All kinds of businesses employ receptionists to greet customers, direct visitors and man switchboards and main phone lines. In businesses that employ more than one receptionist, the head receptionist provides leadership and direction to other receptionists, and often sets and enforces policies and procedures related to the receptionist position.
Supervision of Daily Operations
The head receptionist often supervises receptionists stationed in different locations throughout a company, hotel or other institution with a large campus. She may visit each station, ensuring that each receptionist is doing her job, and alleviate other receptionists so that they can take breaks without leaving their desks unmanned. Because the head receptionist often takes over when receptionists need breaks, the head receptionist must know how to do all the duties performed by the receptionists.
Often, a head secretary is responsible for assigning shifts to those she supervises. She creates and hands out work schedules on a weekly or monthly basis, and coordinates to fill in empty reception stations when a receptionist is ill or is on vacation. These duties require that head receptionists be able communicators with good organizational skills. Keeping track of upcoming employee vacations, medical leaves and other absences is essential to ensure that every post requiring the presence of a receptionist is properly staffed at all times.
Hiring, Evaluation and Firing
The head receptionist is essentially a departmental manager. Thus, the person in this position is often the person in charge of recruiting and hiring new receptionists, conducting yearly or periodic performance evaluations of receptionists who work under him, and when necessary, firing nonperforming receptionists.
As the department leader, the head receptionist is also in charge of ensuring that other receptionists are properly trained in the policies and procedures of the company. She may conduct an orientation with new receptionists and then provide ongoing training. As the direct manager of a team of receptionists, the head receptionist may also be responsible for setting and enforcing certain policies and procedures related to how receptionists do their jobs.