Does your current recruiter really ‘get’ what you need?

We love recruitment. No really, we actually do. It’s one of the few professions where the work we do can make a real difference to the lives of the people we help to place as well as those we place them with.

But finding the right people for the right roles isn’t easy for many law firms – a problem often exacerbated by a lack of real understanding among some recruitment firms about the requirements of the roles they are being asked to find.

While we will concede that the above statement could perhaps be perceived as a slur against our recruitment brethren, that is not our intention. However, few would dispute that a recruiter who has had a 20-year career as a lawyer will have a greater in-depth understanding of life as a lawyer than a recruiter who hasn’t.

Of course that is not to suggest that recruiters without previous experience of working in legal practice are less qualified to do a great job by their client, because that isn’t the case.

But when you combine the experience of working as lawyers-cum-hiring managers with several years’ as recruiters then you are pretty much assured to be getting a team of ‘specialists’ in the true sense of the word.

At a time when competition between law firms is at an all-time high and the pool of available talent is getting smaller and smaller, it is no wonder that hiring managers are increasingly turning to specialist recruiters to help them fill their most important roles.

Aside from having first hand experience of working in practice, here are five other key reasons why partnering with a specialist legal recruiter simply makes good business sense:

  1. Honesty assessment

A number of law firms ‘have an idea’ of what they think they need, but not always what they really need. Specialist recruiters with prior experience working in legal practice have an understanding of the real job needs as well as the needs of the hiring manager. By not over-relying on the skills, experiences and compensation to filter potential candidates, they are able to identify those with the highest potential who can hit the ground running once in post.

  1. Strong networks

You probably expected to see this one here, but it is true nonetheless. Think about it like this: if you have spent the best part of your career working and networking within a specific sector, you would be right to assume that you will have amassed a strong network of contacts. Now translate into recruitment parlance and that network becomes made up of both passive and active candidates. This gives specialists like us a sourcing and speed advantage that enables us to find the right people for the right roles in the shortest period of time.

  1. More time spent in the market

The job of a specialist such as us is to spend the bulk of our time networking and speaking to those passive candidates. These are the people who are currently in the job market and not on the market for a new role, which makes the best candidates to attract. It also takes more time to ‘sell’ a new career opportunity to them rather than someone who can’t wait to leave their current employer.

  1. The focus is on securing the right placement

All recruiters want their clients to hire the best people, but not all of them go about it in the same way. Because we have worked on the other side of the desk and been responsible for recruiting staff at the law firms we previously worked at, we know that there isn’t a mass of potential candidates queuing up to fill the vacancies you have. We work with fewer but high-quality candidates and we don’t need to present you with dozens of CVs – no more than three or four will be needed to ensure that you get the right person.

  1. Consultative rather than transactional

It is said that your staff are your biggest asset, and it is true. Our role is not just to search and find the right candidates, it is to ensure they understand the culture of your organisation, your expectations of them and what long-term career opportunities are available at your firm. To do this and to do it effectively takes time – time to really get what you and your firm is all about and time to communicate this to potential candidates. But it is an investment that pays dividends, as the person you hire will be more successful in the long run as the offer is based on actual job needs and not just the size of the offer on the table.