Why use a recruiter?
I know it’s hard to believe (it took me a while to accept this chain of thought could even exist) but I have reached the conclusion that there are any number of lawyers, partners and HR people in law firms that think legal recruiters are an expensive, unnecessary waste of time.
You have to trust me on this – I genuinely think they do.
I understand that YOU are not one of them. Perhaps you’ve had the joy of working with me or Joe or simply can see beyond the fluff and recognise the value (yes, value) of what we do.
Still, as someone who likes to please everyone, it is often hard to hear when people seek to diminish your relative worth. When all is said and done, I’m not saving the world, fighting for injustice or furthering the best interests of the environment (though our carbon footprint as a business is pretty low and I did recently take on a rescue dog – just saying). We, like so many others, are on the carousel of business trying to make our way in a competitive and tough (Yes, I said tough – cue violins) market.
So what is it that we do that we think adds value and why is it we are considered by many as “salesy wide boys (or girls) out for a quick buck”?
Unfortunately the answer is not that straightforward in as much as, with legal recruitment (as much as it exists within all other forms of recruitment), there are countless “salesy”, “pushy” and fast buck merchants – usually they are fly by nights and within two years have moved on. However the damage they cause along the way further fuels the perception of what it is to be a recruiter.
The mere idea of what I do as being sales makes me vomit. I guess, it is in some way but maybe not the way you think.
Often, what we do or have done to get here is not seen or ever referenced. Do you think we know and understand different cultures and firms and individuals within teams by looking on websites? Do you think we just get a CV, send it on and then charge a fortune? Most fall into the latter camp.
How I wish it were so.
Where I genuinely (you won’t believe I’m about to say this) think we are different is in our approach. Joe and I set up in business around 6 months ago. Both of us had our own reputations in the market (for better or worse) and this has served us well. We have and always will view things long term (unless we go bust in which case it won’t matter and I’ll just return to catwalk modelling for Baby Gap). We always try to focus on our candidates and clients’ needs and not our own. Good recruitment has to be that way. Whilst accepting I am painting a rather heroic picture of ourselves it is, in our view, true (not the hero part obviously).
A good recruiter knows their market. Not just as it stands today but how it was 5 years ago (when the current structure was taking shape) and has a view on where it will go and what it would mean to someone moving now and where it could take them. A good recruiter challenges your thinking – not because they are trying to push you down a certain path but to understand fully what paths you WANT to take and not just the ones you think you want. A good recruiter, like a good lawyer, gives you their view – is it right? Will you fit in? Does it achieve what you want long term? The questions we ask are to get you where you need to be – not just because we are nosey and like to ask questions. Ok, that to.
Being a good recruiter and demonstrating that value is easy (at least for Joe and I) but it requires collaboration – if you listen, we will inform. If you advise, we will listen, absorb and apply to your benefit. The value you get requires investment from you in us.
If you do that then, in the words of Donald Trump “there is going to be so much winning”.