An Intern's Perspective: learning about the legal recruitment industry

by Nikki in Blog

DatePosted on June 28, 2022 at 02:12 PM
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#ZubinFoundation #EMergingTalentInternshipProject #DiversityAndInclusion

As a part of Zubin Foundation's EMerging Talent Internship Project, our company has been delighted to have hosted two excellent interns — Naz and Hallaji — over the summer.

In the article, Naz discusses some insights on her internship experience in the legal recruitment industry.

There’s no doubt that many companies would require help from external professionals with a specific project, to facilitate growth or to solve a problem. This internship allowed me to understand this is where Star Anise Limited, and her sister companies, Yuzu (flexible outsourcing), and SALT (leadership and training) would support their clients. How cute are the names of the companies, it’s like a group of spices!

Morning meeting with the team

Being ready to gain new knowledge and experiences

It was surprising to learn that there are so many different types of recruitment agencies in Hong Kong and which you go for will depend entirely on the specific employment type. Hallaji and I had tons of questions in mind when we first started out as interns with Star Anise including:

  • What are recruitment agencies?

  • How do recruitment agencies work?

  • What are the different types of legal professionals in Hong Kong, and what do they do?

  • As a job seeker, with so many options available to you, how can you be sure you’re making the right decision and choosing the best recruitment company (as employers) that will help you hire the right talent or (as candidates) seek the right jobs?

Intern's desktop

I was also curious to see how marketing would work in a recruitment firm, having studied digital marketing at degree level, and having a desire to pursue this as my main career path. I would say recruitment marketing somehow involves assembling strategies and resources to engage and nurture potential talent in the pre-applicant phase. This approach tries to advertise the benefits of working for the firm and to build a company culture or brand in order to recruit qualified individuals.

My path towards the legal industry

Although I have interned at a Hong Kong law firm, Ravenscroft & Schmierer, this year, I realize the learning never ends. As Star Anise focus on helping candidates from the legal and compliance industries, it was essential for me to understand the role of lawyers within different industries, the hierarchy of legal departments and teams, the practise area(s) that lawyers commonly specialise in, the job seekers' background and career goals on the one hand, and the job requirements on the other.

Hierarchy of legal department/team

Understanding the legal market and recruitment process in the legal industry

As a fresh graduate myself, I have been struggling to look for a full-time Marketing position in Hong Kong. I learned some great tips on how to land a job for myself, and I hope these tips can be useful for many of you as well:

  • Before you apply, make sure you thoroughly research the company you're applying to

  • Prepare a succinct resume that emphasizes your education, abilities, achievements and experiences
  • Adapt your resume to the requirements for each position and as closely with the hiring managers as you can

  • Regularly updating your LinkedIn profile and engaging on LinkedIn

There are several external and internal factors that would affect the availability of the candidates in the market. The use of solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM) tools and applicant tracking systems (ATS) are making it more efficient for companies to source, attract and engage top candidates who would never apply otherwise. My role was to keep the database updated from time to time.

Training session with Annie

Interpersonal and Organizational Skills

People are at the heart of the recruitment industry. There is no denying it. To be a highly effective and successful recruiter requires excellent interpersonal skills. You must be able to speak with individuals, listen, and analyze candidates' talents and traits in a short amount of time.

I was observing how the recruitment specialists were talking to their clients over the phone and realized that confidence is the key. It reminded me of my time as a financial consultant trainee at Convoy Financial Services Limited. In addition, excellent organizational and fundamental research skills are important in order to 'run a tight ship' to support the recruitment consultants. Sybil Yang, a manager in the administrative staff contracts team at Yuzu shared her personal experience with me and helped me realize that, “Your College Major Does Not Define Your Career”. I thank Sybil for many life-changing pieces of advice which could be useful in developing my career.

Our team during a break

Digital Marketing

I have emphasized digital marketing being my academic interest in this blog, and I still hold a geat passion for it. It was amazing learning tips and tricks from Shirin, Star Anise's Marketing Analyst, which could be useful for my career development. In her role, Shirin is responsible for all the marketing touchpoints of the company including email marketing, event management, social media and so much more. Me and Hallaji learnt about the color wheel concept, understanding the importance in the use of different font types, website building, cold-calling and analysis on email marketing. Thank you for your professional help and mentoring, Shirin!


About the Author


Nikki is Star Anise's resident writer and curator of content on all things careers, coaching and recruitment related at the Star Anise Knowledge Hub. 

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