Articles From the Team

The Job search: what do lawyers really care about?

The recruitment market is more competitive each and every day. Lack of investment in commercial/ corporate lawyers between 2009 and 2014 by the law firms means that the knock on effect is the ‘product’ is in short supply. This is the biggest issue affecting recruiting clients – whether that is a law firm or industry client.

On top of this, and something that is always prevalent is that I would suggest over 95% of the lawyers that I assist don’t hate their job. In fact most are relatively happy. So why do they contact me? In the main it falls in to 3 main categories: i) they are looking for advancement in their career – a bigger role/ more responsibility; ii) the hope of greater pay and iii) a flexible working pattern is more and more on a lawyers wish list.

Every person that I deal with has a slightly different motivation when it comes to moving jobs – it is my role to understand them and sometimes even help the job seeker work it out for themselves. It is actually a part of the role of being a recruiter that I enjoy the most. In my next career I will be a psychologist!

In a recruitment campaign what is often hard to explain to clients is that although on paper their role looks great the sum of the parts may not add up for the interested parties.

Let me explain. I was working a year or so ago with one of the countries biggest brands. The role they had was for a senior lawyer, to report into the GC. There were many positives to the role but each of the 4 lawyers that they wanted to meet all had some concerns that they needed convincing about. This ranged from the salary on offer, the true seniority of the role – there was no management responsibility, scope of the role and possible advancement.

When I tried to explain these points to the HR contact the question they posed to me was: “Why did you send me these candidates if they are not interested in the role?” My answer was they were interested in a move but the opportunity had to be right. All were working in other big companies with equally strong brands and therefore just because they are a great brand this is not the only consideration for these lawyers. The end result was a person was found where the match was right – for both parties.

So back to the original question – what do lawyers care about? There is no one answer as everyone that we deal with is truly unique with differing push and pull factors affecting their job hunt. Our role is to understand them and assist our clients in making a placement that lasts for a decent amount of time. Thankfully something that happens the majority of the time!

For more information contact Mark Levine at BCL Legal.


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