to onboard new employees effectively.

It’s important not to overwhelm a new employee with too much at once, such as learning a phone system and also learning various types of company software. If possible, provide a trained employee to mentor the new employee. Provide ongoing training and support as needed.

How to Hire a Receptionist

FAQs: How to Hire a Receptionist

What should be included in a receptionist’s contract?

The employment contract should include details about the job position, compensation (hourly rate or salary), working hours, benefits (if applicable), probationary period (if any), and termination policies.

Ensure that the contract complies with local labor laws and regulations.

If there will be periodic performance reviews, be sure to note that. A new receptionist should also receive an employee handbook.

Are temporary or contract receptionists a good idea?

Temporary receptionists can be a good choice when you need short-term coverage for vacations, maternity leave, or during peak business seasons.

They can be hired through staffing agencies and provide flexibility in staffing levels.

What is the hourly rate for a receptionist?

The typical hourly rate for a receptionist can vary based on factors such as location, industry, experience, and responsibilities. On average, receptionists in the United States may earn anywhere from $12 to $20 per hour.

How can I ensure a receptionist has good customer service skills?

To ensure a receptionist has good customer service skills, provide training and guidelines on how to interact with visitors and callers professionally and courteously.

Encourage active listening, empathy, and problem-solving. Conduct regular performance reviews to provide feedback and improve skills.

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Lisa Price Lisa Price is a freelance writer living in Barnesville, Pennsylvania. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in journalism from Shippensburg State College (Pennsylvania). She has worked as a trucking company dock supervisor, newspaper circulation district manager, radio station commercial writer, assistant manager of a veterinary pharmaceutical warehouse and newspaper reporter.

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