Switchboard Jobs
Switchboard operators are usually the first point of contact for all incoming phone calls within an organisation. Candidates must have an excellent telephone manner and be polite, confident and be extremely organised. IT skills are essential and many companies expect candidates to be proficient in leading switchboard software.

Job description

A Switchboard Operator's role is to handle a company's inbound telephone calls and direct them to the appropriate people or departments within the company. You may also be asked to field some of the more routine enquiries yourself so it's important you're a good communicator.

It's important that you have a comprehensive understanding of each department and how they operate within the business as you'll have to decide where each call should be directed. It's also necessary to have a grasp of the names and positions of key personnel within those departments.

Your role as a switchboard operator may include more than just answering and redirecting telephone calls. You may be asked to perform some basic admin duties too, such as typing, booking appointments, organising conference calls and emailing messages to other staff members.

Typically, your daily duties will involve:

  • Answering inbound telephone calls and redirecting as required
  • Providing basic company information to callers
  • Liaising with other departments so you know who is sick or on annual leave
  • Arranging conference calls between other employees
  • Taking messages and relaying them to the relevant person or department
  • Typing, filing, faxing and photocopying

Most of the time you'll be working a standard 35-40 hour week though this can vary as you'll be expected to work the hours that the business is open to it clients and customers.

Formal qualifications aren't necessary for the switchboard operator though any employer will be looking for a good standard of basic education as a minimum requirement so you'll be expected to have Maths and English at GCSE or equivalent. Courses like the European Computer Driving Licence will further improve your employability. More often than not, employers will be looking for experience in a similar role and in particular, in using a certain type of switchboard systems such as Meridian.

Whatever your level of experience or qualifications, there are certain skills a prospective employer will be looking for in a switchboard operator. These include:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • A fantastic telephone manner
  • Good basic IT skills
  • Unflappable under pressure
  • Experience of switchboard systems
  • The ability to prioritise calls

Salary Information

Your hourly rate or annual salary will be down to where you're working, who for and how much experience you have in a similar role. Expect £6-8 per hour initially in a temp role, though this could rise to more than £10 per hour for certain roles in London and the South East. Annually, expect £10-14k on entry and £16-20k with a few years' decent experience on your CV.

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