Articles From the Team

The Vital Importance of Face to Face Meetings in Post-Covid Legal Recruitment

There is an ongoing discussion at the moment as to what our “new normal” will look like in a post-Covid-19 economy. The pandemic has forced the people everywhere in to a re-think of previous working habits and methods. If there is one positive thing to come out of all of this, it has been the ability to be ruthless in terms of diary management, and time efficiency. Where previously there were large company-wide presentations and meetings about meetings, we now have a couple of zoom meetings a week, often governed by a 45 minute time limit.

Whilst it will be tempting to conduct all future business using video technology, I am firmly of the belief that there is no substitute for face to face contact. Whilst it has been a necessity to conduct our business online for the last year, as it becomes safe to do so it is imperative that we encourage in person meetings to enable the legal recruitment industry to thrive.

As a legal recruiter and speaking through experience, when it comes to developing trust with a prospective candidate, a face to face meeting is invaluable and online meetings can only get you so far. For the majority of candidates, the role that we place them in will be where they spend the majority of their conscious hours. It is massively important for them to trust me to help aid their search and ultimately, to convince them to make applications to the firms I represent. Likewise, it is necessary that I build a degree of trust with my clients too. Trust is absolutely vital in generating meaningful business relationships, and it is more easily found when meeting face to face.

Non-verbal communication is often the truest indication of a candidate’s motivations. To provide the most consultative service to our candidates, it is absolutely vital to have a proper reflection on what is most important to them. This is equally true on the client side. An email or a job specification is never enough to help us match the most suitable candidate to any given role, and meeting directly with the line manager for any given role will always be there best way to find out what it is they are truly looking for.

Many of our clients specifically ask us if we have met candidates beforehand. It gives them a sense of security in the knowledge that our candidates are a good fit for their team and for their firm. Cultural fit has commonly become the most important thing in any given job search. People want to fit in with the values and personalities of the people and firm they work in. With good legal candidates having multiple options at the application stage, being able to accurately represent a firm’s culture early on is often of paramount importance when it comes to convincing them to apply to your firm.

If you were to speak with business leaders about their most important relationships, I am sure that very few would name people that they have never met. Recruitment is a relationships business. The most important part of my job is having strong relationships with the clients that I represent. Whilst the idea of large networking events currently seems totally foreign, many of my strongest contacts I initially “bumped in to” at an event of some kind.

Whilst the above has specifically been tailored towards legal recruitment, the majority of what I have said applies to most industries. I speak with clients daily about the differences they have noted in the current circumstances. Whilst it seems that collectively, we have done a very good job of adapting to the environment we have found ourselves in, it is vitally important we don’t forget the importance of human contact when it comes to building relationships and getting things done.

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