How an Internship can be the first step to a career in recruitment

07.04.2021 | 5 min read

A red metal sign saying 'For Hire'

When Paulina first joined 10Clouds about 10 months ago, she had already finished two internships in HR: first a year in HR administration and then another one in Employer Branding. Still, recruiting was an undiscovered area and one she’s always wanted to work in. When she found an ad for a Recruitment Intern position at 10Clouds, she decided to give it a go.

The recruitment process was a bit more complicated than what you’d expect for an Intern position. It involved three interviews, which was a lot but it did give Paulina a chance to meet the entire Recruitment Team before she received an offer - and said yes to starting her career with 10Clouds.

Learning curve of a Recruitment Intern

1. Shadowing interviews

Paulina had no previous experience working within IT. But in a highly skilled team she got plenty of support. Her senior colleague Aleksandra helped her by drawing up a map of technologies used at the company. Paulina also got to shadow Aleksandra and Artur, her Team Leader, during candidate interviews. She would learn how to conduct the interviews and assess candidates. They would discuss the feedback after interviews so Paulina could check if her assessment of the candidates was in line with that of her senior colleagues.

2. Taking ownership of basic tasks

At 10Clouds we believe in learning by doing and that goes for everyone in the company, even interns. So while she was still learning about the more complex responsibilities of a recruiter, Paulina already had ownership over some of the more administrative tasks. She would publish job ads and get in touch with applicants to confirm their status in the recruitment process.

3. Gaining more responsibility

Soon, she would also review CVs, contact candidates to tell them more about the company, check their English skills and ask about their experience. Over time she was even put in charge of three recruitment processes, conducting telephone and video interviews. At first a more experienced recruiter was present to make sure the interviews went well and share their feedback with Paulina. “I found it shocking that someone would trust an intern to make decisions that had an impact on the company” she says smiling when asked about it. And in fact two of our HR team members were recruited by Paulina!

The 10Clouds experience

Paulina really enjoyed the responsibility she was given. Working in an engaged team, happy to try new things and listen to ideas coming from different people was inspiring.

The flat structure meant she could contact everyone in the company, regardless of their role, and actually hear back.

The team

Both the Recruitment Team and the larger People Team - made Paulina feel welcome. She knew she could make her own suggestions and question how the team approaches certain subjects, even as an intern her contribution was valued. She was also encouraged to take on more responsibilities when she wanted to gain experience outside of what she was already doing.

Any challenges?

Of course, it’s not all roses. As any other job, this one had its challenges too. 10Clouds had decided to diversify teams and move into foreign markets and Paulina was tasked with conducting market research in 9 new countries - a task she found very difficult. “Finding the right information for the benchmarking project wasn’t easy. In some countries job boards were difficult to navigate, job ads were often published with no salary ranges and when I found them, I didn’t know if the amounts were net or gross. Sometimes it was even difficult to tell whether these were weekly, monthly or annual salaries,” says Paulina. Luckily, that project was delivered successfully in the end.

Other challenges are simply written into the recruiter job description.

When a candidate you think will be really great rejects the offer, it’s always tough. You start questioning if you did everything correctly - but that is simply how the market works.

Candidates usually take part in multiple processes at the same time, so while you can minimise the risk of it happening, you can’t avoid it altogether.

The transition: from intern to junior recruiter

Paulina knew the intern role came with the possibility of long term employment. This was one of the main attractions of the position - the opportunity to stay and start work in the area she always wanted to work in.

As the end of the internship approached, Paulina found the job ad for the original position she applied for. She wanted to check how much she actually got to do in those 3 months, so she started ticking off all of the things she did from the list of responsibilities. Not only did she do everything on the list, there were additional tasks she got to perform.

“I didn’t really feel a difference between being an intern and a junior recruiter. You’re still just a member of the team” says Paulina. The development in the role happened gradually, whenever she felt she was able to take on a little more - she would. Paulina likens it to learning to ride a bike, always knowing there’s someone who can help her if, or even before, she falls. Even now she already feels she gained a lot of new skills since she first joined the team as a permanent employee.

One of the things Paulina always wanted to try was headhunting and in her recent projects, she got to message candidates directly, telling them about 10Clouds and encouraging them to apply. It was difficult at first, but once she gained more confidence her response rate went up and now she feels she’s on the right track. Paulina also got training in behavioural interviewing, which is an important part of a recruiter’s role.

Inspired by Paulina’s story? Ready to embark on your own?

In 10 months Paulina went from being an Intern to becoming a full time member of the team, helping shape recruitment and people processes at 10Clouds. Check our open positions and see where a role with 10Clouds can take you.

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