Receptionists are usually the very first point of contact with whom clients and employees will be interacting when contacting an organization; therefore, Receptionists represent the company they work for. Their performance will define a person’s first impression of the company. The main duty of a Receptionist is to greet visitors and show them to the person best suited to assist them. They also address clients and employees’ phone and in-person inquiries, schedule and confirm appointments, and answer information requests.
In some cases, especially in smaller companies, the Receptionist’s tasks may overlap with those of the Administrative Assistant, which is why they may also take care of some Human Resources tasks (e.g. accounting and logistics).
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Receptionists are required to complete.
- Creating a welcoming environment, greeting, informing, and directing visitors and employees in a warm, courteous, and professional manner:
- maintaining front-desk security and security access lists, keeping track of incoming and outgoing visitors, and reporting any suspicious activity to security staff;
- informing staff and executives of the presence of any visitor; and
- answering questions, assisting clients with their needs, addressing complaints, and/or directing people to appropriate parties/resources.
- Handling all incoming and outgoing mail, calls, emails, and faxes:
- Answering all incoming calls, emails, and in-person inquiries and forwarding them to the appropriate parties;
- writing down and forwarding messages;
- receiving, sorting, and distributing mail; and
- coordinating messenger and courier services.
- Drafting and distributing office memos and correspondence to inform employees and clients:
- In some cases, promoting the company’s services and/or products.
- Scheduling and tracking appointments using specialized software and tools.
- Coordinating events and business trips when required.
- Coordinating meeting room schedules and bookings.
- Updating and maintaining contact lists.
- Filing and organizing paper and electronic documents, such as emails, invoices, reports, and other administrative records, making copies when required.
- Assisting with data entry and database maintenance, as well as invoicing and bookkeeping:
- Receiving and recording payments; and
- creating and keeping track of invoices, issuing receipts when required.
- Ensuring reception and other common areas are clean and organized:
- Arranging for repair and maintenance of office equipment; and
- ordering missing supplies and maintaining inventory, replacing materials and equipment as needed or instructed.
- In some cases, ensuring the workplace is opened and closed appropriately.
- Providing clerical and administrative support to various teams, when required.
- Greeting, informing, and directing visitors and employees.
- Handling all incoming and outgoing mail, calls, emails, and faxes.
- Scheduling appointments and meetings.
- Performing searches and providing information.
- Managing customer inquiries.
- Drafting and distributing office memos and correspondence.
- Filing and organizing paper and electronic documents, such as emails, invoices, reports, and other administrative records.
- Ensuring reception and other common areas are clean and organized.
The average Receptionist salary in USA is $28,086 per year or $14 per hour. This is the same as the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $20,000 while most experienced workers make up to $39,000. These results are based on 10,754 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills:
- Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to inform and assist clients, employees, and other visitors;
- displaying impeccable and professional phone demeanor;
- having a friendly, respectful, and engaging personality in order to foster and maintain positive client relationships;
- displaying strong customer service skills in order to anticipate other people’s needs and handle their requests in a proactive, diplomatic, and tactful manner; and
- being a demonstrated team player.
- Exceptional organizational and time management skills:
- Prioritizing and planning work activities as to use time efficiently while managing a high volume, diverse workload;
- multitasking; being able to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment;
- ensuring follow-ups are conducted in a professional and timely manner; and
- efficiently filing documents, as well as proactively maintaining a clean and organized workplace.
- Analytical and problem-solving skills:
- Effectively reading and interpreting information and instructions; and
- using creativity and mature judgment to resolve problems in a timely manner.
- Great attention to detail and high levels of thoroughness:
- Staying focused during highly repetitive tasks; and
- remaining calm during stressful situations.
- Administrative skills:
- Demonstrated proficiency in computer word processing, spreadsheet and database applications;
- demonstrated ability to type at a speed rate of 40 to 60 words per minute; and
- being able to operate basic office equipment, such as copiers and printers.
- High levels of flexibility, responsiveness, and resourcefulness:
- Being able to learn and adapt quickly, while facing continuously changing demands; and
- having an extensive knowledge of standard office practices, procedures, and equipment.
- High levels of patience and tolerance.
- High levels of honesty, discretion, and integrity:
- Being trustworthy enough to handle sensitive/confidential information.
It’s especially important for Receptionists to pay attention to how they come across. Understandably, outstanding customer service skills are essential for this job, but a successful candidate must also remain polite at all times, continuously smiling and conveying a positive, can-do attitude.
The minimal educational requirement for this position is a high school diploma. However, more and more employers now seek candidates who have earned a college or vocational degree in Administration, Secretarial Studies, or any other related fields. Aspirants can also join a training program to learn all the necessary information about this field. Being self-educated and doing volunteer work is also accepted by some employers.
Receptionists usually receive on-the-job training in order to get familiarized with the work a company does, to know what they are expected to do, and to learn how to use the software and devices employers work with.
Most Receptionist positions are entry-level jobs that require little to no experience (usually between one (1) and three (3) years). However, prior Front Desk, Concierge, Customer Service, or other Hospitality experience is often preferred, as well as proficiency working with a customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Receptionists may sometimes work overtime when they are required to meet deadlines or to facilitate the planning and execution of special events. Their work schedule will solely depend on the establishment’s opening and closing hours.