By Jennifer Muller, Esq.
In the post below, Jennifer Muller, an attorney and an expererienced legal recruiter, offers seven helpful pointers for candidates in choosing a legal recruiter:
• Choose a recruiter who is an expert in the legal industry and informed about legal hiring trends. In the legal profession, there are thousands of law firms and hundreds of specific practice areas. A knowledgeable recruiter will be well versed in which practice areas are booming and currently hiring and which ones may be struggling to stay busy. Recruiters should understand what differentiates clients; for example, Am Law 100 firms, regional firms, boutiques, and corporate legal departments.
• Choose a recruiter who has prior legal work experience. A recruiter that is a former attorney will be a more credible advocate and make a candidate’s search more efficient. Recruiters who understand the difference between law firms, companies and practice areas, and who may have personally gone through law school On Campus Interviewing, clerkship applications, and secondements can better match a candidate’s needs because he or she can empathize with a candidate’s experience, be resourceful, and be efficient.
• Choose a recruiter who is a consultant and mentor, not a salesperson who is simply engaging in a numbers game. A recruiter should be able to provide advice on how to progress a candidate’s career in the direction that particular candidate would like to go. A good recruiter gets to know a candidate’s needs, asked detailed questions, and listens carefully. A candidate should feel comfortable asking the recruiter questions about how to advance his or her career, and the recruiter should be able to answer them well. A good recruiter should also take the time to provide resume and interview tips, where needed.
• Choose a recruiter who is a strong negotiator. A recruiter should be the candidate’s advocate and promote his or her unique qualifications and experience to the client. Additionally, once a candidate receives a job offer, a good recruiter will be crucial in landing the salary and terms of an offer. A recruiter should be pro-active and creative, and should not try to place a candidate in just any job, but should match the candidate with a position where he or she will be happy and have the greatest chance at success.
• Choose a recruiter who is reliable and responsive. Legal candidates often work long hours and the recruiters must be able to respond to the candidate’s needs beyond traditional working hours. A recruiter should be organized and respond to inquiries within a short amount of time, as clients fill open positions quickly. Essentially, it is a recruiter’s role to make a candidate’s job search more efficient and effective.
• Choose a recruiter that is trustworthy and ethical. Candidates should conduct diligence on the recruiter’s background to learn about prior work experience or endorsements the recruiter may have on social networking sites such as LinkedIn. A candidate should never feel that his or her reputation is at risk, and so a candidate must make sure that a legal recruiter will keep conversations and correspondence confidential.
• Choose a recruiter who is enthusiastic about his or her job. We all know that the more passionate you are about any given task, the more successful you will be at achieving it. Similarly, the more a recruiter enjoys his or her job, the more motivated that recruiter will be in finding candidates the perfect position.
4 Traits That Separate a Good Recruiter From a Good One, Kevin Wheeler, Mar 22, 2011
4 Traits to Look for in a Great Recruiter, thevetrecruiter.com/blog/employer/
Qualities of a good Recruiter, letznetwork.blogspot.com/2006/07/, Jul 28, 2006
Choosing a Recruiter to Help You in Your Job Search: What’s the difference between a bad recruiter and a good recruiter?, www.impacthiringsolutions.com/careerblog /, Aug 19, 2009
About the Author
Jennifer Muller is a Legal Search Consultant at Lexacount Search, a national boutique recruiting firm. Prior to her career in recruiting, Jennifer worked as a corporate and securities and financial restructuring attorney at an AmLaw100 firm. She also worked in graduate programming and career services at a top law school. Jennifer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-740-0104, extension 104.