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Across the world on Valentines’ weekend 2015 men, women, couples and singles all ventured to cinemas to see the highly anticipated film adaptation of the best selling novel 50 Shades of Grey. Now I will admit I read the first book because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I will also admit that I didn’t see what the fuss was about. In my humble and personal opinion, it was literary drivel. But my curiosity got the better of me and I also went to see the film. A few hours of my life I’ll never get back and money I could have much more happily spent in the pub. This got me thinking though, why was the book so critically acclaimed? Hundreds of thousands of people read the entire series and found it to be fascinating and fantastic. Whereas others, myself included, just didn’t get the hype. I think it comes down to perception, perhaps even a mild familiarity and empathy with the heroine (I use the term loosely). So, can I write a blog about the secret world of legal recruitment to spur curiosity of those unfamiliar with our practices and generate an interest, perhaps even phenomena? Let’s start with a blog.
I have an academic background in Law and a career history in sales and finance. If you had asked me 2 or 3 years ago whether I would ever have forged a career in legal recruitment I probably wouldn’t have been able to give a sensible answer. Some of this was down to my perception of recruitment as a whole and lacking an understanding of the legal recruitment market, not just in Birmingham but across the country. Of course, having been with BCL Legal specialising in commercial property for over a year now this perception and understanding has changed massively. So how do our candidates and clients see us?
First of all it is important to note that not all recruiters (and more specifically not all legal recruiters) are the same. We work to a simple code of practice and values which allows us to provide the best possible service to our candidates and clients alike. To dispel some myths:
I. We do not send your CV to clients without prior consent.
II. We do not deduct our fee from your offered or starting salary.
III. We do not spend every night in the pub socialising and networking, we do have lives (some of us…)
IV. We’re not your atypical “wolf of wall street” sales people.
V. We genuinely take an interest in what we do and care about our candidates and clients alike.
I feel it’s necessary to dispel these myths because it is easy for candidates and clients alike to consider all legal recruiters in the same breath. With the greatest of respect to my industry colleagues up and down the country, by sticking to our values BCL Legal have grown to become not only one of the largest but one of the most successful and esteemed specialist legal recruitment agencies in the country. Our consultants work to specific disciplines which allows us to become experts within our fields. These are things I didn’t quite understand before I joined BCL Legal in January 2014. In fact, my perception was so wrong that I almost completely failed in my first interview with our Associate Director James Brewster. I came charging into that interview like a candidate seeking a spot on The Apprentice. Who remembers Stuart Baggs “the brand”? I would have given him a run for his money the way I performed during that first meeting, which was almost the complete opposite of what James and BCL were looking for. Luckily I got a second chance.
Without straying too far from the point, the overall moral of this story is about perception. Many of our candidates perceive our clients in a certain way and some of our clients may perceive our candidates in a certain way. I’m here to tell you that there’s a strong chance you’re wrong. More and more within the commercial property market we’re seeing greater flexibility from recruiting partners. Personality plays a huge part in your success at interview and for that to come across you have to go in with an open mind. Perhaps you don’t have the strongest academics or you have only a few months training in commercial property and you’re worried this will hold you back. Don’t! Take a punt, or at the very least speak to me and I’ll guide you through the process. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find in the end. In short I am simply reiterating the old adage that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
If your curiosity has been sparked then give us a call.