Corporate Receptionist Job Description
The first impression visitors get of an organization often comes from a corporate receptionist, the person who sits behind the front desk. This worker’s actions set the tone for interactions and perceptions of the employer. Large firms hire corporate receptionists to work during standard business hours, and the job can entail encountering hundreds of clients, employees, vendors, and guests daily. Women hold the clear majority of corporate receptionist positions.
Corporate Receptionist Duties and Responsibilities
While specific job duties for corporate receptionists vary based on where they work, several core tasks are essential to the position. Our analysis of job listings reveals that candidates should be prepared to do the following:
A welcoming, professional-looking corporate receptionist provides a favorable impression of the company. She or he also answers basic questions, directs guests to the proper location, checks coats, offers beverages, and issues security badges or nametags. Listening carefully to what the visitor desires enables prompt, accurate action. Corporate receptionists should also be on the lookout for people who do not belong in the office and notify security with any suspicions.
A corporate receptionist serves as the greeter, information provider, and message taker for incoming calls. Knowledge of the company and its staff enables proper direction of inquiries. Some executives depend on corporate receptionists to screen their calls so that they aren’t bothered by unwanted solicitors. As some switchboards are complex, corporate receptionists must master the equipment so that calls get routed or placed on hold correctly. Setting up conference calls also may be part of the job. When arriving in the morning, the corporate receptionist may listen to voice mails that came in after hours and deal with them appropriately.
From booking meeting rooms to handling catering for an event, corporate receptionists perform a variety of jobs that contribute to the success of the organization.
Email correspondence, data entry, and logging in visitors are some of the computer-related tasks often performed by corporate receptionists.
Actions can include sorting incoming mail, signing for packages, scheduling pick-ups, and stuffing envelopes.
Corporate receptionists monitor the appearance of their area. They tidy up as necessary to keep it looking good and may perform actions such as replenishing brochures, fanning out magazines, and attending to flower vases.
Corporate Receptionist Skills and Qualifications
Because they interact with a range of people while performing their job, admirable interpersonal skills serve corporate receptionists well. Being friendly, polite, and helpful reflects positively on the employer. Other factors critical to getting the job done include:
- Multitasking – Corporate receptionists juggle demands from various sources and need to prioritize requests
- Independence – Once trained, corporate receptionists typically perform their job with minimal supervision
- Customer Service – Maintaining composure and a positive attitude enables corporate receptionists to respond to requests and complaints in an effective manner
- Professional Appearance – Tidy, appropriate clothing and a welcoming demeanor project a good image
- Voice Clarity – A pleasant voice that is easy to understand impresses callers and facilitates communication
- Memorization – When you know the names and routines of those who work in the facility or frequently come by, spotting intruders or unusual activity becomes easier
- Following instructions – Companies often want things done a certain way and depend on corporate receptionists to carry out greetings and actions in a consistent, predetermined manner that projects the desired image
Corporate Receptionist Education and Training
While there are no formal educational requirements, most corporate receptionists possess a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some employers prefer candidates who have taken some post-secondary classes or have earned a certificate or degree in a field such as business or communications. New hires should expect a period of on-the-job training to become familiar with the company’s procedures, products, services, and equipment.
Corporate Receptionist Salary and Outlook
The median hourly wage for a corporate receptionist, according to PayScale, is $14.73 per hour. Workers at the low end of the pay range earn about $11.60 per hour, while the highest paid make more than $19 per hour. Medical insurance is typically part of a compensation package, and corporate receptionists also may receive dental insurance, paid vacation, and retirement plans. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand for receptionists will grow 9 percent annually through 2026.
To learn more about becoming a corporate receptionist, check out these book and web resources:
The Receptionist Handbook – This humorous and informative book by Lisa Harmon offers corporate receptionists guidance on everything from how to dress to ways to get organized.
American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP) – Receptionists, secretaries, and other such workers have long considered this established organization a go-to place for information.
Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals: Hundreds of Ready-to-Use Phrases for Getting Respect, Recognition and Results in Today’s Workplace – Effective communication skills are a must for any corporate receptionist. This quick-reference guide by Meryl Runion helps with building relationships, handling complaints, getting your point across, and achieving results.
International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) – The IAAP “strives to ensure individuals working in office and administrative professions have the opportunity to connect, learn, lead, and excel,” so the group provides a variety of training opportunities, networking possibilities, and industry events.
I Am a Receptionist – This LinkedIn group provides a forum for its 40,000+ members to discuss the profession, learn new techniques, and to network.
Business Etiquette for Dummies – This entry in the popular series will help aspiring corporate receptionists brush up on the manners and behaviors employers demand from people representing their company.
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