This summer I had the privilege of interning at Hanson Search, a boutique executive search firm, also known as a headhunting company. Hanson Search specialises in communications and marketing recruitment – covering PR, digital, technology, media, strategy and insights. While it was a steep learning curve for me, it was also a great experience. If you’re thinking about interning at Hanson Search, read my story of life as an intern:

Do you need to know a lot about recruitment to become an intern at Hanson Search?

Prior to starting at Hanson Search, I had absolutely no idea what it meant to headhunt. I had a vague idea about the headhunter being that sophisticated person at the party who would say “oh you would be great at such and such job, let me put you in touch with…” and they would open their magical book of contacts. The reality is that headhunting takes a great deal of hard work, perseverance and, yes, absolute confidence. On the one hand, it’s about helping companies find people who best fit their open positions. On the other, it's about finding people who are ready to consider a change in their career (even if they might not know it yet), and helping them to make that move. In the end, the headhunter has to represent both parties and make the right match.

What do you learn exactly?

Learning to become a headhunter means quickly grasping the details of many different markets. You have to become familiar with job titles and hierarchies in various industries, and key business terms. You get a sense of the different cultures in design agencies, market research consultancies, pharmaceutical companies and more. You learn which companies are the key players in a market and which are direct competitors to your client. You learn how to read job specifications and identify key qualifications. You learn how to search effectively for candidates on various databases (LinkedIn!). Best of all, you learn how to speak confidently over the phone – a crucial skill many take for granted but that you will take with you to every future job.

How will you get the most out of your internship?

Take a deep breath and just plunge into the role and the office culture. Like a lot of agencies, the pace at Hanson Search can be very fast and vigorous. Everyone is eager for assistance with their work. Always ask for things to do – whether its blog writing, data entry, name gathering or headhunting calls. The more experience you get in different tasks, the more you’ll get from the position. You are quite likely to feel lost at the beginning, but don’t hesitate to ask for help. Your colleagues want you to succeed. They will run through the instructions, show you how it’s done, and then to check your work. You will learn quickly and you will feel all the more confident.

Submitted by Kimberly Tan If you’d like to intern at Hanson Search, please send your CV, a cover letter, and three reasons why you think you’d be a good fit to: enquiries@hansonsearch.com

Posted on 17.07.2015

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