Receptionists, or office assistants, are often seen as the port of call between an organisation and the outside world. In order to get in touch with someone working at a company, it is common to call the reception and ask to be connected to the relevant person. Receptionists determine who needs to be contacted and relays the information. This also happens when someone enters an office space. First, they arrive at a reception desk where they are greeted. As this is often the primary physical interaction that takes place between the person and the company, it’s extremely important to give a good first impression. The role is about providing customers with a friendly, welcoming port-of-call. Given the development in computing, many companies conduct the majority of their communication electronically. The role therefore involves a large amount of work using Microsoft Office, including email and word processing. The position has much in common with other roles in the Administrative category, including working as a Secretary. As businesses grow, they need more and more people to fill administrative roles, meaning that there are an increasing number of receptionist jobs in Uganda are available.
Receptionists have their finger on the pulse of everything that is going on in an organisation. The role involves extensive organisation and administrative work in order to allow people within a company to do their jobs as smoothly as possible. For example, the role can include coordinating and booking travel for employees. Through interacting with many parts of the company, receptionists can often gain a good overview of the business as a whole. Experience of how everything fits together means that it is possible to develop into other roles within the organisation. The role also has some common ground with positions in Human Resources, with some people progressing into these positions after experience as an office assistant. Accordingly, whilst salaries are not particularly high, there is scope to increase earnings if you move up within the organisation. Dealing with customers and fielding calls, emails and post is essential in a number of different industries. This means that receptionist vacancies exist in a number of areas including: becoming a dental, office, hotel, or medical receptionist. Work often takes place in shifts, especially in areas where extended access is required. For example, a receptionist working in a hotel may have to staff the desk during irregular hours for when customers arrive or leave during the night. It is also possible to work part-time, which suits many people with other commitments, such as students, or mothers with young children.
What is involved in a receptionist job?
The exact duties of the role vary between industries, but there are still a number of common responsibilities:
Answer and respond to telephone or email inquiries
Redirect calls to the relevant personnel in the organisation
Greet visitors and provide information
Plan and book employee travel requirements
Company administration work e.g. help with payrolls and time off requests
Deal with couriers and post
Arrange meetings with clients
Maintain security through logbooks and guest passes
Support meetings and client interactions
What do I need to fill a receptionist vacancy?
Normally, the role can be entered without a degree level qualification. Employers do however look for decent language and numeric proficiency. This means that if you have a high school diploma but haven’t been to university, working as a receptionist might suit you. As mentioned above, much of the role involves tasks that use Microsoft Office, so employers will look for good experience and competency in this area. An interest in the company you work for is important – you need to have knowledge of many components of the business so that you can portray an informed and organised image to customers. Some formal training courses can be taken to improve skills. In smaller organisations, it’s possible to find work as a receptionist at an entry level position. However, if you want to work for a larger organisation in a fast-paced environment, you’re going to need to know your stuff from the get-go.
Soft skills are very important – you need a friendly personality and a professional manner to deal with customers on the phone, by email and in person. Good multitasking skills are also essential. You need to be capable of juggling several tasks simultaneously: answering the phone, writing emails, booking travel, and dealing with customers, to name a few. It’s important to have a strong propensity for organisation as you’re likely to be looking after the meetings and travel arrangements of important employees. Arrangements can change at short notice so you need to be able to respond quickly to reschedule things. You also need to be comfortable on the phone, ensuring you speak correctly and portray the company in a good light.
Receptionist vacancies can be a great role for a social, organised person that enjoys interacting with people. Work hard and show your capability and you could find yourself progressing up the organisation – some famous CEOs started out in receptionist jobs. Apply through Jumia Jobs and find the very best employers in Uganda!