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Rapport, Office Concierge, Portico, Mitie Signature, ISS, The Perception & Intelligent Office – Who’s the competition?

Outsourced Reception Services – Reviewed
Which agencies are you using and who the competition? 

Are you thinking of outsourcing your reception area and would like to know whether it makes sense for your team? Maybe your reception is already outsourced and you would like to know what other facilities management options are on the market and which ones seem to be leading the pack.

There are many myths and misconceptions about outsourcing and here we will try and tackle each one which should help you in making your decision.

Q: Will these receptionists have more corporate reception experience than the ones I currently have?
A: It is unlikely.
The candidates are often taken from catering, hospitality, retail or airlines and put into a corporate reception role. It is likely some (check with the supplier) will be put through the facilities management company’s intense in-house training course. (Each place differs, however it could be between one and two weeks)

Q: Will outsourcing my reception area improve the stability in the team?
A: It is unlikely.
Once a team member has learnt their corporate reception tasks, it is likely they will begin to look for another corporate reception vacancy within a corporate firm – directly. Why? Because they will receive better benefits and feel more part of the firm.
Also it is worth noting you should be prepared for a period of upheaval, where the current team are feeling disillusioned about their jobs and worried for the future. The new incoming receptionists will need to gel with the current team, who are likely to have different company benefits whilst doing the same job.

Q: Should I outsource because I can’t find candidates who REALLY want to be receptionists?
A: We think you should contact a specialist receptionist agency which only advertises corporate reception roles. This compares to a generalist agency, where the candidates may have registered there for a PA role however been ‘talked into’ a reception role when they arrived.

Q: Will holiday and sickness cover be more consistent when outsourced – rather than using temp agencies?
A: Yes, it should be. This is one of the benefits. Most facilities management companies that run reception areas have a team of ‘Elites’ which move around London covering various sites.  These receptionists are given training on your company systems so they hit the ground running. However it should be noted, this role is not an easy one. Most ‘Elites’ will wish to move into a more static position. Hence, you may find your group of reception elites changing faces. Some facilities management companies however have a better retention of staff than others. 

Q: Aren’t facilities management companies nearly all the same?
A: No. Some are similar, however each one has it’s own slight differences. Some take the bulk of their staff from the airlines, whereas others like to promote candidates through their corporate catering departments. Some do both, and will just choose the best candidates depending on the role. If you’re thinking of outsourcing, do ask if you can visit some of their sites to see how they operate.  You may find some focus more on the polish and customer service skills of their teams; where others concentrate more on accurate reservations and staff retention. 

Q: Which size do I need ?
A: That’s your choice. The largest now have hundreds of receptionists in many companies across London. The smallest may be a specialist in hospitality and have just won their first corporate reception contract. They may give you the attention you desire for a tricky team, yet struggle to cover those sickness needs. 

Whatever you decide – Front of House Recruitment – the receptionist recruitment agency  has been supplying executive corporate receptionists for 15 years, and firmly 1st in Google. We also run the reception management forums, held twice a year at some of the largest more prestigious finance and law firms in London. 

Now.. drum roll – who are the leading corporate reception service outsourcing companies?

In no particular order:

Largest providers:

Rapport
Office Concierge
ISS
Mitie – Signature
Portico
The Perception
Intelligent Office

Mid-sized:

Engie
Acuity

Elior (Ellipse

Lexington 
Sodexo
Bartlett & Mitchell
CBRE