The importance of Knowledge v LinkedIn

16 May, 2016

The importance of Knowledge v LinkedIn

The importance of knowledge, understanding and trust in Legal Recruitment.

Over the past few years, we, as recruiters, have been advised to embrace the power of Linkedin as a tool to both expand our personal networks and to attract and interact with sought after candidates. This, we have been told, has become increasingly important given the dearth of available transactional lawyers who have been in demand recently.

I’m sure it’s the same in other industries too – a way of building business relationships quickly, developing a profile within one’s market faster than would otherwise be the case and then reaping the rewards. That’s the idea anyway.

The proliferation of this idea has led to a variety of Linkedin products available to purchase in order to offer premium services which are supposed to improve the chances of turning effective usage into revenue. The most expensive of these products is specifically aimed at the recruitment industry – Linkedin Recruiter.

Undoubtedly many recruiters (both agency and in-house teams) have made this product work for them and can point to the results. However, it’s the by-product of this increased use which we believe has had a knock on effect in the legal recruitment market and this impact will continue to be felt in the coming years.

Firstly, like anything, a successful recruitment tool can easily become over-relied upon. Attracting top talent, particularly in the ultra-competitive Manchester legal market, has become increasingly challenging. Any new tool which gives one access to new networks and previously untapped candidates is therefore a welcome addition to recruiters both in-house and agency side. However, over reliance on any individual recruiting technique, often leads to overuse.

Candidates regularly tell me they are sick to death of being approached – often indiscriminately –  by recruiters who clearly haven’t researched their skill set – in an impersonal, indiscreet way. Remember very often these approaches appear directly in their work email inboxes! As a result there is increasing evidence that such approaches are actually so off-putting as to be detrimental to the impact of the success of Inmail’s for everyone. Even informed, accurate approaches by knowledgeable legal recruiters go dismissed or unread.

This can create the morally ambiguous position of contingent legal recruiters using Linkedin as an extension of their database, despite often having no prior relationship with the prospective candidate. All of this is very damaging to the industry as a whole. Particularly as it often inhibits the work of recruiters operating properly and consistently, looking to do the best they can by candidates and clients.

So how do we at Think Legal Recruitment combat this? Both for ourselves and the industry we serve. Well we think it’s important, not just to embrace change and new recruitment techniques but also remember our traditional strengths and what allowed us to operate successfully in this market in the first place. Integral to what we believe our success will be in trust. Trust from the people that we work for that we can deliver results. Trust that we will do so in a way consistent with our values; and trust that our deep knowledge of the industry in which we work will deliver real insight and value.

Linkedin is an important tool for any recruiter but it shouldn’t be used as a way to make quick revenue but rather to augment one’s privileged position as a trusted advisor. At Think Legal Recruitment we understand the privilege of working with the clients and candidates with which we are lucky enough to engage. We appreciate that earning the trust of people is crucial to the success and longevity of our business. For a confidential discuss please contact Paul Warburton at paulwarburton@thinklegalrecruitment.com