Articles From the Team

How to choose a good recruitment agency

BCL Legal is a recruitment agency that specialises in legal recruitment and I head up the team responsible for recruiting and developing our employees.

I’ve just been sent an email from a legal recruitment agency (which will remain nameless) in the south of England.  They’re representing a 6-year PQE solicitor who’s looking to relocate to Manchester. The email isn’t looking for us to represent the candidate on a fee split arrangement – the recruiter is seeing whether BCL Legal would like to employ the said solicitor.  What’s more, the recruiter’s email tells me that “he understands his company has not dealt with Robert Walters before.”  To clarify, we’re not Rob Walters; they are – you guessed it – another recruitment agency.

This provokes a few thoughts and emotions: laughter, incredulity, despair... Above all, it strikes me that this particular recruiter is doing a massive disservice to his candidate. Firstly, he seems completely ignorant of the Manchester market and the difference between a recruitment agency and a law firm. Secondly, he appears to be sending the candidate’s details to places without the candidate’s consent. The former is stupid; the latter is poor practice.

Due diligence pays off

So, Job Seekers, do your due diligence when choosing a recruiter, especially if you’re looking to relocate. To help, here are three questions to ask a recruiter before you register with their recruitment agency:

  1. Do you agree to only send my details to firms that I approve? Will you send me a list of firms for my approval?
  2. Identify the strength of the agency’s relationships with law firms: how many interviews have you had with these firms in the last 12 months?
  3. Some law firms have Preferred Suppliers Lists – ask which PSLs the agency’s on.
Gauge their response.  Are they open or evasive? If they don’t agree with Point One, walk away. Do you believe them on Point Two? It’s an important indicator that they have a relationship and that the firm likes them and the candidates they present. Point Three – again – do you believe them?  If they’re poorly represented on PSLs, firms may not accept your CV via this recruiter.

Why choose our recruitment agency?

At BCL Legal our people are professionals who are trained to do things right.

If you’re a good recruiter with a company mired in bad practice, please get in touch with me on 07341 561 962 or at to discuss how we might help you flourish as a recruitment professional.


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