First impressions count

YOU don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression, and nowhere is this more true than in a company’s reception area where impressions are made within seconds of walking through the door. So it’s important that the receptionist reflects how you want visitors to perceive your business.

And according to Aberdeen recruitment company, Thorpe Molloy Recruitment, having a professional and presentable receptionist is a strong benefit to any company.

“Receptionists provide a friendly, welcoming and comfortable introduction which is good for business as it provides a great first impression,” says Amanda McCulloch, managing director of Thorpe Molloy Recruitment.

“Many people judge the quality of the business by the person who first greets them, for that very reason we have a very experienced receptionist at Thorpe Molloy Recruitment, Elspeth, who is a highly valued staff member.

“We seem to be doing more and more on-line now, but when we do walk into a business – whether it’s a small medical practice, a major accounting firm or a government department – we expect to be received well.”

Amy Fraser, who is responsible for managing all receptionist appointments for Thorpe Molloy Recruitment, knows there is so much more to the job than just picking up the phone.

“If you really like working within a busy and people centred environment, reception is definitely the place to be.” she says.

“It’s a really great opportunity to use your people and multi-tasking skills. A receptionist has the opportunity to be the ‘face’ of the company, especially when sitting front of house. You also gain exposure to other departments which is a great way to learn more about a business. We often help candidates secure receptionist positions which then lead on to other roles within an organisation.”

Amy continues: “I enjoy focusing on this area as it allows me the time to provide a specialist, personal service to all my candidates and clients, I’m the receptionist ‘Go To’ girl.

“I often meet candidates who are looking to gain more experience or feel ready for a change but have been settled in one role for quite a while and need advice or information on the job market, salary levels and what employers are looking for. Receptionist roles can also offer opportunities for part-time working. I understand my clients’ requirements so well that when I meet their ideal candidate I can quickly make the introduction.”

For anyone considering a role change this year, here’s Amy’s top tips for what it takes to be a great receptionist:

  1. Confidence - receptionists must be pleasant and confident, by being able to speak with every visitor you provide a friendly welcome, often helping to put people at ease.
  2. Presentation – smart dress and attention to personal appearance are very important as visitors will remember the first impression you make.
  3. Professionalism – represent your employer professionally by maintaining a high level of service at all times. Making personal calls, yawning or surfing the internet is not a good look!
  4. Organisation – particularly on a busy reception desk it is important to be able to prioritise, be well organised and oh yes, be able to multi-task (perhaps this explains why more women than men are receptionists!)
  5. Communication – the ability to communicate clearly in writing and verbally, so you can get your message across whether you are working on email or on the telephone.
  6. Reliability – being reliable and trustworthy is critical, your employer must be able to rely on you to be front of house on time and quite often receptionists are responsible for opening and locking up office facilities.
  7. Relationship building – it is impressive when a receptionist recognises a visitor and can also remember their name, this helps build long lasting relationships. At Thorpe Molloy Recruitment we constantly receive excellent feedback on our own receptionists because they are able to provide a genuine, personal welcome.

Contact: Brett Jackson

Email: brettjackson@granitepr.co.uk