Have you had a chance to glimpse at our latest salary survey? In the data captured from placements made by Bain and Gray over the last 6 months, we have noticed that the volume of reception jobs has declined. From our observation, this role has become absorbed into a wider administrative role to fit the needs of businesses in a post-pandemic world. In this week’s blog we take a deep dive into:
- The role of the receptionist.
- Why is it changing.
- How is it changing.
- How this new role can help pivot your career to new heights.
‘You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and yours may be in the hands of a receptionist’.
- Harvey Mackay
The reception area of a company reflects a business, and the receptionist is the first person a client or staff member sees when they arrive at the office, and the last person they see when they leave. If you look at our receptionist job page, you can see an overview of the responsibilities including:
- Answering phone call.
- Ensuring meeting rooms are organised and effectively managed.
- Be well presented, calm and people focused at all times.
- Greet visitors and provide information about the company.
Why is the receptionist role changing?
Since the ease of lockdown, offices have undergone (and are still undergoing!) significant change. This was also discussed in last week's blog addressing the debate around hybrid working.
Companies now have the option to opt for a digitalised phone system and the latest trends in A.I which have made many admin tasked automated (e.g, a visitor management system). Businesses of all sizes have found themselves pondering over how they received and welcome employees, clients, consumers, and other stakeholders.
How is the receptionist role changing?
We must look at this in two ways:
- Elements of the traditional role remains vital for any business: There may be an acceleration of digital technology but with that comes a yearning for people – from management to receptionists - to be more human! The human touch is crucial to creating an atmosphere, so candidates are still expected to be energetic, outgoing, and friendly. Last week's blog around hybrid working touched on the importance of making the office more appealing for staff to return, therefore employers are putting increasing emphasis on workplace entrances.
- Expanding the role solves all the problems: In a survey conducted by Moneypenny back in June, businesses who have retained the receptionist have said the role has changed significantly which falls in line with the results of our own salary survey. 52% said the role has expanded from answering call and welcoming guests to diary management, supporting other departments and even PA duties.
How a receptionist role can benefit you today
Although our data shows that the role of the receptionist is diminishing, current changes to the role can make it an ideal entry-level job:
- Being absorbed into wider administrative roles can result in gaining much more experience within a company.
- Recent changes are leading to many receptionists making lateral moves to other areas of the business including HR, customer service representative, sales and marketing and project management.
- Alternatively, the skills acquired will make for an excellent candidate for an office manager role. These opportunities tend to offer a higher salary and sets the candidate on the right path for much sought-after chief of staff role. (To learn more about how to become Chief of Staff, click here).
- Receptionist jobs have declined but the role is evolving into a broader administrative position.
- The receptionist role traditionally involves tasks like answering calls, organising meeting rooms, and providing information about the company.
- Changes are driven by factors such as the adoption of digitalised phone systems and AI, making certain administrative tasks automated.
- The evolving role presents opportunities for career growth, including gaining diverse experience, making lateral moves to other business areas, and progressing to higher-paying positions like Office Manager or Chief of Staff.