Job Description Essay
Assignment 1: Job Analysis
The department receptionist is part of the development team , serving as the front line representative of customer service and operating multi-line telephone system to answer the incoming calls and directing them to the appropriate offices and personnel. The department receptionist is the first person that guests see before they proceed to the specific offices they expect to visit. He/she greets visitors. In this regard, the receptionist becomes a key ‘face’ of the department, playing the role of the unofficial public relations personnel for the department. Generally, the department receptionist is expected to perform coordinating, processing, receipting, tracking and acknowledgment functions.
Essential Job Functions: Roles and Responsibilities
The department receptionist is expected to perform certain duties and undertake certain responsibilities in his/her job. These include:
Welcome on-site visitors, determine the nature of their visits and announce the visitors to the appropriate staff or personnel
Answer phones and direct callers for the respective offices and/or personnel
Answer basic questions on the department, as well as provide callers with the office address and directions and other general information
Retrieve and open or process mail
Maintain personnel files
Perform administrative functions for office personnel
Assist the public and employees with personnel questions
Dispense information, reviewing and processing forms for personnel questions
Monitor staff time and payroll items
Handle the HR director’s calendar
Handle office mail
Type required documents as directed
Among other duties assigned
Exceptional attention to detail
Efficient proofing skills
Ability to work diplomatically and effectively under diverse conditions and pressure and with diverse personalities, including Board of Directors and other staff
Good language and communication skills, both written and spoken
Reasoning ability, including the ability to organize systems, coordinate deadlines, interpret instructions provided on different forms (spoken, written or in diagram format)
Computer skills, including the ability to use Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel and other relevant software
Qualifications: Education, Experience, Certifications, and Licenses
Should have an associate’s degree (AA) or an equivalent from a technical school or a two-year college, with basic understanding of customer service with at least one year of related experience
Equipment and Tools Utilized
These are mainly office phones and computers
This work environment is busy, with the receptionist serving a total of 10 personnel
The receptionist may sometimes be required to move computers
Indeed, a good number of literatures confirm the need for good language and communication skills for customer service, which is the primary role that the department receptionist plays.
Customer service is the difference between gaining customer loyalty and losing customers. For instance, according to Mosahab et al. (2010), 68 percent of the time organizations lose customers as a result of poor customer service. Yet, companies may not know this, especially since most customers (about 96 percent) do not complain; they just go and never return. This is why it is important for organizations (including through departments) to work hard to ensure they retain their customers.
Essentially, customers look for friendly and approachable staff. The receptionist is the first face they meet and is often the representative for all other members of staff. Many times, when the customer service is poor, everything else is taken to be as poor in the organization (Spohrer & Maglio,, 2008). In this respect, good communication skill involves a combination of factors, including understanding the listener and organizing the message in such a way that it interests them. This includes not just good language skills, but also the tone of voice. In on-site situations, eye contact, facial expression and body language, among others are very important (Hutchisona et al., 2009; Mosahab et al., 2010).
Recruitment and selection are together a core part of the activities that underlie this department’s- and this organization’s- HRM. For this reason, this process is taken seriously, and this is reflected in the processes of recruitment and selection. The main objective here is to hire only the qualified persons. Essentially, the department seeks an individual who is willing to work for the long-term. Although experience is important, the main goal is to find someone who is willing to learn fast and adapt to new circumstances. Generally, below are the key aspects of the recruitment and selection plans and methods.
This stage is to narrow down the number of candidates for easier selection process. First, to make the whole process less tedious, the department advocates using more manpower (within the organization, even from other departments). These are known as the recruitment staff and their main job is to streamline the recruitment procedure. The first step will involve looking out for the obvious in the application documents to ascertain basic qualification. The process will also involve the quality of their cover letters to determine signs of written language and communication skills. For those who go through this basic process, the department will call the referees. Only those for whom all referees are reached in time will move to the next step. Another important factor is experience. Generally, the organization may allow the recruitment of fresh qualified people, especially into some critical or specialized positions. However, for this particular position, we require a person with at least one year experience with customer service.
The next step of the recruitment process involves three main tests: personality, aptitude, technical, communication and abstract reasoning skills tests. These focus on basic abilities of the candidates to execute their jobs effectively, and cover: attitudes, styles and sensitivity to others; self-motivation and drive; fluid intelligence and conceptual reasoning, etc.
After these tests, the candidates undergo at least two interviews. The interview tests the candidates’ suitability and award marks in the evaluation form. This helps to determine the ranking of candidates.
These tests focus on the candidates’ concentration as well as coordination of eyes and hands.
Those who are shortlisted at this stage go through another interview. Those who make it through this stage are considered for selection, and are evaluated independently by an outside consultant after which they have a meeting with the managing director.
The selection process, run by the selection committee (consisting of departmental head and the head of HRM) will check the suitability of the candidate(s) on the basis of the interview evaluation criteria.
The selection process should adopt a holistic approach, which will utilize panel interviews. This ensures that various viewpoints, aspects and areas of expertise are taken into consideration in the process of hiring. Panel interviews ensure objectivity by reducing personal biases and subjective standards (Shammot, 2014). Eventually, panel interviews are of benefit to both the employers and the candidates. While the applicants get a proper picture of the organization and its basic workings, the employer gains an equally proper picture of the applicant.
The evaluation of the reception is based on the expectations for his/her roles and responsibilities. In this organization, the evaluation of a receptionist’s performance should focus on two key areas: job performance and competencies. All these are summed in the overall rating. Ultimately, each of the elements under these two key areas are measured on the basis of various criteria (as the discussion below shows).
The evaluation of job performance will focus on three key elements, each measured by its own unique criterion.
Front Line Receptions Tasks and Responsibilities
Provision of excellent front line services to the department’s guests and clients
Taking of accurate messages
Measuring Criterion (Criteria)
Performance in this case is measured on the basis of:
How long (in minutes) it took for the receptionist to attend to the client’s (either by phone call or on-site) need.
The number of complaints from clients (either internal or external)
Processing of Couriers and Mails
Efficient and cost-effective handling of mails and other packages
Measuring Criterion (Criteria)
The number of complaints within a given period of time
The set budget within the cycle
Timely and accurate provision of word processing support
Competent and efficient carrying out of administrative duties
Measuring Criterion (Criteria)
No complaints from in customers within the organization
These are only a few of the aspects of job performance that are to be evaluated. The list might go on to include all the duties and responsibilities mentioned in the job description (although it would be important to pick the measurable variables). The appraisal process is both by the receptionist (self-evaluation) and the manager or supervisor and an external evaluator who rate the performance between 1-3, with 1 being the best performance and 3 the least.
Competencies have to do with three key elements:
Exceptional effort to make and keep customer satisfied and happy
Working long hours when necessary to fix problems and meet deadlines
Making visitors feel welcome and comfortable, and prompt problem solving
Taking full ownership of department tasks and taking responsibility
Self-motivation and drive, and working with no supervision as well as overcoming obstacles
Thinking beyond described job description and can contribute towards finding new and good ideas for improving systems and organization standards
Tidy work space, with files and tools arranged in good order
Accuracy and high quality of work
No or least errors
Ultimately, these elements are also measured on a rating between 1 and 3. These rating are also by the receptionist, the manager or supervisor and an external evaluator
Overall rating focuses on the ‘sum’ of the aspects of performance cited above. This involves rating the following three statements between 1 and 3:
Staff exhibits high level of consistency that exceeds expectations, and does more than the job description
A positive and fully acceptable performance level
Not yet achieved proficient in the role
However, the purpose of evaluation is to facilitate further improvements. In this respect, after evaluation, the department will ask the following questions in an effort to initiative improvement initiatives:
Where is performance lacking?
How can this/these be improved?
What training is needed?
One of the purposes of HR planning is to deal with the systematic and perpetual process of analyzing the HR needs of an organization under changing conditions and, consequently, develop the workforce policies that suit longer-term organizational and/or departmental effectiveness. In this respect, recruitment refers to “the process involving a number of activities and processes used to legally acquire a sufficient number of qualified people at the right time and place, so that people in the organization can select each other in their own best short and long terms interest” (Sinha & Thaly, 2013, p.142). Indeed, the acquisition and retention of high-quality recruitment has become critical to the success of an organization. Poor recruitment decision can negatively impact on the organization in the long-term. Recruitment, in this respect, is about finding the individuals and talents that will ‘fit’ within the organization; that is, exactly that which facilitate its pursuit of competitive advantage in the wider market (Shammot, 2014).
Equally, process of selection involves various psychological and aptitude tests, whose main purpose is to judge the mental capabilities of a candidate and see how well they may fit within the organization’s short- and long-term goals, particularly how they may handle their tasks in highly competitive environments (Mathur & Agarwal, 2013).
In the end, the only way for the organization to be sure whether they made the right recruitment is through performance evaluation. According to Shiferaw (2010), the ultimate purpose of performance evaluation is to foster the motivation of employees. Motivation has to do with two key variables: the nature of duties and responsibilities as well as job satisfaction; and hygiene factors, including circumstances of work, compensation, supervision and organizational policy (Bateman and Snell, 2011). Further, as the plan above shows, performance evaluation involves category scaling. Mathis and Jackson (2006) argue that such scaling facilitates performance measurements on a certain form by checking levels that are categorically grouped, such as lowest against highest. The plan above focuses on all these aspects.
Compensation refers to different things, including financial and social benefits. Regardless, it is an important part of HRM as it boots employee motivation and employee commitment to the organization.
In this case, financial benefits include hourly wages for overtime, annual salary and bonus payments, incentives and benefits as well organizational contribution to retirement savings account, among others. Social compensations include group health care coverage, annual vacations as well as flexibility to allow employees spend time with their families, among others. However, it must be remembered the running such a program takes money- and can be very expensive for the organization. In this respect, the program must follow a sound compensation structure to ensure fairness and avoid wastages.
This will be for un-salaried employees tagged as non-exempt. They will get wages on an hourly-basis and need overtime payment for work done over the 40 hours-per-week rate(s). Overtime will be paid at the rate of one a half times the hourly rate during regular hours. Such contracts will be set through contracts for certain periods of time (such as quarterly or half-way).
This will be for the salaried employees but who are classified as non-exempt (such as the department receptionist). Because they are considered non-exempt, they are entitled to payment for overtime.
Towards this program, the department will give the department receptionist the opportunity to participate in the retirement plan sponsored by the organization. In this regard, a designated pre-tax contribution will be deducted from his/her paycheck for the agree period of time. The company, through the department, will contribute a percentage of the receptionist’s contribution. This could be high depending on the percentage of his/her gross salary the receptions contributes. For example, if the receptionist contributes 5 percent of his/her gross salary, the company will contribute 50 percent of it (that is, 2.5 of the gross salary). This will increase every year as long as the employee is committed to the program.
Wage/Salary Raises, Bonuses and Incentives
These wage/salary raises and bonuses will be rewarded to the receptionist depending on his/her performance as ascertained through performance evaluation. In this respect, the receptionist will receive annual raises depending on his/her performance ratings. This will be a percentage of the gross salary.
This is to give the employee enough time for his/her social needs and may be in the form of flexible working hours so the employee can have enough time for his/her other social needs.
These may be in the form of a partly paid-for vacation.
Human capital has become a key factor for today’s organization in the pursuit for competitive advantage. In this regard, employee retention is key to sustaining organizational competitive advantage. Reward and compensation systems ensure employee retention. They are important in the sense that they boost employee commitment to the organization (i.e. organizational commitment). Goel (2008) defines organizational commitment as the employee’s affiliation to and involvement in the organization through the belief in and acceptance of the organizational goals and values. Indeed, committed employees exhibit strong desire to serve their organizations and low intentions to quit.
According to Armstrong (2006), effective reward and compensation systems (i.e. those that ensure employee motivation) must have four key elements. First, it must satisfy the employees’ basic needs (such as the desire to be available for their families, as shown in this case). Second, they should be included in the organizational system (contrary to reward in isolation). In this respect, the reward and compensation of employees should be a matter of policy and consequent practice. Again, the system discussed here meets this criterion. Third, the same rewards should be available to the same level employees, determined in terms of categories. This discussion focuses on salaried, non-exempt employees. Finally, the rewards should be fairly and equitably distributed. This can be attained though transparency, which improves accountability.
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