Articles From the Team

The questions you must ask yourself before you enter into the recruitment process

Commitment is an essential component of job hunting, and whilst this might seem an obvious point to make, it’s important to stress it to anyone entering – or considering entering – the recruitment process.

If you decide to engage with a firm in relation to a particular opportunity, and you put yourself forward for a role via a legal recruiter, it’s integral that you’re serious about moving forward with the application that’s made on your behalf.

It’s a recruiter’s job to fully understand your situation to position your application in the strongest light possible. This gives you the highest chance of securing an interview. Whilst a recruiter acts an intermediary for a lawyer applicant (offer negotiation, delivering thoughts and feedback), and always aims to deliver excellent candidate and client care, they can’t (and certainly don't want to!) mask disinterest or a lack of engagement on your part.

If a firm senses non-committal, it leaves a negative lasting impression. Long-term, bridges are burned. Short-term, everyone's time is wasted.

The questions you need to ask yourself before you consider applying for a job

  1. What are the real reasons for wanting to move on; can having a conversation with my line manager or HR rectify any current issues?
  2. Would I be pleased if I was invited to attend an interview?
  3. Am I committed to booking time off work so that I can go to my interview if it’s during working hours?
  4. Am I happy to stay in close contact with my recruiter throughout the process to update and provide my feedback during the day and out-of-office hours?
  5. If an offer were made, would I really consider it?
  6. Do I know what an attractive offer looks like, and is my recruiter fully aware of my expectations in this respect?
  7. Have I considered the impact a move will have on my family life? Have I discussed this with all of the relevant household decision-makers?
  8. Have I accounted for any additional costs that might be incurred? E.g. Childcare, parking, petrol and/or train ticket costs? Is this reflected in the package I’m seeking?
If you’re unsure regarding any of the above, then now's not the right time to apply for a new position.

It’s interesting to see that in some instances candidates are inclined to go back-and-forth: negotiating on the particulars of an offer, which takes valuable time (i.e. careful consideration to position negotiations in the right way), and in the end, the desired offer is rejected.

Recruiter’s then have to explain (to the client) the reasons why this has transpired; after a candidate’s been offered everything they claimed to be looking for.

My final point is that it’s OK to change your mind but if your circumstances vary at any point throughout your job search, it’s important to notify your recruiter as soon as possible. Why? So we can manage the situation appropriately in order to sustain a positive relationship (with the future in mind).

The advice outlined in this blog is especially true in smaller legal markets; where there are only a finite number of firms. In any case, it’s vital you take heed of the above!

For more information please contact Joanna Leaver at BCL Legal.

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