The receptionist is one of the most important people in a company," says Madeline Rees, product manager with Source Services, a Romac International professional staffing and recruiting company based in Dallas. This is the first person outsiders come into contact with, and the impression your receptionist makes is a major part of your company's image.
Rees says the number-one quality you need in a receptionist is enthusiasm. "It gives a positive impression," she explains.
But a good receptionist is more than a greeter. He or she should have a solid understanding of what your company does and how it's structured so that customers can be quickly and accurately directed to the person who can best serve their needs. Look for a candidate who demonstrates initiative by offering ideas and asking questions, who is flexible, and who has the patience and self-control to deal with difficult people and situations.
When you find a good receptionist, create a work environment that will encourage long-term employment. Pay a competitive salary, treat him or her with respect, provide regular feedback and, above all, keep him or her challenged.
Jacquelyn Lynn is a business writer in Winter Park, Florida.
Source Services/Romac International, 505 E. 200 South, #300, Salt Lake City, UT 84102, (801) 328-0011