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Line Hunting:
What is a Hunt Group?

Let’s unpack what a Hunt Group is and how they work.


This is a question David gets asked a lot on the phone, but often, people don’t even know what it is called – they just describe the functionality they want.


A Hunt Group is not connected to a particular handset, but instead to a specific number – calls made to that number can be routed to a predefined group of extension numbers. A 1300 number or call tracking number has this functionality, and it isn’t tied to a particular answer point.


A commonly requested scenario is the ability to have phone calls pass through a few numbers (ie. local fixed line answer point or mobile phone), to then be collected at the end by a Voice to Email if there was no answer on each of the numbers. This is the absolute description of Hunt groups.

What is a Hunt Group?

A hunt group (often referred to as line hunting) is the functionality of finding or hunting for a recipient for the call. It is often a group of phone numbers, or extensions in the context of Hosted PBX.


There is really two ideas here. The Hunt group is the list of recipients, and Line Hunting is the process of finding the specific answer point for the phone call.

What are Hunt Groups and Line Hunting Used For?

Hunt Groups are essential for you if you value the calls that your customers place through to your business. So if you are offering a product for sale and often get sales-related phone calls, then you will definitely value those calls, and technology such as Hunt Groups and Line Hunting will mean you will answer more calls quicker and enable you to have a backup option to capture the caller’s details if you are unable to answer the call.


That is really the second best reason, if you know you aren’t able to answer as many calls as you’d like, make use of a hunt group and land your callers in a voice to email so you can grab their details for a callback.


On the contrary, if you are offering phone calls for support and realistically don’t have the resources to engage every call you may want to deliberate not make use of a hunt group to capture as many calls and land them to a Voice To Email.

The great news is you can use the Hunt group technology as a free feature across the Simple Telecom suite of products including:


1300 Numbers

1800 Numbers

Virtual Phone Numbers

Business Phone Systems

What Type of Business Phone System is Best for Small Businesses?

The core benefit you receive as the owner of small businesses is looking to manage your incoming calls is the ability to route calls or diverts calls through so your users can talk to a company contact as quick as possible.


Other key benefits from making use of a Hunt Group include:

  • You do not need to invest in more phones, as calls can be linked to existing handsets
  • It can be linked to existing mobile phones
  • Multiple calls can be managed more effectively
  • Call flows can be added to capture missed calls
  • Streamlined customer support
  • Streamlined business processes
  • Improved call answering efficiency by distributing phone calls
  • Free implementation

How Do Hunt Groups Actually Work?

The term Hunt Group encompassing a wide range of potential configuration options. You will need to carefully consider which configuration best suits your business to answer calls. Things like high call volumes and defining business hours can greatly help.


As normal if you have a specific question or requirement for your incoming phone system calls you may find it easier to discuss with us on the phone – hit the Contact page for options to get in touch.

Linear Hunt Group


This would be the most common use of a Hunt Group by Simple Telecom customers. Put plainly calls for your small business are called in sequence or in a linear fashion.


The first line that answers the call stops the others from receiving it, however if missed the next call will be able to answer. This is relatively basic configuration option but it is also the most common as it solves almost all incoming calls and allows you the ability to route calls through to a few employees before doing a final land at a Voice To Email to capture the call as a last resort.

Simultaneous Alert Hunt Group


Simple Telecom refers to this as a Simultaneous Dial because in essence, that is what this is. The Platform will distribute calls to everyone on the list at the same time, the first person to answer will capture the call.


A Simultaneous Alert Hunt Group works best when the list of people receiving the call at once are all on the same type of device and same network. If we introduce mobiles and fixed lines or voip, it can be inconsistent and a poor experience for everyone.


A simultaneous dial would most commonly be used by a office that has a few employees and has a phone system (such as the Simple Telecom Hosted PBX) capable of handling the incoming calls and diverting the calls as required.

Circular Hunt Group


A circular hunt group, also known as ’round robin’ will operate exactly the same as the linear variation however it has one key difference. When it gets to the end of the list, it just goes back to the start and goes through the entire list endlessly until someone answers.


Obviously this type of configuration has the ability to be extremely annoying and also to tie up resources endlessly, so we exercise extreme caution and we work with our customer to understand exactly what they want this type of service for and that they understand how this type of configuration can go wrong.


Generally this type of circular hunting is only used as an escalation type service after all other avenues have been exhausted.

Longest Idle Hunt Group


As the name suggests this is the method of distributing calls by modern phone systems to the extensions that has not received (or made) a call for the longest amount of time.


In the context of a 1300 number or a virtual Australian number this configuration option is not available in the Simple Telecom “line hunt” however this feature could be enabled in the Simple Telecom Hosted PBX service.


This type of configuration would be common for call centre environments where you are looking to maximize caller experience and staff utilisation across the floor.

How Do I Setup Line Hunting or a Hunt Group?

This is where the really good news starts. Simple Telecom offers a wide range of the configuration options discussed on this page as a free internal addon to all of the following products:


– 1300 and 1800 Phone Words

– 1300 Numbers

– 1800 Numbers

– Virtual Australian Local Numbers

– Virtual Australian Mobile Numbers


This hunt group set is just one of the many free features provided with your simple telecom service – you can read more about our free additional benefits via our list of free included 1300 number features.

How do I Manage Hunt Groups?

Simple Telecom offers its customers a fully feature customer console area which will allow you to manage your account details, make payments – and most importantly manage the configuration of all your numbers.


It goes without saying your first hunt group will be listed in your control section of each number and you can make changes to the phone numbers, the order and the duration of each single phone number.

Is Setting Up Line Hunting Free?

With Simple Telecom – yes it is. We include Line Hunt as a free configuration option for all our services.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hunt Groups

Yes, you can. All Simple Telecom phone numbers that receive calls (inbound calls) have the option for you to define a Hunt Group as the call flow for that number.

Yes, you can. You have the ability to present a Keypress menu of options to the caller and/or make use of the time-based routing configuration to filter out after-hours calls to an alternate second phone.

Yes, you can. Simple Telecom provides a ‘customer console’ that gives you the ability to make unlimited changes at any time to your service. Go wild!

Yes, you can. If you are looking to do something very specific please get in touch, David will be happy to discuss all sorts of wild call flows with you.

The answer to this question really depends on the type of business you run and how you want to engage with your callers. Almost every single customer David has ever spoken with would make use of a “general line hunt” to flow the caller through a sequence of destinations most commonly captured at the end by a Voice To Email.


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