Picture this: you’re hiring an administrative professional for your business, and you’re down to two candidates.
One candidate is totally capable and well-qualified.
They can answer the phone like a pro, they take good notes, and they have plenty of experience in equivalent occupations.
They see the opportunity as a job—and a job they’re ready to do more than adequately.
The other candidate brings diverse experience to the table. They’ve worked in food service, hospitality, management, finance, and more. They even ran their own company for a few years. They see the opportunity as chance to be part of something big—they’ve already expressed a lot of interest in your business model and your sales, marketing, and customer communication strategies.
Who would you hire?
Before you make your decision, let’s back up for a moment.
It’s not always a simple choice.
Assembling the right team is its own specialty. It’s how headhunters and recruiters make a living. It’s why heist movies are so exciting.
And it’s why business owners have such a hard time hiring for frontline roles.
Leaving a positive impression on customers and clients is integral to the success of any business. However, every employer has different expectations for the individuals in customer-facing positions. Some just need a friendly face and welcoming voice for their visitors and callers. Others see their front office admins as partners who work to identify opportunities and win more business.
Hiring one of these employees when you really need the other can end up costing you time, energy, and resources—especially with the ongoing labor shortage making it hard to find talent in the first place. Before you start sifting through resumes, ask yourself: If you had to pick between someone who gets the job done or someone who consistently goes above and beyond, who would you hire? Better yet, who should you hire? Let’s take a look.
Hire #1—the “9-to-5er”
Meet Carlos. Carlos is a Libra, a library cardholder, and one hell of a paella cook. He loves electropop and hasn’t gotten a cold in almost three years. Oh, and he almost finished a 5k last March.
Like most of us, Carlos is an interesting and lovely person. But what we really want to know is: How is he as a front-office employee?
Carlos shows up on time every day ready to work. He answers the phone politely and professionally, takes detailed notes, and uses your company’s greeting consistently. He has several years of experience as a receptionist and is always open to feedback on how to better serve your customers.
Carlos is an incredibly average employee—and that’s okay. Having a friendly and dependable person manning your communication channels is all many businesses need from their frontline workers.
However, if you’re looking for someone who’s, well, a little above average, you might want to consider going with…
Hire #2—the “go-getter”
Meet Tiffany. Tiffany is a pragmatic, persistent, power-walking machine. She’s fluent in five languages, is a Rhodes scholar, and rescues kittens from trees in her spare time.
Tiffany is obviously an exceptional person, but does she shine just as brightly in the workplace?
Tiffany possesses a wealth of experience across multiple industries, including hospitality, home services, finance, and others. She puts her MBA (yes, she has one of those too) to use every day by analyzing and improving your business goals and long-term strategy.
Tiffany also proactively identifies issues and offers solutions to help bring in more customers and increase growth. For example, she notices more calls coming in from a region you’ve never targeted and suggests looking into opening a location in that area.
Many business owners dream of hires like Tiffany—and there are plenty of teams who could use her expertise to kick things into high gear. However, her credentials also make her overqualified for many positions, leaving you asking yourself…
Who should you hire?
Carlos and Tiffany are both great in their own ways. Carlos sounds like he’d make a great dinner guest, and Tiffany would certainly be our first call for a pet sitter (you know, because of the whole kitten rescue thing).
However, both have very different qualities as receptionists.
Carlos excels at customer service and has a knack for answering questions quickly and efficiently. However, while he performs his basic job functions well, he’s unable to work irregular hours and has limited experience outside of answering calls and emails.
Tiffany, on the other hand, exceeds all expectations as a front office admin. She acts almost like an advisor, providing high-level insights into customer behaviors and ways to improve your operation. The only problem is she’s expensive. And she might even be overqualified.
It seems we may have found ourselves in a bit of a Goldilocks situation here. If only there where was a way to blend the best of both hires together in one solution…
Get the best of both worlds with the right customer communication solution.
Meet Ruby. Ruby is your lead-capturing, caller-delighting, website-boosting, connection-making customer communication solution.
We’re not your typical answering service. We don’t rely on scripts or a one-size-fits-all approach, and we don’t just handle calls and take messages. We’re members of your team—experts you can trust to create real, human connections with the people you serve and deliver actionable insights for your business.
At Ruby, we pride ourselves in our ability to meet the needs of every small business—no matter what they may be. Does your business need help answering calls and responding to chats 24/7, or just during normal business hours? Part-time, full-time, or on-demand, our team of virtual receptionists has you covered.
Looking to go beyond the basics and need a partner to help you grow your business? We’ve got you covered there, too. Our team can capture sales leads, perform intake, improve customer retention, equip you with the data you need to make better business decisions, and more.
Best of all, these and other capabilities are all available to you as part of our normal service—which adds hundreds of receptionists to your team at the fraction of the cost of an in-house hire. In other words, instead of Carlos or Tiffany, you hire Carlos and Tiffany—and also Alondra and Danielle and Danette and Frankie and Cameron and Kayvon and… You get the idea.