Legal and Compliance Executive Search Blog

Are Recruiters Relevant in the Social Media Age?

Posted by Momentum Search Partners on Fri, Nov 22, 2013
Are Recruiters Relevant in the Social Media Age

With the ease of making connections via social media and job postings reaching more people than ever before, many people ask if a recruiter’s fee remains a beneficial expense. Companies and law firms face mounting cost-containing pressures, and external recruiters are often a cost targeted for reduction. All employers agree that their most valuable resource is its employees and hiring the right – or the wrong – person is a decision critical to the bottom line. So the question becomes whether a recruiter can result in a better hire? Our clients say yes – when certain conditions exist.

Let’s assume a common scenario: you are the hiring authority for a law firm or in-house position. You need a smart, hardworking fourth-year corporate attorney with large law firm training that fits in with challenging personalities. The ad you placed produced 100 unqualified candidates, 20 of whom keep following up with you, leaving voicemails and cluttering up your inbox. Having spent several hundred dollars on advertising and countless hours examining off-point resumes (or worse, meeting people whose personality are not a fit for your culture), you aren't one step closer to hiring and you’ve lost countless billable hours in the process. Can working with a recruiter make your hiring process more efficient and yield better results?

“I frequently engage a recruiter when I have a critical need to fill quickly with a high caliber person. Her network of qualified candidates with specialized knowledge and skills is truly incredible. We recently made a high-level hire in two weeks!” …HR Director of a publicly traded health care company

A recruiter talks to candidates all day, every day, and their network is invaluable. Paying for a recruiter is like paying for a specialized physician…a specialized doctor may see you for just 15 minutes and charge several hundred dollars which might seem excessively high for that single service, but what you’re really paying for is the doctor’s many years of residency, training, experience and cutting edge technology. Similarly, a good recruiter uses the latest technology and spends years developing a network of highly specialized candidates - and those people know other people in their area of expertise, so the recruiter's reach is exponential.

A good legal recruiter will have a host of niche practice attorneys with various levels of academic criteria and experience. A good legal recruiter will know top candidates who are discretely considering new opportunities and who would never respond to an online posting, preferring the extra layer of confidentiality a recruiter provides. A good legal recruiter knows of candidates who are moving, or want to move, into Texas or a specific city such as Austin, Dallas or Houston where top talent is in high demand. These otherwise inaccessible candidates are almost always the very ones employers want to hire.

If the job requires specialized skills, experience, academic criteria, language, or is in a challenging location, a recruiter is instrumental in getting the best people. A good legal recruiter has developed a sophisticated understanding of the legal marketplace and has successfully worked on a multitude of attorney searches and knows where to find highly specialized people. A recruiter can present a job opportunity in a light that you just can’t get from a black and white job post full of words. They can share details and insights and, best of all, testimonials from other employees of the firm or company whom they have previously placed there and persuade a top candidate to apply for the job they otherwise would not even consider.

A good recruiter knows the market. Recruiters know what people are making at similar jobs in similar companies. They have the “big picture” of hiring conditions in various practice areas and can assist a hiring authority in formulating the best offer for competitive fields and make sure the hire is closed.

A good recruiter is invested in the long-term success of both the employer and the job seeker. A good recruiter listens carefully to the needs and wants of both parties, while thoughtfully and carefully screening potential candidates with the right mix of skills, knowledge and personality to help determine if a long-term relationship is in their best, mutual interest. Repeat clients are the biggest source of a good recruiter's business, so it’s in their best interest to make an authentically good match.

“We have used a recruiter with great success on several occasions. The recruiter understood our firm culture and was able to effectively select candidates whom she knew would fit in with our team. Many candidates look great on paper, but personality is critical and in person meetings are very time consuming. Having a recruiter narrow the candidates to only those that have the skills and personality for our firm allowed me to practice law and do my job while securing the best attorney possible.” … Managing Partner of Major Texas law firm.

The Fee. Hiring the wrong person can be expensive to remedy. An effective recruiter increases the chances of hiring the right candidate for the position, and good recruiters provide a money-back guarantee period of varying length that will provide adequate protection to a law firm or corporation.

Topics: law firm hiring, hiring, legal department hiring