Articles From the Team

How to recruit the best candidate for the job

Tell your recruiter what you need! Tell them why you need it and tell everyone why it’s great to be part of your business.

It may sound obvious but you’d be amazed at how many hiring managers do not see the value in talking through their job specification with the very recruiter they want to instruct!

Twice in the last month I have seen law firms miss great candidates, possibly the best candidate for the role, simply because they did not want to spend the time giving the full background to their opportunity.

Often law firms email me with a job description/ overview requesting cv’s. Unless I know the client and background well, i.e. this is something I have worked on & discussed for that client previously, I will immediately pick up the phone and ask for more information. Yet sometimes I am met with a wall of negativity that quite frankly confuses me.

There is a specific vacancy which the firm / hiring manager knows they need to use a recruiter for yet they begrudge giving full details. How on earth do they think that I, or any recruiter, can find anyone, let alone the best person for the job without knowing some basic details? For example; Why the role is available, the details of the caseload, the structure of the team, what sort of personality works well (and why), the interview process and the salary amongst other things.

How can I prioritise that piece of recruitment if I know nothing about it? How can I brief potential candidates about the role? How can I explain to a candidate the benefits of working in their law firm if I know nothing / very little about the role they want to fill?

The simple answer is I can’t and I do explain that to the hiring manager / firm.

No one can and no recruiter worth their salt will prioritise their vacancy. It is simply impossible to do so when you have nothing to work with and even more so when you have other clients who have given you all the necessary information.

I think we’d all agree that attention to detail is a key part of being a good lawyer – do these hiring managers think that candidates wont ask for details? Do they think that candidates should simply want to work for them just because they have a vacancy?

Sadly in some cases I think the answer is yes - I do remember asking one client why a candidate would want to work for them and getting the response “who doesn’t want to work for us?” When I talked around the market and the competitors operating in the same/ similar space and asked how they were different the response was “We’re X Law firm”……and so the conversation went on.

It’s 2016, we are living in the digital age, in an age of accessibility, in an age of candidates wanting to know how working for a firm improves their cv, their career, their prospects, their salary, their work/life balance.

People do not move for a worse job. It’s obvious.

We all know that making a career move is a calculated risk. People make decisions about which job to choose based on the information available to them. They acquire this information through as many sources as they can, the interviews, the internet, their colleagues/ peers and of course their recruitment consultant.

If you don’t position your opportunity in the correct way a candidate will look straight past it to a firm who does. A firm that communicates their structured training, their path to progression, their clear work life balance etc.

In both of the examples I referred to above the law firms missed out on even interviewing the candidates I was working with because although I could have told them there was a role, I could not give them any real information. Both candidates chose to go forward for vacancies where they received a proper brief and could see the benefit of the opportunity.

For more information contact BCL Legal.

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