Find a Job >


A blog with tips and insights into the practice of law

Why use recruiters?

Why use recruiters?

A candidate asked me recently why they should use a recruiter rather than apply direct for roles.

After careful reflection, I surmised that there were a number of reasons why he should do so.

In no particular order, they were as follows:

query_posts( array ( 'category_name' => 'my-category-slug' ) );

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.

Notwithstanding the above reasons, sometimes candidates should perhaps not use a recruiter – for example, some firms will actively not use recruiters to avoid paying their fees (though these are few and far between and are usually the very small firms). Another occasion when candidates should consider going direct (and good recruiters will advise their candidates when to do so) will be when firms are looking to fill really junior roles for which they do not wish to pay a fee.

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.