Working with a recruiter

Getting the most out of a recruitment service

The hiring process is time consuming – often ongoing – and whether you’re a law firm partner, hiring manager or internal recruiter, it can detract from other responsibilities, which has a negative impact on the bottom line. Because of this, it’s commonplace for law firms and legal departments to outsource all or parts of the hiring process to a recruitment agency.

If you’re considering doing so, or you’re working with an agency at the moment, here are some top tips to get the most out of the service.

Do your due diligence

Despite the most obvious due diligence steps, consider the following questions:

  • Should I instruct a generalist or specialist recruiter?
  • Is the agency on any, or many, preferred supplier lists?
  • How does the agency operate? For example, do the consultants work in vertical markets: one discipline and location?
  • Is the agency invested in technology? How up-to-date is the agency’s database? How established is it?
  • Has the agency built strong relationships within the legal community?
  • Does the agency possess local market knowledge?
  • What sort of strategic advice does the agency offer?

Nail your brief/instruction

This doesn’t need to take place prior to the services being provided, and you don’t have to do it alone. A good recruitment agency’s always at hand to consult on matters such as determining selection criteria: skill-set, soft skills, personality type etc.

Allocating time to meet with a recruitment agency in person is the best way to ensure both parties are on the same page.

Be open and transparent

A recruitment agency’s 'inside-out' understanding of your law firm or company is crucial to quality service.

You know your firm or business more than a recruitment consultancy ever will, but by being open and transparent and sharing as much about its history, structure and culture as possible, enables an agency and recruiter to get under the skin of your business.

Consider instructing on an exclusive basis

Most recruitment agencies will accommodate your requirements when it comes to fee arrangements.

The benefit of working with an agency on an exclusive basis is you're essentially handing sole responsibility over. In doing so, a recruitment consultant takes full ownership when it comes to sourcing and securing the best talent for your role.

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