Do you find that you’re not recruiting the right talent? As hard as you work to find the best receptionists, the job candidates you meet lack the skills, enthusiasm, and work ethic to do the job?
Take a long look at the job description you posted.
Hiring the best candidates depends on your ability to communicate your needs and motivate top performers to apply. A lot of companies don’t realize how integral these documents are to finding the ideal employees — it’s where they fall short.
We highlighted seven key reasons why your receptionist job description isn’t producing the right talent.
To maximize your likelihood of finding a great fit, read through these ideas and identify any changes you need to make to hire the best people for the job:
1. It’s Not Ambitious Enough
The right candidates for a receptionist position care about their job performance. They want to go above-and-beyond in a position that challenges them. To attract the most qualified, motivated candidates, you need to appeal to this drive to succeed.
Use language that describes the skills and challenge of the job beyond generic terms. For example, you could write, “Exceeds at balancing multiple priorities” instead of “Comfortable multitasking.” Stronger language attracts stronger candidates.
The more emphasis you put on the high level of talent you need for the role, the more you likely you are to find receptionists who appreciate high standards.
2. It Emphasizes Hard Skills Above Soft Skills
Receptionists require certain hard skills — computer proficiency, time management skills, and clerical experience — but they also need to exhibit a firm grasp of soft skills. Especially in a high-level office or stressful environment, receptionists need to manage difficult personalities and exhibit both kindness and competence.
Ultimately, they are the “face” and “voice” of your business — their way of conducting themselves gives customers, clients, and partners a powerful first impression.
To entice the best candidates to act as the “face” of your business, emphasize the personality traits that suit the role in your job description.
For example, “We are looking for an individual who enjoys day-to-day interactions with new people and exhibits a friendly demeanor toward fellow staff members and customers.”
These soft skills may be more challenging to capture in a resume, but they are evident in person-to-person interactions. When interviewing candidates, notice their behavior throughout the exchange; it’s the ideal time to pick up these soft skills.
3. It Doesn’t Offer Growth Opportunities
Top talent always looks for growth opportunity and job mobility. The best receptionists may see a front-desk job as a foot-in-the-door that enables them to learn more about a field or specialty. These workers are eager to perform well and move up the ranks.
Often, a receptionist is overlooked in their current job because they’re seen as “the secretary.” If they’re really good at their jobs, their boss may not want to lose them to a promotion. By tailoring your job descriptions to those top performers, you create the ideal environment for them to grow.
Include in the job description an emphasis on mentoring employees, as well as professional development and growth opportunities. By adding even a sentence or two about these offerings, you can motivate top performers to apply.
4. It Fails to Incentivize Top Performers
Most of the best candidates are gainfully employed and achieving in their current roles. In a job description, you need to incentivize them to leave a comfortable situation. If you don’t incentivize them to make a big life and career change, there’s no reason for them to leave.
There are two powerful ways you can do this:
1. Extra Flexibility
In the UK, 14.1 million people want job flexibility, but only 6% of job ads offer it. By listing flexibility in hours or job sharing as an option, you create a strategic edge over status-quo employers. For example, if a single mum can start an hour early and leave an hour early, it enables her to pick up her child from school. That’s enough of a reason for a person to shift jobs.
2. Above-Market Pay
One of the most effective ways to reel in the best candidates is to incentivize them with high pay. When people know they’re going to be making more money working at your office, they’re a lot more likely to leave their steady job.
5. It Lacks Detail
Many HR professionals or business owners assume that candidates know what’s required of them as receptionists. They rely on sparse descriptions to detail the different aspects of the role.
However, the more detail you give potential employees, the more likely you are to boost their interest in the role. Writing the nitty-gritty, such as “Responsible for approximately 20 appointment reminder calls each day” clarifies the actual ins and outs of the role.
Writing the nitty-gritty, such as “Responsible for approximately 20 appointment reminder calls each day” clarifies the actual ins and outs of the role.
In other words, specifics inspire confidence around an employer’s boundaries and positive expectations.
6. It Leaves Out the Work Environment
Work environments vary drastically from employer to employer. They can have an incredible effect on a job candidate’s decision, but few companies consider including it in their job descriptions.
They can have an incredible effect on a job candidate’s decision, but few companies consider including it in their job descriptions.
For example, if a company works in a recently renovated, light-filled office, they’re offering a huge step-up from a receptionist job in an old basement.
When you talk about environment, also describe the culture of the workplace. What are the values your company intends to embody in their day-to-day? Here’s are two great examples:
1. The Longstanding Family Business
“We are a small family business that values our employees and our customers. We have made our mark for over 50 years in the community by forging strong relationships. We know that these relationships start with our team members — we aspire to treat our employees with as much respect, care, and appreciation as we treat our customers every day.”
2. The Growing Startup
“Our company wants to make Mondays fun. We thrive because of our work ethic but also because of our shared passion for customer-service and warm sense of humor. We offer great perks, like half-day Fridays during the summer, Waffle Wednesdays, and regular volunteer opportunities on company time. At our office, you can expect to see people smiling over a pint of beer at the end of the day. ”
7. It Forgets About Purpose and Motivation
All employees thrive when they connect their work to a larger sense of purpose. With that in mind, always discuss your company’s purpose in a job description.
You would be surprised how many traditional companies that work in so-called “boring” industries unite their team around their impact. It doesn’t need to be radical or cutting-edge either. You could talk about how a company makes a customer’s life easier by providing the best level of service.
No matter your particular focus, illustrating a strong sense of purpose and cohesion attracts people who want to work as part of a team.
By fine-tuning your job description with these seven changes, you can reframe both the position and your role as an employer. Next, you’ll want to make sure that getting the job description out into the world by sharing it on job boards and on social media. Before you know it, you will have talented receptionists lining up to work for your business!
Before you know it, you will have talented receptionists lining up to work for your business!