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How to hire a great receptionist

For all businesses, no matter what your industry, how your customers are greeted on the other end of the phone is a crucial aspect of gaining and retaining their custom. 

First impressions are never more important as they are in business. and it’s essential that your company is able to create the very best impression with every single hello – be it to a current customer, or a brand new prospective client.

Countless businesses achieve this by hiring a receptionist, who becomes the ‘voice’ of their company. Not only does a receptionist act as the ‘gatekeeper’ for any sales-type calls, which would otherwise take you away from your work at hand, but they also convey a level of professionalism to clients; helping to establish a positive perception of your business from the outset.

A great receptionist can be a challenge to find. There are so many key skills and traits that are required for the role to be taken on effectively. Below, we will take a look at some of the key ingredients that make up a brilliant receptionist and explain how to hire the ideal one for your business.

The traits of a great receptionist


It goes without saying that a receptionist must have fantastic communication skills. This goes much further than simply being able to answer a call in a friendly manner and transfer callers through. Receptionists must be able to actively listen to a customer or prospective customer and detail their precise enquiry or message, so that the message’s recipient can respond in an informed manner.


Moving one step further than having good communication skills, a receptionist must display these skills in a way that’s central to the customer’s needs. No matter what industry you may operate in, there will almost certainly be occasions were your receptionist will have to handle ‘difficult’ calls. Whilst dealing with angry or abrasive callers can be jarring, a skilled receptionist should be able to handle these calls with confidence, poise, and politeness, every time.


Whilst a great receptionist doesn’t need to be an IT expert, they should be proficient and comfortable in using certain software. Particularly as more and more businesses adopt cloud technology to carry out their day-to-day duties. Adapting to new technologies quickly proves to be an essential asset in today’s digital world and one your receptionist should ideally possess.

Knowledge of your business

In order to convey a high level of professionalism to your customers and prospective customers, your receptionist needs to display a good level of knowledge of your business and the sector it belongs to. This will enable them to adequately answer queries and point them to the appropriate person so that a caller’s query can be resolved in the most efficient way possible, leaving the customer feeling absolutely satisfied.

The cost of a great receptionist

A great receptionist will, inevitably, come with costs. These will include not only their salary, but the associated recruitment and training expenses. Add to this the cost of sickness and holiday cover, and the cost of a receptionist could skyrocket. Many companies simply can’t justify the working capital required. But without this function, businesses are missing out on the fantastic benefits that a professional receptionist brings and possibly suffering a huge flaw in their customer journey. So how can you still gain all these benefits for your business, but affordably?

One of the main ways that businesses achieve this is to outsource this function to a virtual receptionist. Outsourced services, such as Moneypenny’s Telephone Answering Service,  allow businesses to gain the expertise and professionalism of a dedicated receptionist at a fraction of the cost of hiring in-house.

Moneypenny takes away the costs involved with recruitment, training, sickness and holiday cover, not to mention the overhead expenses associated with employing someone. However, this is just one of the many benefits that come from outsourcing a receptionist.

We have dedicated receptionists across a range of specialist sectors, including property, legal, healthcare, finance, automotive – and more. This ensures that somebody with significant knowledge of how your industry operates will be answering calls on your behalf. Our receptionists get to know you and your business and how you and your staff like to operate, adapting to how you want your calls to be answered. This means they can answer calls exactly as if based within your office, acting as an extension to your team, without your callers ever knowing they’re not within your office.

What’s more, you are in complete control of when your calls are answered by Moneypenny. Choose to fully-outsource all call answering to your Moneypenny receptionist, to cover your business hours or on a 24/7 basis. Or opt for overflow support, ideal for capturing calls as a part-time solution – be it outside of office hours, over weekends, or to cover a lunch break, holiday, or particularly busy spell.

Our easy-to-use app allows you to divert calls to us whenever you need support, listen to messages and send live updates to your receptionist.

Take advantage of a FREE trial

Wondering what benefits a Moneypenny Receptionist will bring to your business? Why not try our FREE 7-day trial and experience first hand what a difference our service can make. There are no hidden charges or setup fees, and absolutely no obligation to continue at the end of your trial. Get in touch with our team today on 0333 202 1005 to get started!

We give you amazing people and technology:


Your own Moneypenny PA to answer calls exactly as if based in your office.

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Live Chat

Amazing people, briefed by you to manage chats whenever you can't.

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Pocket Phone System

All the functions and support of an office phone system, minus the hardware.

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