Mark Levine
Mark Levine
Managing Director: In-house

Articles From the Team

Why you should build and continue a relationship with a recruiter for the longevity of your career

I received a call from a senior lawyer/Head of Legal a month or so ago. With some urgency, they wanted to know what Head of Legal roles in the North West were available to them. Having had no contact for 10 years, I needed to ask some questions to ascertain the skills and experience they’d gained over this period.

Question time

Every in-house lawyer gains different experience, and without knowing anything about them and how their role had developed, it was near impossible to suggest options. When we work with our clients, they brief us on a range of skills and characteristics they require, so if I’ve not spoken to someone for 10 years, it’s likely I’ll need to get to know them again!

It’s worth noting that at this point, I’d tried to be in this lawyer’s life but this wasn’t reciprocated. I’ve got no personal issue or hard feelings on this, but from a practical point of view (and in the best interests of our clients and said lawyer) it means I’m left with a severe lack of insight: around role progression, what a prospective legal team might think etc.

Suffice to say this particular lawyer took umbrage to my questioning: it was supposedly disrespectful and not required. We decided not to work together.

Ready to help

In contrast, another Head of Legal called to advise me that after 15 years working for the same employer, due to a company restructure, their role was being made redundant. I still had questions to ask but given I’d recruited for them over the years I’d learned of their developments and how they’d progressed legal within the company. From a standing start I knew a lot more about them, so I was engaged and ready to help. And because they hadn’t been in the recruitment market for such a long time, it was clear there was a great relief in having my support.

As I’ve addressed in other blogs: a job is no longer a job for life. Therefore, over a circa 40-year career, you’ll benefit from a recruiter’s network at some point. I can only suggest that by keeping this in mind and building and continuing a relationship with a recruiter, this will – at some point (or many!) – be of real benefit to you. And quite possibly when you need it most!

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