My Brilliant Recruitment Career – Hannah Thomson

Published: 19 Sep 2017

HannahHannah Thomson, senior associate and head of business development, Ashmore Stark

What was your earliest dream job?

Big cat vet – I watched The Lion King when I was one or two – until I realised I’d have to study for about seven years. It was then not so appealing.

What was your first job in recruitment and how did you come into it?

I was 20, just out of university, and took a temp job working in Capita’s property and infrastructure recruitment team in London. I was commuting about two hours each way and grafted hard to show I wanted it. By month two I was the team’s top performer. I had a call from the division’s CEO, asking me whether I wanted to come and work for her directly.

What do you love most about your current role?

Happy hour. No, I’m joking. Probably the people I work with. It’s the first time I’ve worked with people I genuinely like outside of work. It’s vital to find your ‘tribe’. These guys are my tribe – we’re like a work ‘family’.

Who is your role model – in general life or in recruitment?

In life, it’s my mum. I know that’s clichéd, but it’s true. She started her business when I was four and sold it in 2012. I watched her make sacrifices that most mums couldn’t or wouldn’t do. I learn something from her every day. In recruitment, it’s my boss Greg [managing director of Ashmore Stark]. He’s a fantastic mentor, and probably the first manager I’ve had about whom I’ve thought ‘wow, there is so much I can learn from you’.

What’s your top job to fill at the moment?

A partnerships director role for a fintech firm that’s just about to do its Series A funding.

What’s your signature dish?

I’m a notoriously awful cook. The only thing I can cook is spaghetti bolognese, but I cook it really well.

Laugh or cry, what did your most memorable candidate make you want to do and why?

I had a candidate, who at the end of the interview, rather than ask any questions relevant to the job, asked how long it would take them to get to work every day. The interviewer said: “I don’t know where you live, so I can’t tell you.” The candidate said: “That’s probably going to make a difference – maybe I should have a look into that” and the interviewer said “Maybe you should”...

What’s the best or worst interview question you’ve ever heard?

‘How many corner shops are there in England?’ One of my candidates was asked that in my previous role at Capita.

What would you regard as your theme tune?

Probably whatever Greg is singing at any one time. He has this habit of getting songs stuck in his head and then singing them all day, so that becomes our theme tune.

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