New Research Blog – part 2

Josh Kirsopp is a new Researcher at Hays Executive and he is kindly going to blog about his new role, so keep posted for further installments!

Hi, my name is Josh Kirsopp. I’m a Chemistry graduate from the University of Warwick, and I have just started in my new job at Hays Executive as an Associate Researcher. My official start date was the 6th of October, so as you can imagine I’m as green as they come! I came into the role with a vague idea of what was expected of me, but very little appreciation of the effort that goes into each and every search assignment. Over the course of my first week I have; completed multiple online training modules, taken part in lots of on-the-job training and made my first calls.

 For the most part the work has been reasonably straightforward – until I began making approach calls for a benchmarking project. By a long way, the trickiest part of the job so far has been getting past gatekeepers to talk to the appropriate people. Though I’ve not yet done my first pitch to a potential candidate – something I imagine will easily trump the difficulty of dodging receptionists regarding salary analysis work.

Owing to the nature of doing a degree in Chemistry (hours of googling things I didn’t/do not and will never understand) the Internet searching the role requires is something I already feel confident about. It is fair to say that there is one parallel between executive research and a physical science degree – you are presented with things you don’t get off the bat, and you make it your life aim for the next 24 hours to come to terms with the material – whether it’s the corporate language of a job specification or what a role actually entails. To my mind, a career in Research is for those with an inquisitive nature and a staying power far beyond the Wikipedia search function. I’ve enjoyed my first week here, and expect I’ll enjoy the next even more.

Josh Kirsopp – Associate Researcher -Hays Executive

So I’m coming up to a month of working at Hays Executive as an Associate Researcher, and the learning curve so far has been a steep one! Over the last week or so I have; received volumes of training on various things research related, made my first approach calls for an active assignment and faced the occasional despondent response from stressed candidates (the least enjoyable part so far).

The approach calls have been by far the most difficult experience so far, not only because you have so little time to pitch such a big role, but because wording things appropriately while talking to people in such senior positions is quite the culture shock to someone fresh out of the education system. Over the course of many, many role-playing calls with my ever-patient line manager, I feel as though I am ironing out some of the wrinkles…

Another point of improvement I will be focussing on over the coming weeks is time management; something I have, ironically, not found the time for over the last fortnight.

As the closing date of my first assignment approaches, the difference between a strong A+ candidate and an average B candidate is becoming more clear, owing to working closely with the consultants and receiving feedback on the their suitability – something I wish I had understood when first creating the ID list, though I expect this is somewhat to do with my lack of experience in the sector and general unfamiliarity with the services the client offers. It seems that dodging the world of work for 3 years while completing my undergraduate degree is finally catching up with me!

In much the same way as I signed off the last post of this blog, my experience here has only improved week on week and I expect this trend to continue.

Josh Kirsopp – Associate Researcher -Hays Executive

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Taking part in the ERA mentoring programme has been extremely rewarding. I have really enjoyed establishing a relationship with my mentee and becoming part of their career journey. We have used our monthly sessions as a springboard to discuss current work problems, work/life balance challenges, and broader long-term career planning. I have also learned a lot from them about their industry, as well as gaining some more up-to-date research tips!


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