We are having trouble finding the right person to fill our second receptionist position. Since mid 2006 this has been a challenge for us. We need two receptionists because we are busy and excellent sales growth will drive that even further.

This growth is part of the challenge in finding the right person – it takes skill to balance call traffic, mailing, organising travel for a large team and keeping on top of ad min functions. While we support the role with state of the art management systems, the role remains one of the busiest in the company – hence our decision over a year ago to make it two full time roles.

We have one receptionist, Amy – she is a champion. Amy is also my niece but Tower is not a place where such a relationship matters. Amy has earned her status!

It is the second reception role we are challenged filling. We have tried someone with years of experience – they wanted a role more high-level and less active. We have tried someone new to reception work – the call traffic was too much.

Given our difficulties finding the right person we have taken a careful look at the role and at ourselves to see if we are the barrier to finding the right person. We have also asked some of our longer term customers for feedback on the last two in this role who have not worked out. This introspection and research has led me to the conclusion that we hired wrong – we did not put in sufficient effort into finding the absolute best candidate for the role, we did not let the candidates feel the role sufficiently before they made their decision.

So, this time around, we are approaching our search differently. We have a better position description; we will offer time in the office prior to making an offer so our short-listed candidates can assess if the role and the environment is for them; we are open to a part time arrangement for the right candidate; we are including Amy in the process since she lives this role today; and, we are being open about the challenges in finding the right person for this role.

We have also moved some of the work offsite by contracting out some activity which does not have to be completed in-house. This should free up around 20% of the existing reception workload and therefore help us cope with bringing more customers on board.

Hopefully, the changes we have made will result in another champion joining our team.

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