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A blog with tips and insights into the practice of law

Why use recruiters?

Candidates often ask why they should use a recruiter rather than apply for roles directly.

When you become familiar with the myriad of obstacles one faces in the recruitment process, the answer becomes clear.
Firstly, the odds of being placed in a fantastic, rewarding and career-defining role are much higher when using a professional organization that recruits for your industry, on a daily basis.
Alternatively, you can brave the job market on your own and attempt to find that needle in the ever-expanding haystack. And if you are lucky enough to find that perfect role advertised by the firm directly, be aware that the firm is most likely using a recruitment agency in addition to their own HR team.

You will also need to have an in-depth insight into the culture of the firm and the intricate social and personal competencies required for the role advertised, despite many of them not being listed on the ad. These sometimes political and perhaps “non PC” requirements are usually unofficially disclosed to the recruitment consultant enlisted for the role eg team is full of introverts- need an extrovert, team is very male heavy- would prefer a female, work is tedious or dull and repetitive, clients in this practice group are difficult etc etc.

You can make hundreds of applications to firms directly and still not receive the slightest piece of feedback indicating why your application was not progressed – aside from the traditional, non-specific, computer-generated rejection email –‘having received applications from a very strong candidate group unfortunately we haven’t been able to shortlist you on this occasion.’
In this merciless pursuit of employment, you will also have to manage your expectations. You will have to cross reference the salary you are seeking, with the experience you have and compare it to the current market rate. Results may surprise you, and having no knowledge of your market ‘worth’ can lead to some embarrassing salary discussions.

So why not enlist the services of a recruitment consultant to do all the hard work for you, for free?

Listed below are some of the benefits you can expect when engaging with a recruitment agency such as Naiman Clarke:

1. Advice and expertise

Recruiters are consultants for a reason – they are there for candidates to consult with on a number of issues – be it CV advice, career advice or information on salaries. Remember, recruiters will have their finger on the pulse in terms of what firms are paying by virtue of what offers their other candidates have received from various firms. Recruiters aim to build lasting relationships with both candidates and clients and are therefore there to help.

They are also there to give impartial and unbiased advice on the culture of firms and personalities of partners in those firms to help candidates assess which firms will be a good fit for them.

Another advantage is that recruiters often have the ear of the decision makers and may be able to influence decisions since good recruiters will have a degree of credibility and be considered experts in this field. In addition, firms look to recruiters to do the leg work for them when it comes to screening applicants for roles, so as to avoid wading through 90 CV’s to draw up a short list of 3. All of this advice and expertise is free.

2. Non-existent jobs/connections

Any agency worth its salt will have excellent relationships with its clients which will enable them to get the first ‘scoop’ on roles that are either yet to be advertised or that will not be advertised at all (for various reasons). Clients will often brief trusted recruiters in roles before they have final sign-off internally or before they themselves advertise them (if they even intend to do so). Sometimes, these roles are filled by trusted recruiters before the firm has a chance to advertise them.

3. Confidentiality

Candidates often ask me whether their current employer/partner will find out if they are looking, because if they do, the results can sometimes be disastrous. This can be a real concern for candidates. There is far less risk of this happening if they use a recruiter who has extensive relationships with clients and appropriate processes to prevent a breach. Recruiters have a contractual relationship with their clients and will make sure a CV is sent to the right person in the relevant firm to ensure the correct protocol is followed.

4. Convenience

Who has the time to look for a new job themself when they are working? As an ex-lawyer, I know I certainly didn’t have the time to actively look for a new job when I had made the decision to either find out what jobs were about or to actually make a move. I used a recruitment consultant for every move I made in my legal career. Some candidates do not seem to realise how time-consuming finding a new job can be.

Hopefully you will see that for the reasons set out above, it really does pay to use a recruiter, as the positives outweigh the negatives considerably.