Reception Helpdesk Assistant

Durham, United Kingdom
£18,852 - £20,092 per annum (pro-rata)
30 Jun 2022
End of advertisement period
11 Jul 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Accommodation & Commercial Services

Grade 3: - £18,852 - £20,092 per annum (pro-rata)
Fixed Term - Part Time
Contract Duration: Until 31st January 2023
Contracted Hours per Week: 25
Closing Date: 11-Jul-2022, 6:59:00 AM

Job Family: Community, Participation and Engagement Services

Department: Estates and Facilities, Accommodation and Commercial Services
Responsible to: Reception Helpdesk Team Leader
Grade: Grade 3
Salary range: £18,852-£20,092 (pro rata)
Contract type: Permanent
Working arrangements: Part-time (25 hours per week), Five days out of seven, primarily Monday to Friday

This vacancy is based in the University Nursery and a DBS check will be required.

Reward and Benefits

To support the delivery of the University's People Strategy to attract, retain and reward the very best, we offer a fantastic range of rewards and benefits to our staff, including:

  • 27 days annual leave, plus 4 customary days and 8 bank holidays (pro-rata for part-time) and the option to purchase additional leave
  • Automatic enrolment into a pension scheme
  • Corporate and local discounts
  • Wellbeing resources and discounted health benefits
  • Health discounts on sports and activities at Maiden Castle Health and Activity Centre
  • Reward and Recognition Schemes
  • Personal and career development
  • And SO much more, with further information available here.

Working Arrangements

At Durham, we recognise that our staff and students are our greatest asset and we want to support the health and wellbeing of all.  Hybrid working supports this ethos and provides many benefits to our colleagues, including empowering people, where their role allows, to work in a manner which is more suitable for them, whilst encouraging our commitment to environmental sustainability.

Depending on the needs of the business and the job role, Durham University is piloting hybrid working for all Professional Services colleagues in the academic year 2021/22, which may include the opportunity to work both on and off campus and flex working hours.  If appointed to the post, your line-manager will discuss the specific arrangements with you.  Any hybrid arrangements are non-contractual and may change within the pilot and when the pilot ends.

The Department and role purpose

The Estates and Facilities Directorate provides a number of essential services to Durham University and is responsible for managing, maintaining and developing the infrastructure and building fabric of the various campuses, including:

  • maintaining and regularly reviewing a maintenance programme which takes account of short, medium and long term needs of all buildings and University grounds;
  • implementing the works identified and funded within the various maintenance programmes and operating a system for dealing with day-to day requirements, including the provision of an out-of-hours emergency service;
  • providing a professional, technical service to the University for the design, construction and procurement of new buildings and adaptation works to existing buildings;
  • identifying and recording the use of space and advising on ways of increasing space utilisation;
  • procuring and managing utilities and services;
  • providing postal, delivery and security arrangements and advice to the University;
  • the delivery of a wide-range of customer-facing services, including: Contract Management; Continuous Improvement; Housekeeping and Cleaning, Business Resilience, Event Management; Reception Helpdesk; Business Support; Health and Safety; and Management Information.

The Reception Helpdesk Assistant will be responsible for providing reception services and associated administration of the front-desk, including welcome service, professionally greeting staff, visitors, students and users of the building, providing assistance, directions and information.

Core responsibilities:

  • Provide a highly responsive and/or frontline service to stakeholders.
  • Assist team members within a wider service team with a rotation of tasks and duties or with own small area of day to day responsibility.
  • Respond to service users, reporting problems relating to the University’s estate and facilities, reacting promptly to all works requested via a range of communication routes.
  • Operate a system to record, dispense and distribute resources and information as required.
  • Assist team members to concentrate effort on a more regular basis to achieve common goals.
  • Apply skills and techniques to operate and use a range of everyday task or job specific equipment, tools and resources.
  • Follow a set of pre-determined tasks and objectives, with some discretion for variation, referring to team members where necessary.
  • Gather and collate data and information, including feedback, for others to use for evaluation and decision making.
  • Contribute to the tidying, set-up and maintenance of facilities, equipment and resources.
  • Liaise with representatives from other teams/service areas where necessary.
  • Collaborate with team members to identify work flows, timescales and where support is required.

Role responsibilities:

  • Deliver a frontline service to stakeholders with team members within a defined service area for concentrated periods of time.
  • Operate a range of standard office equipment to maintain various databases and spreadsheets.
  • Monitor and record changes to the working environment and service processes to ensure the safety, security and hygiene of service products and services.
  • Follow University identification and security procedures when dealing with stakeholders new to a service area.
  • Provide direction to service users about the range of events and activities and how to access them.
  • Complete necessary skills training to deliver a high-level of customer service.
  • Apply manual dexterity, physical effort and/or sensory skills to carry out work in a defined space or service area.
  • Assist team members where necessary to review and update risk assessments.
  • Respond to first-line queries from suppliers, stakeholders and contacts where necessary.
  • Liaise with students face-to-face, offering guidance and support where appropriate.
  • Liaise with internal stakeholders and external suppliers to raise requisitions as required.
  • Answer calls to the switchboard from members of the University and general public, providing advice and assistance, as required.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Specific Role requirements:

  • Provide cover at any of the University’s Reception Helpdesks, as required.
  • Provide absence cover, with suitable notice, as required.
  • Work evenings and weekends, as business demands.
  • Attend all training and development, as required.

Recruiting to this post

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification below (including those listed in the section ‘Realising Your Potential Approach’).

In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

How to apply

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit

  1. A CV.
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in all of the requirements set out in the Person Specification.
  3. The completed questions requested as part of the application.

For external applicants, when evidencing the Realising Your Potential Behaviour Approach elements of the grid, please use examples from your current/previous organisations in instances where the ‘University’ is referenced.

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application will not be considered.

Contact details

For further information please contact: Louise Bellenger, louise.bellenger@durham.ac.uk.

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work. We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force, including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required


  1. Good oral and written communication skills
  2. Good IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office
  3. Five GCSEs at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience)
  4. Evidence of personal development to maintain skills
  5. Experience of working as part of a team in a customer focussed service to ensure the delivery of high quality services
  6. Proven track record of the ability to manage a varied workload and work to strict deadlines.
  7. Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues
  8. Ability to solve problems as part of a team and resolve straightforward issues 
  9. Proven track record in a similar role including customer care and administrative support in a similar environment
  10. Good standard of organisational skills and ability to use initiative in day-to-day tasks and forward planning


  1. Excellent attention to detail
  2. NVQ level III
  3. RSA Level II word processing qualification or equivalent

Realising Your Potential Approach

Providing Excellent Student Services and Professional Support: Providing the best quality service to all our students, customers and stakeholders. Building genuine and long-term relationships, through every day interactions, in order to drive up service standards and to enhance their experience.

  1. Resolving problems efficiently in a cheerful, friendly manner.
  2. Ensuring knowledge of systems and processes is kept up-to-date, to enable you to provide accurate information.
  3. Setting appropriate boundaries and managing expectations.

Embracing Change:  Adjusting to unfamiliar situations, demands and changing roles. Seeing change as an opportunity and being receptive to new ideas

  1. Viewing change situations as opportunities for improving and developing work.
  2. Remaining positive about moving forward despite being realistic about the difficulty of change.

Finding Solutions:  Taking a holistic view and working enthusiastically and with creativity to analyse problems and develop innovative and workable solutions. Identifying opportunities for innovation.

  1. Taking time to understand and diagnose problems by considering the whole picture.
  2. Identifying ways of resolving issues using own initiative.
  3. Balancing new ideas with tried and tested solutions.

DBS Requirement: Please note that the succesful applicant will require DBS disclosure.

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