We caught up with Lucy, a Recruitment Coordinator from AlphaSights, to hear about her journey to the firm, from studying Modern Languages to entering the fast-paced recruitment industry. Plus, we find out more about what it really means to work in Recruitment as well as gain top advice for anyone wanting to pursue a career in the field.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I studied Modern Languages at university, specialising in French and German. During my degree, I worked in Germany for 12 months. After graduating in 2020, I secured a job in Recruitment at the Department of Health. As you can imagine, joining amid a pandemic meant it was a very busy time and the demand for new employees was high.
As I came to the end of my contract, I wanted something more permanent so I could have more stability in my career. It was at this time that I saw this opportunity with AlphaSights on my university careers page and was interested to find out more.
Something that’s evident in my journey is that you don’t necessarily need a field-specific degree to secure a role. Recruitment wasn’t something I’d thought about pursuing a career in and it doesn’t relate to my degree but showing a passion for the role and a willingness to learn has helped me get to where I am today.
What stood out to you about AlphaSights when applying for opportunities?
A key factor that drew me to the role was the career progression opportunities it offered. AlphaSights clearly highlighted where I could expect to progress in my career with them and really emphasised how they are invested in the development of their employees.
On top of this, from all my interactions with the company, it seemed like a dynamic, high-energy environment. Throughout the recruitment process, I met friendly people who spoke highly of the supportive working culture at the firm. This perception of a supportive culture was backed up throughout the recruitment process. The recruiters were very responsive and at each stage, I was informed about the next steps as well as being offered feedback on my performance. All this left a great impression of the company and, I can now say, after having worked here for over 9 months, this is definitely reflective of the day-to-day culture.
What is a ‘normal day’ like as a Recruitment Coordinator?
Typically, I’m the first point of contact for candidates. I help answer any questions they have and am here to provide them with support and guidance throughout their journey, making their interview process as smooth as possible. A lot of my time is also spent screening candidate applications and scheduling interviews.
Outside of my day-to-day responsibilities, I have attended careers events across the UK and Europe. This is a really exciting opportunity to get onto campus and have face-to-face conversations with students to tell them all about AlphaSights. Being able to attend events, travel and meet students is one of the best parts of my role as I love helping people explore potential career paths and supporting them in securing the perfect opportunity.
Alongside this, I work to build and maintain relationships with universities. This can involve organising events, holding workshops and planning other ways to make sure we are remaining in touch with our partner universities.
Was there anything that surprised you about your role?
Something that surprised me was how motivating I am finding the targets-based element of the role and working towards quarterly recruitment quotas. I enjoy working towards a target and playing a part in ensuring we bring the right talent into the business at the right time. I find that having these targets also brings us together more as a team as we all work collaboratively to achieve a collective goal.
Another aspect that surprised me was the level of responsibility I had from the outset. I received thorough training to equip me with the key skills and knowledge required and from here I got to take ownership of key tasks. It was brilliant to gain great trust so early on, using my ideas and skills to build relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
How does recruitment differ from a traditional role in HR?
There can be a misconception that working in Recruitment is the same as working in HR, but there are some key differences. From my perspective, HR is a function that supports the company’s current employees, this can be anything from payroll to benefits. Recruitment, however, is the process in which we assess and select new employees before they join the company. This essentially involves taking candidates through the hiring process.
How would you describe the culture at AlphaSights?
Supportive - AlphaSights’s culture is supportive on multiple levels. Particularly on an individual level, you’re given a vast pool of resources to help your professional development. We even have a team dedicated to ensuring this.
Sociable – there is a very friendly environment here with lots of opportunities to socialise both with your team and with people from the wider organisation. We have monthly team budgets to spend on any social events we would like to arrange within the team, and our Workplace Experience team also organise fantastic parties and office-wide events.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is thinking of applying to become a Recruitment Coordinator at AlphaSights?
Think about why Recruitment makes sense for you as a career path. Many people may be vaguely interested in HR so think about why you want to specialise in this particular field.
When it comes to the interview process, consider how your previous experience highlights how this is a career you want to pursue. I’d also recommend getting to know the job description well as this is a great way to gain a clear view of what to expect from the role as well as ensure it’s really something you want to do.
Think a role in Recruitment could be for you? Find out more on the AlphaSights profile here.