It’s right there in the job title: receptionist.

The person you hire for this role literally receives people, as the first person they encounter when they enter your building, call on the phone or send an online inquiry. Since they are one of the most, if not the number-one, customer-facing employee on your team, you need to hire a receptionist with just the right blend of skills, experience and personality.

Start by defining the role.

This is step one in hiring the right receptionist. Determine the scope and specifics of your new hire’s responsibilities, and communicate them clearly in your posting and during interviews.

  • While the exact qualifications will depend on which duties you assign to your receptionist. A few generally-accepted traits are strong organizational skills, an eye for detail and strong communication.

First impressions are critical.

Just as your receptionist will be critical to people’s first impression of your company, pay close attention to your first impression of candidates. Every detail – from a person’s wardrobe, posture and demeanor to their overall aura of professionalism – should be a consideration.

The right personality is a must.

Your receptionist should be friendly and cordial without overdoing it. They should portray a sincere sense of welcome and interest in the eyes of everyone with whom they come in contact.

  • If they appear too eager to please, a person may come across – not only to you as a prospective employer but also to customers and other stakeholders – as a pushover. Think carefully about how you want to be represented.

Find someone who can think on their feet.

Receptionists deal with the unexpected. It comes with the territory. Every day could bring uncommon requests, calls from upset clients, unusual questions and schedule changes. To do their job well, these professionals must be able to think quickly and maintain their composure.

  • Think of some unexpected situational interview questions, so you can use them to judge how a candidate thinks on their feet.

Create a positive candidate experience.

Attracting and retaining top talent is dependent on providing an exceptional work environment and candidate experience. Receptionist applicants are no exception. Considerations include:

  • Offering fair compensation. Be sure your pay range is competitive for your industry and geographic region.
  • Treating people with respect. This doesn’t stop after a candidate has been hired. Continue to take such steps as voicing your appreciation for work well done, communicating often and consistently, and avoiding sudden deadlines and changing expectations whenever possible.

Remember, the happier your receptionist is, the better impression people will have of you and your entire organization. For more tips on hiring the best when it comes to administrative and customer support positions, contact Pridestaff Modesto today.

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