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Outsourcing to a Virtual Receptionist vs. Hiring a Receptionist

The role of a receptionist is a crucial one for many organisations.

Often the first voice a prospective customer, candidate or supplier hears and the first face they see is that of the receptionist.  A receptionist is a brand ambassador, the key to creating the right first impression, whether in person or over the phone.

With this in mind, the question of whether to outsource to a virtual receptionist or to hire someone in house is a difficult one. It warrants careful consideration, and the best approach will depend on the circumstances and the requirements of each individual organisation.

For some businesses, an in-house receptionist might be essential, particularly if there is a need for someone to physically meet and greet visitors. However, as workplaces have changed and evolved, many businesses no longer opt for a traditional front desk with dedicated reception staff as this approach can seem somewhat outdated and costly.

Some organisations have replaced this with technology such as visitor management systems, whilst others prefer a more informal, open plan office where there is no formal desk or obvious buffer between visitors and employees. Both approaches can save on staffing costs, but there is still the crucial question of who answers the phone.

Where a physical reception desk isn’t a necessity, outsourcing to a virtual receptionist can be the perfect solution. This offers many advantages, particularly when the right service is used and a long-term partnership is developed; effectively allowing a virtual receptionist to become part of their team.

First impression

With a professional virtual receptionist service, such as the call answering service we offer at Moneypenny, a company has access to a dedicated PA or receptionist who gets to know your business and your approach.  They answer calls in the name of your business and are knowledgeable about what your organisation does. Calls will be dealt with in a friendly and professional way and either directed to the relevant department, or messages are taken which are then sent immediately by email or text to the right recipient. This creates the perfect first impression every time.


Outsourcing to a virtual receptionist rather than hiring one can be highly cost-effective. Businesses avoid the recruitment process and associated costs, as well as the overheads involved in employing an additional person.  There is also no need to set aside time to train a new employee. Sickness and holiday cover is managed by the call answering service, saving organisations the hassle and inconvenience of managing staff absences.

Availability and flexibility

Call answering can be put in place for the hours that benefit your business. Moneypenny offers evening, weekend and 24/7 call answering solutions for those who require them.  This means that a business can appear to be operating for extended hours and provides a greater degree of flexibility than employing a receptionist.  It gives business owners and managers the option to have calls answered even when their business is closed.

Additional resource

For organisations with a traditional reception, a virtual receptionist can still be an incredibly valuable resource that can be utilised during busy periods, or when the receptionist steps away from their desk. A dedicated, virtual receptionist can then be in place to answer any calls which might otherwise be missed, as well as to cover staff holidays and other time off.

If you think your business could benefit from a virtual receptionist, then you can learn more about our telephone answering service here. Or call us today on 0333 009 8343 for more information. 

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

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

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

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