BCL Legal Recruitment
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Working hard ‘behind the scenes’

My father-in-law is a printer. He recently told me that 7,000 small printers have closed down since the recession. In part this is down to businesses moving their work on-line. Thank goodness for him he still has a busy practice due to the bespoke work he carries out. However, he mentioned one client that queried the last 3 invoices that he sent out. Each time the finance team called him to say that they had found a cheaper quote on-line. Although on the face of it a simple job my father-in-law was able to forward to the finance team 18(!!) emails back and forth from the contact that had instructed him with the work. On-line v bespoke service was not a fair comparison. The client agreed and stopped querying his invoices!

I am sure every successful business person is working hard ‘behind the scenes’ to make sure they do a good job for their clients. Everyone also knows that client’s don’t really want to hear the ins and outs of it all – they ultimately care about a positive end result. This can be especially true in recruitment. As the old adage goes, “there’s nowt as queer as folk” and at a highly sensitive time like moving jobs this can be even more acute – and when you are sat in the middle, between recruiting client and interviewing candidate, there is lots that a recruiter has to do behind the scenes to assist with that positive end result… My top five are:

1. Find the appropriate candidates! Easier said than done in a buoyant market (and that is before considering difficult to source locations or skill sets).
2. Not waste client’s time at interview: Nearly any individual can review a job description and ‘match’ skills on a CV to a job, however more often than not, it is personality that counts. Clients are looking for us to deliver candidates that match both skills and personality fit. The last thing they want is to have to spend the ‘required’ 45 minutes with a person that they will never gel with.
3. Sort out the miss-communication! It amazes me on a day to day basis that when talking to my wife about simple things I often miss-hear what she says to me! Not because I am not listening… It is just what happens when there is a lot of information flying about and noise from our children. The outcome isn’t ideal but luckily we get a second chance to sort it out or speak again when the coast is quieter. When taking interview feedback it is sometimes as if the interviewer and interviewee were in different meetings! Our role is to try and dissipate the noise and make sure the key elements of the interview are understood by both parties. Many a time, post 1st interview a client and candidate if left to their own devices will hit a brick wall, but with a helping hand are steered to a 2nd interview and positive outcome!
4. Managing Expectations. Most individuals that we are assisting in looking for a new job would site salary/ package as a motivating factor. Some more than others if perhaps they feel underpaid currently or if they are ready for a step up in role. With a buoyant recruitment market this is multiplied in the belief that some client will pay them what they want?!? At the same time clients either have a budget in mind for the role or perceive that a 5-10% increase on salary is acceptable. Whatever the situation we are constantly speaking to both parties to make sure that at the end of the process when everyone is on a high, salary discussions do not bring both sides down to earth with a bump!
5. What else is going on? In the client’s ‘world’ and the candidates. On the client side it might be bad press, redundancies in other areas, market conditions, slow moving recruitment processes, changes to the team etc etc. For the candidate it might be other recruitment processes, positive/ negative changes at work, changes to personal life. The list goes on! Our role is to know what is going on and the knock on effect that this may have to the recruitment process.

I could go on… but need to get back to some ‘behind the scenes’ work!

Mark Levine and the in-house legal recruitment team at BCL Legal have assisted more than 850 lawyers with in-house moves into many of the UK’s leading companies.

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