Articles From the Team

Recruiting partners: a little ingenuity can solve everything

The legal jobs market is as booming as ever.

There’s a constant need for commercial property, data protection and privacy lawyers as well as private client. 

However, candidates aren’t as readily available as law firms and hiring partners would like.

As an example, mid-level property lawyers are in short supply as no one wanted to qualify into property during the recession (or so I’m told; I’m too young to know this first hand), but now we’re over 10 years on, how is there still a dearth of candidates? I wish I had the answer (I’d be very rich!) but I don’t and I recognise we still have many overworked commercial property teams that need some help!

Well, the good news for recruiting partners is there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I can help you fill your jobs with great lawyers, but you have to trust me, and my advice.

So, as the expression goes, how do you make hay while the sun shines? Well, enter a good legal recruitment agency where its consultants ask a great deal of questions of any recruiting partner – to understand and identify the exact skillset of your ideal candidate.

For the right-minded recruitment partner, a legal recruiter can add a lot of value if you take their market advice. Many of the partners I talk to have become less focused on a specific skillset and more inclined to search for:

  • ‘Hard-working’
  • ‘Commercially minded’
  • ‘Forward thinking’
  • ‘Ambitious’
  • ‘Bright’

individuals with basic experience in a certain area who they’re able to train up.

You might like to read: Top tactics for quality shortlisting

The next step

As a recruiting partner, how do you recognise the above qualities in a candidate simply by looking at a CV? Well, this is where you trust the consultants!

It’s assumed that candidates coming from large legal practices are more likely than not to have the requisite qualities, and this is usually the case. Yet, in addition, candidates coming from different and more unusual backgrounds can be a great addition to the team. It’s usually those who have faced adversity in their career who are more determined to succeed. These individuals, despite their background, are usually hard-working, commercially minded, forward thinking, ambitious and bright! The more established the recruitment agency and the more experienced the recruiter, the better they’ll be at spotting the right candidate for each role!

Disclaimer: I appreciate that those roles involving a specific skillset are more black and white and shortlisted candidates will need the necessary experience.

In summary, the point I’m trying to make is that if you have a business critical need within your team, don’t dismiss people simply based on their CV. Trust me, if a reputable legal recruiter takes the time to take a detailed brief from you, they’ll try and stick to it!

Instead of holding out for the square peg to fit the square hole, (if there’s room for flexibility), then instead of your team working 23 out of 24 hours a day, why not have a coffee with a slightly ‘outside of the box’ candidate? You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!


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