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As we approach the end of July and the realities of hitting Q3 targets start to loom large, the first 2 quarters of the year are already a distant memory. Might it be that now is the time to reflect on the first half of the year and see what lessons can be learned?
Paralleling many of our law firm clients BCL Legal’s private practice team in Birmingham is going through an extended period of growth. Greater demand from our clients means that we need more recruiters to service requirements. Our market leading position (we already have the biggest team in Birmingham) and the strength of our brand mean that we have unrivalled candidate attraction and therefore we also need to make sure that we have enough consultants to provide a proper consultative service to candidates.
As we continue to set new records for candidates placed, candidates registered, jobs registered and of course billings we are set for another fantastic year.
Growth, however, is not without its pains. As unbelievable as it may seem there are many fewer legal recruitment consultants with 2-4 years’ experience in Birmingham than there are Banking, Corporate or even Real Estate solicitors. Therefore, we have had to think outside the box in terms of our own growth.
The main sources we look at are people who have practiced law, undertaken another form of professional services recruitment or have worked in business 2 business sales. In all of these instances the successful candidates have a lot to learn about recruitment, the legal world or both. We have also recruited some very experienced legal recruiters who have looked to return to the industry following some time out. In this instance, re learning to do the job the “BCL way” can be difficult when someone has significant (and successful experience) doing things another way. However, what we have discovered is that as long as people understand how difficult the process might be, have the right drive and really want to achieve the whole thing works.
Again this parallels many of our clients. Particularly those who are seeking to bolster their teams in Banking, Corporate and Real Estate. It is noticeable that those teams that have shown the most flexible thinking in their recruitment have ultimately been the most successful in their recruitment. It is also noticeable that the teams that have been the most successful in their recruitment have had an easier time retaining already existing staff. Particularly at large firms client demands can mean that fee earners work long enough hours, without it being added to by a staff shortage.
Its amazing how often the commercial litigator that wants to become a commercial property solicitor goes on to become the hardest working, most proactive and most grateful member of the team. Watching people from diverse backgrounds within my own team grow into excellent recruiters has been particularly rewarding.
Growth is not without its pains. Supervising and training new staff can be time consuming and (at times) frustrating. Teams need to adjust to new people, it can be a difficult task ensuring that lines of communication remain good both with clients (who often naturally want to refer to old contacts who are still with the business) and internally.
So the next time we are sat at a briefing about a new position and we are advising a client to consider looking “outside of the box” we really do understand the full ramifications of what this might mean. We’ve been through it ourselves and are still going through it.
Thankfully the vast majority of our journey so far has been overwhelmingly successful and we are on track to deliver our growth and financial targets ahead of schedule. Growth might be painful but it’s also tremendously exciting and rewarding.