Being a Research Consultant in Compass

People – our clients, candidates and employees – are at the heart of what we do. We sat down with one of our Research Consultants in Finland, Hannele Håkansson, to talk about what it has been like working at Compass.


You have been working as a Research Consultant for Compass for 6 years now. How would you sum up your experiences at Compass during this time?

I have liked my task as a Research Consultant, because it makes me stay up to date about what’s happening in the Finnish business world. The assignments we work with come from various industries. I get to challenge myself all the time and constantly learn new things. I value trust, honesty and putting people first both in my own work community as well as with clients. What I think makes Compass stand out, is our culture and team spirit. We are all seen as equals, encourage each other forward and help each other out when needed – no matter the task.  It is also rewarding to work with our clients, some of whom we have been working with for more than 20 years. The length of these relationships speaks for itself about our client satisfaction, professionalism and quality of the work that we do.


What’s your background and what led you to apply to Compass in the first place?

I have over 20 years of experience in ICT from having worked in an international organisation before moving to Compass. During these years I was working in various roles, such as sales, marketing, finance, outsourcing as well as HR. These jobs gave me a comprehensive view into different industries through our clients as well as an excellent opportunity for networking, which I have found vital in my current job at Compass.

Before joining Compass I worked for 4 years as a research consultant for a company specialising in executive searches. I ended up in recruitment almost by accident, someone in my network was searching for a researcher and my previous manager had recommended me for the role. I was familiar with headhunting, executive searches and recruitment, but I wasn’t entirely sure what a research job entailed. With an open mind, I started working in recruitment and worked for another company first before I found my way to Compass. This too, happened almost by accident. I was searching for prospective clients whom we could sell our services from the company I was working for at the time, and stumbled upon Proselectum – the name which the Finnish Compass branch operated under before we joined forces and became a Nordic Group with Sweden, Norway, Denmark & the UK. I noticed Proselectum had a position open for a research consultant, and it seemed interesting for many reasons (one being a shorter commute). I immediately sent my application in and the next day I already found myself at their office in a job interview. Already in the interview I got a feeling that this would be a fun place to work in, it felt like coming home. And here I still am!


What does your day to day life at the office look like?

Every day at the office is different depending on which assignments we’re working with. I keep my eyes and ears open also after I leave work and follow news on business and the economy, research relevant social media and read magazines about the industry. You never know when or where a good client or candidate can pop up.


What’s the best part of the job?

The diversity in the work that we do as well as the people that I get to work with. It’s wonderful to get to partner and work with different types of people and organisations – both existing and new ones. It’s always as exciting to get to know a new client, listen to their needs and help solve their problems by finding the right candidate for the right job. We look at every assignment individually, which is why we constantly have to challenge ourselves and come up with new innovative ways of finding candidates. ICT searches are closest to my heart, since I have a broad range of knowledge and experience from the industry, as well as a good network from having worked 20 years in the industry.


How have you been able to grow within Compass? What have you learnt?

I have learnt to constantly stay alert and keep myself up to date on how people are doing and what’s happening in the business world, also during my time out of the office. I’ve also learnt to continuously develop myself and come up with novel ways of finding candidates. In the recruitment process it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding on the client’s industry, corporate structure and nature of operations. I get a sense of joy every time I can help our clients, companies and candidates to find each other.


What are you most looking forward to in 2020?

Further challenges and assignments, new industries, new encounters with different types of people and exceeding the expectations of our current clients even better than before.

Nine tips for a good LinkedIn profile

Is there really any point in having a LinkedIn-profile? Why should you put in the effort? And what should it say? Spend one day inside a headhunter’s head, and you’ll find that LinkedIn, next to our own networks, is our go-to-platform, our gold mine, and there are few things we appreciate more than a simple, but informative LinkedIn-profile. The easier it is to understand who you are and what experience you have, the quicker you’ll have us on the phone, possibly pitching your dream job. Read on to find nine simple steps to make your profile serve you well: 

  1. Think about what you want to say with your photo. Your beautiful holiday photo from Greece is great for Facebook, but maybe not when introducing yourself to possible employers on LinkedIn. Sunglasses and a drink in hand does not show how hardworking and responsible you really are. Bonus tip: use the header photo to showcase your interests: traveling, hiking, sports etc.
  1. Write your current title and a short description in the field Headline under your profile picture. This makes it easy to find you in the list when we search for people with your kind of experience. An example could be IT Consultant – cloud, implementation, project management.
  1. In the About under your header (if you do not have this field, it can be added by choosing Add profile section under your header picture), make a short sales pitch about yourself. Highlight your best soft and hard skills. This is what people see first. Remember that only the first two lines are visible before you click See more, so start with the most important. This is also where you put keywords that are relevant to your current job, or the new job you hope to get (IT management, cloud orchestration, ERP implementation ).
  1. Make your profile as complete as possible. What a Project Manager within IT does varies. Help us discover you by describing your most important tasks, what computer programs you use, what tools you are comfortable with and which languages you speak (and the level of proficiency). Also, did you know that many companies allow you to apply for positions with your LinkedIn profile? The more complete the profile, the less you need to fill in each time.
  1. Did your boss say something positive about you and your skills, or did you get positive feedback on a project you managed? Put it on there! We can all brag about ourselves, but when someone else does, it makes more impact!
  1. In the Skills & Endorsements section your 1st degree connections can endorse you for your working skills. The fastest way to get someone to endorse you is to ask your trusted connections. The endorsements show those looking at your profile what skills your current and former co-workers perceive as your most prominent ones, but they also give them a look into the variety of your skills. For a recruiter seeing that 29 people have endorsed you for C++ gives an indication that you know what you are doing. They also work as searchable keywords for recruiters searching for potential candidates.
  1. Speaking of feedback: The Recommendations section on your profile allows others to praise you. This is something they do from their profile, but you can also ask for a recommendation, perhaps from a former manager or a good colleague. Be nice and return the favor!
  1. Looking for a job? Many people are on LinkedIn just because it is practical. If you are actively looking for a job, let recruiters know! Go to Account – Settings & Privacy. Under Privacy, choose Job seeking preferences from the left-hand menu. This will take you to a page that allows you to Let recruiters know you’re open to opportunities. Slide the button to Yes, and you will be more visible to us.
  1. The automatically generated URL for your LinkedIn profile typically consists of your name, hyphens and some random letters and numbers. Let recruiters know that you are a LinkedIn pro, and change this to just your name (if this is taken, add some less random numbers, or your location: johnsmithUK). This is done by clicking Edit public profile & URL in the right-hand column on your profile.

Good luck! We are looking forward to seeing your profile the next time we search LinkedIn for potential candidates.

Compass Human Resources – The Nordic Advantage


“It doesn’t matter what we’re doing if we’re not making a difference for other people”. In this interview our partner Søren Krogstrup gives you a look into Compass Human Resources’ values, work methods and our Nordic presence.