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It’s a tough life being a recruitment consultant, but it was no chore to visit our favourite South American restaurant in Birmingham with the recruitment team from one of our favourite client law firms last week. A thoroughly enjoyable meal and some interesting conversation.
We started to discuss the state of the recruitment market for lawyers in Birmingham. A recent article published in the Gazette quoted a couple of Birmingham based recruiters who seemed to be suggesting that their number of instructions had risen by 50% this year for commercial services.
This was pretty startling because BCL Legal have seen a 100% increase in instructions for roles in business services teams in the Midlands, compared to the last 6 months of last year. When compared to January–June 2013 the increase is even greater. Against this backdrop BCL Legal have achieved a 120% increase in fees generated for placing solicitors in business services teams in the Midlands, when compared to the last 6 months of 2013.
We started 2014 as the largest private practice, perm recruitment team in the Midlands and we have continued to grow. By our reckoning we are 3 times the size of our nearest competitor.
So what does this all mean? Why are we so much more successful than the competition? Obviously I can’t reveal all of our trade secrets but I believe the heart of our success lies in the ethos of our operation. Unlike most of our competitors we don’t work to KPI’s (key performance indicators). Our consultants are not targeted on the number of phone calls they make, CVs they send, people they meet, client visits they attend or the amount of time they spend on the phone. KPI’s are an antiquated part of recruitment that has pulled over from the sales world. We believe that by not using them we give our consultants more licence to be consultants – rather than sales people. Our clients never receive CVs from us just because we have to send a certain number in a week. Our candidates never receive calls from us just because we have to talk to a certain number of people in a week.
So what does this mean to our clients and candidates? The reason we are the biggest team is because me make the most money. The reason we make the most money is because we place the most people. Thus if you are a candidate looking for a job you have the best chance of finding what you want by working with us. If you are a law firm looking to hire someone then you have the best chance of finding what you want by working with us.
Our team is structured so that our consultants focus on specific disciplines of law, across the region. This means that they are deeply embedded into their markets. They are, therefore, able to advise both clients and candidates in a consultative fashion, identify things that are really important to both parties and help to ensure the recruitment process is smooth. We are there to advise and assist. We are not there to give things a “hard” sell.
So what has all this got to do with the meal I mentioned in my opening paragraph? The firm in question are one of the leading commercial law firms in Birmingham. They don’t really do high street work, yet the recruitment team receive a number of CVs each week from recruiters who are trying to pitch in solicitors doing family and criminal work! These are recruiters who clearly don’t understand their client. The funny thing is, if they did understand the client there is a way they could pitch in criminal lawyers – but we only know that because we have taken the trouble to find out.
So what does the second half of the year hold for BCL Legal, Birmingham? Yep you guessed it, we have another new consultant joining us next week.