What Makes A Good Receptionist? Meet Rona Scott.
22 May 2017
Rona Scott has been the first face you see at HR Consultancy since August 2012. Initially, she was asked to join the company to provide some cover and refresh her skills set. But she found that, not only did she enjoy being on our reception desk, she was excellent at it.
“I hadn’t worked in twenty years,” she said. “I was raising my children. When I gave up work, the internet hadn’t even been invented, so coming back was a bit scary! I felt like there would be so much I needed to learn and keep up with.”
Rona began her working life by joining British Caledonian at Glasgow Airport, part-time, whilst she studied for a degree in Fine Art. She loved talking to customers and providing assistance so much that she decided to pursue a career in the airline industry.
“I worked for British Midland initially, before moving to British Airways long-haul team as a stewardess. My first stop was Bermuda for five days. It was heaven.”
Being in such a demanding, customer-focused environment like that really helped shape Rona in her career. Her skills proved transferrable to her current role.
“Before all the technology came in, everything was either face-to-face or on the phone. You really learned to develop your communication skills. That’s what this business is all about. How you treat people and how you talk to them.”
With her finely honed people skills, Rona was a perfect fit for HR Consultancy. She’s a brilliant first point of contact for the business.
“I have always enjoyed meeting people and I like the fact that every day is different with new people coming through the door all the time.
“Although the candidate has probably spoken to their consultant on the phone, I am the first person that they meet when they come through the door.”
So, what advice does Rona have to anyone aspiring to be in the challenging, multi-tasking world of a receptionist?
“First impressions matter. I try and always greet people with a smile. That goes a long way to making the candidate feel relaxed. I am lucky to work in modern, bright and colourful office surroundings. That also goes some way to creating a positive mood for the candidate on arrival.
“Every candidate is different and should be treated as an individual. There are some that have used agencies before. For others, this is a whole new experience and can be quite frightening - especially if they have been in the same company for twenty to thirty years and find themselves having been made redundant and having to start again.
“Some people want to chat. Others want to sit in quiet reflection. I take my lead from them.”
She also stressed the importance of looking professional, since that will contribute towards the overall impression you leave on anyone you meet. This is especially crucial when you are the first person a candidate may meet from the business.
“As a company, one of our values is to be professional and I aim to project that image to the candidate. I always try to be smartly dressed but not so that my office wear looks like a uniform.
“I feel it is about respect; self-respect, respect for the company and respect for the candidates.”
Since our business is very much all about the people we meet and place, making an effort is also key.
“We all have bad days but nobody wants to come in to reception and sit with a sullen faced receptionist - park the bad mood!”
And, when it comes to the days when you are trying to answer the phone, let someone through the door, reply to an email and file some paperwork all at the same time, Rona also has some pearls of wisdom:
“Look like you know what you are doing. There is nothing worse than giving the impression of utter chaos. Even if it’s manic, do not lose your cool. It looks bad and inefficient.”
Anyone who comes in to the HR Consultancy building and meets Rona on our reception desk will know that she absolutely lives by what she preaches. Always friendly, smiling and immaculately dressed, she is a real asset to the company.
Having and retaining a great receptionist should be a priority for every company. We’ve struck it lucky with Rona.
If you are looking to employ a high-calibre receptionist, our Office Services team would be delighted to talk you through their available candidates. Click here to see their contact details.
Written By Jackie MacGregor