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Why don’t (sought after) lawyers respond to direct company job adverts?

I have recently assisted an organisation with the recruitment of a senior lawyer into a great business.  Having recruited successfully for this client before I knew the business well.

The initial recruitment strategy was for the client to advertise the vacancy directly themselves. Due to a lack of response, or at least the ‘right’ response I was asked to assist. A few weeks on the role is filled with the lawyer working his notice.

So why don’t the ‘right’ lawyers always respond to direct company adverts:

My top 5 reasons are as follows:

1. Successful lawyers (the ones clients want!!!) are busy people – both in and out of work. Therefore they don’t have time to review the magazines or even on line sites where the advert might be placed.

2. Lawyers don’t like to pre-suppose they are right for a job… They like certainty. Therefore they often like to discuss their suitability before applying for a role. Responding directly to a client advert makes this hard to do.

3. They like to be right. Similar to the point above – they would rather hear from a 3rd party that they might or might not be right for a role as opposed to going through a process and ‘lose out’/ waste their time.

4. In- house lawyers, in particular, build networks and ‘trust’ relationships. In my experience when it comes to job hunting/ career development they use this pre-built network, i.e. ‘Me’ to bring them appropriate opportunities. Having spent time to understand them, their situation and motivations they trust that the companies that I represent and the roles that I highlight to them are worth their consideration and likely application.

5. The final point is that direct company adverts don’t always ‘sell’ the opportunity effectively enough. What a client thinks might be the highlights of a role is often different to what a lawyer is looking for.

Whether you are a lawyer looking to build your network with an in-house legal recruiter or a company looking to recruit a lawyer I hope you will consider myself and BCL Legal as an appropriate partner.

Victoria Moore is an ex- corporate lawyer who has been assisting organisations and lawyers with career solutions since 2008. She has assisted organisation such as Molson Coors, Alliance Boots, Carlsberg, UTC Aerospace with their legal recruitment needs.

For more information she can be contacted on victoriamoore@bcllegal.com or 0121 237 5616.

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