What should you look for when hiring a receptionist? It’s vital that the person who provides most of your clients with their first impression of the salon is up to the task, and that takes an outgoing personality. Think about it: Would you rather be greeted by a friendly dynamo with a smile and a cheerful “Good morning!” or by an uninterested person who won’t make eye contact because she’s either shy or buried in a magazine? The same goes for phone calls. The person taking care of this important task needs to project a warm, welcoming feeling over the phone. Most people can be trained on your computer system and other necessary elements of the job, but what can’t be taught is how to have a fabulous personality.
Another important characteristic of an ideal receptionist is the ability to juggle multiple tasks with ease. Ask your prospective hires a few questions about their multitasking skills, including how it makes them feel when they’re presented with pressure-filled situations and how they deal with those feelings. If they squirm at the thought of such a scenario or can’t answer the question to your satisfaction, they may not only be nervous about handling stress but also ineffective communicators, which should be a red flag.
Another trait you should look for during the hiring process is the ability to handle money without getting flustered or confused. When every salon employee is permitted to operate the cash register, errors are inevitable. Employing a receptionist as the sole cashier will keep shrinkage at bay, reduce transaction errors and make it easier for a salon owner or manager to get to the bottom of financial issues by having one go-to person for transaction questions.
Only you know what qualities to look for when hiring someone to handle reception duties at your salon. Before starting your search, it’s a good idea to jot down some notes on what you want or draw up a job description. Do some comparative research on area salons and what they pay their receptionists. Take your time in finding the right person. Rushing the process can often leave you with someone who makes more work for you rather than the reverse. Although it may initially seem like you’re jumping off a financial cliff when hiring this extra person, you should start to see results fairly quickly in the form of more appointments booked, more retail sold, a cleaner salon and happier technicians.
[Image: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration]