Switchboard operators are expected to work with complex business systems in order to relay interoffice, outgoing or incoming calls. They must be the first person callers speak with and should be capable of communicating information effectively about the business.
Your switchboard operator job description should emphasize the need for a great speaking voice. Communication skills are vital in this line of work. Conflict resolution prowess also comes in handy in the event a customer has a complaint.
Finally, switchboard operators should have a basic understanding of troubleshooting telecommunication systems. In the event something breaks down, the operator must be able to perform basic maintenance to attempt to get it back up and running. Use the switchboard operator job description template below as an additional reference to learn how to write your own.
Switchboard Operator Job Summary
Do you have a friendly, personable speaking voice and love helping others? As a switchboard operator, you will typically be the first person clients speak with, so you have a great responsibility of providing callers with a productive experience. However, throughout the course of your employment, you will be expected to do a lot more than just answer phones. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how to conduct essential clerical work, and new duties may be assigned to you based on how well you perform. You will be working with people at every level of the organization from entry-level employees to upper management, so if you consider yourself to be a total people-person, then apply today.
- Answer all incoming calls, provide pertinent information to the caller and transfer the call to the appropriate source if requested
- Relay voicemails and other messages to the proper location within the organization, which may entail writing down the number of the person who called and providing it to the individual
- Arrange conference calls within the corporate boardroom while also making sure the room itself is thoroughly cleaned for managers
- Perform various word processing responsibilities, which can include proofreading documents before they are sent out or updating the company’s phone directory
- Receive all company mail and deliver it to the right person
- Record voicemail message for the company phone system, including messages stating when the office will be closed for holidays
- Perform routine maintenance on switchboard system or contact outside contractor to visit the office to fix the system when necessary
- Conduct other administrative tasks, including sending faxes, scheduling appointments and making orders for more supplies
Job Skills & Qualifications
- High school diploma
- Excellent speaking voice
- Superb customer service skills
- Knowledge of switchboards and phone systems
- Familiarity with clerical procedures
- Knowledge of basic office equipment, such as inkjet printers and fax machines
Switchboard Operator Job Responsibilities
Any switchboard operators worth their salt knows exactly how you feel when screening job applications: constantly under fire, inundated with one applicant after another after another in a nonstop barrage, with each requiring at least a minimal level of screening before rerouting to the potential candidate pile or discarding into the trash. Yet you can minimize that rapid-fire assault of applications and help narrow your candidate pool down to only the most qualified by improving your switchboard operator job description and refining it using criteria that attract candidates with the skills needed to effectively support your business.
By writing your switchboard operator job description using bullets supported by action-driven language, you’re giving jobseekers the confidence to know exactly what you expect of them and whether or not this role is truly suited for them. Keep your job description brief, narrowing details down to an overview rather than falling back on the stale two-page blow-by-blow description of every single minute of the day. The goal is to engage and attract, while providing enough insight about your company and the job to allow the applicant to judge themselves against the requirements.
Here’s an example of switchboard operator job responsibilities:
- Answer inbound calls and route accordingly to appropriate extensions
- Place outbound calls as requested by staff or customers
- Respond to inbound requests for information or directory services
- Use diplomacy and tactful judgment in screening and potentially rerouting calls for executives and other limited-access VIPs
- Self-monitor call times for adherence to efficiency goals
Switchboard Operator Job Specifications
Now that you’ve told potential applicants what they’ll do, it’s time to tell them what you want. To do that, you need to include a list of job specifications in your switchboard operator job description. These job specifications should be short, not even half the length of the description, but that doesn’t make them any less vital to your talent recruitment process. By telling applicants what you want, you’re telling them whether or not they’re qualified. Many applicants won’t apply if they fail to meet your essential criteria, slowing the flood of unqualified applicants and giving you more time to consider those suitable for the job.
In no more than 5-6 bullets, give jobseekers a list of the mandatory qualifications. These shouldn’t reflect the duties in the switchboard operator job description; instead, these existing criteria cover things such as years of experience, soft skills, education or technical knowledge. Focus on what will allow your selected candidate to ramp up into the position quickly and be effective in the role on day one, and narrow that list down to your top five requirements.
For example, here are our switchboard operator job specifications:
- Able to respond quickly and provide effective customer service in a fast-paced environment
- Knowledge of both manual switchboards and soft PBX tools such as Avaya
- At least five years of prior history in a call center environment or three years as PBX operator
- Strong problem-solving skills
- Some technical skill required in daily self-troubleshooting before escalating to IT support