Hats off if your business is doing well and you are in need of staff to answer your red hot phone. But before you rush off to find a receptionist you should be aware of the steps and costs involved. It’s a huge step and one that you may not need to or are ready to take.
Unfortunately hiring a receptionist is far more complicated than just finding someone and offering them a job.
Take Anna she is flat out with her business and is struggling to take all of her calls. And even though she knows how important her customers are she can’t do it by herself. She wants to spend more time speaking to interested customers rather than talking to suppliers and cold callers. As the face to her business Anna realises that she wants a receptionist who can project the right image to her customers.
First she needs to consider what she wants the person to do. She needs to write down a list of duties and put together a job description. It’s important to group all activities together that go under the same umbrella as the job role. For example it might not be easy to find someone who is happy to take calls and do administration work. She needs to be clear about what she needs the person to do.
Once she’s outlined the job role she can start researching how much money she will need to recruit. This will tell her two things, first whether she can afford to hire someone and second how likely she will be able to find what she needs. She needs to be sure that she can afford the person month to month. She might be busy now but if her work is affected by seasons or other outside influences she may struggle to pay the monthly wage.
When hiring someone you need to take into account holidays, sick pay, insurance, pensions and potential maternity pay. This can all add up to a considerable monthly sum. Being a small business and having to pay a member of staff can put financial pressure on the business and it’s owner. For example Anna will be paying for someone to be out of the workplace and having to cover their duties.
The cheapest way is to put out feelers to friends, family and business contacts within her own network. Small business owners often overlook a resource that can be found right under their noses. If her own network doesn’t prove to be successful she can advertise the role either on social media or through a newspaper or she could ask a recruitment company. Obviously different routes have different costs and these should be added into her budget.
Hiring someone isn’t just a case of finding them, there are legal obligations to be considered such as knowing your employer and employee rights. Anna should be up to speed on what might happen if she needs to get rid of the person or they just don’t work out. She will need to register the employee with HMRC and run a monthly payroll.
Rather then employing someone Anna could consider outsourcing her needs to a third party where her calls will be answered in her company name by professionals. One option is boffix, where professional call handling is only £19 per month.