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The Life of an Aspire Researcher

This piece of writing was designed to be a “day in the life”, but seeing as no two days as a researcher are really the same, I want to give you a snapshot of the days of our lives (without the terrible monologues) here at Aspire.

It is a universally acknowledged truth, that when you start a new job you feel like you’re stepping into a void. You have no idea who else is going to be with you, what they’re going to be like or what you’ll be doing on a day to day basis – so with these feelings of anticipation we began our Aspire journey.

Going right back to the beginning our first day was a daunting experience: we walked into a room and found four folders on the desk. Each folder was named and full to bursting with sheaves of paper all of which had lots of confusing words printed on them like “more together”, “affiliates” and “comms planners”. With no idea what any of this meant we dove into the folder and began our first day of training.

A significant part of the early days was spent in training and digesting the mountain of information in our beloved file folders. Sometimes it did feel a little like information overload but the results are well worth it! Within a period of six short weeks, we had gone from knowing nothing about our industries, teams and Aspire to knowing all the major aspects of our sector, what a high value candidate is, how each member of our team likes their tea and the core values of Aspire.

The core values are one of first things you learn at Aspire through the phrase “achieving more together”. Many a time a company phrase is just words from the business model but I can honestly say that Aspire really does live by these words. Whether it’s the team helping each other find the best candidates, working on a pitch for a new client, in the toilet (yes it’s on the backs of the doors reminding you how to be more together in there!) or helping out a team member when they less- than-gracefully trip over their own shoes, everyone who works at Aspire lives by this ethos. It’s a very “all for one and one for all” atmosphere that immediately makes you feel part of your team and part of the company.

When we have finished digesting the information in our folders for the day we put it into practice by engaging in role plays. This involves going into one of the many rooms we have here at Aspire HQ (be it Singapore, Sydney or San Francisco) and ringing internally and having a conversation as you would with a candidate or client. For us this is a crucial part of our training as it enables us to get out of our system all the embarrassing things that may go wrong for us in a real-life situation. Moments such as: the hilarity of 007-style name confirming (“Is that Harriet? Harriet Packer?”), drastically flipping through your pages of notes to try and find that one key sentence that will be the answers to all your problems or completely forgetting your train of thought and having no idea what to say next.

We are then, ready (or not!), pushed out of our comforting role-play nest and into a headset to make real-life calls. But we are never left bereft at Aspire and this leads into another part of our training as a researcher: desk coaching. This part of training results in a complex mix of emotions similar to the fear, excitement and adrenaline rush you might feel before performing in public. This is caused by one of the gurus of the business connecting their headset into yours and listening to all the calls that you make. As they sit next to you, you desperately try to overcome these emotions and remember what you’re meant to be saying next, remember what the person on the other end is saying and remember to take notes so you can tell your team what they said. So, if you’ve spoken to a recruiter in the last two months who may have sounded less than confident on the phone – it was probably one of us in our first week so we thank you for your patience. At the end of these sessions we hoped to have achieved our objectives set at the beginning of the call and have a discussion of all the things to improve on in the future to make us the best we can be.

As this all sounds a little bit serious I need to say that our days spent working at Aspire are also extremely fun and that is down to the amazing people we work with. To give you a snapshot, since we started two months ago we’ve found out: one of our bosses was the former COO of a multi-storey car park, we have a researcher who helped Jonathan Ross buy clothes and a team member who won Countdown during the Vorderman heyday!

This is pretty much the life of a researcher and as we progress along this yellow brick road of training and development we hope to eventually reach the Emerald City of fully fledged recruitment consultants. So while we skip along in our ruby recruitment slippers please wish us as many perfect candidates as possible and here’s to beginning our lives as experts in recruitment consultancy.

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