A recruiter can be a partner in every aspect of a law firm or company’s hiring plan. An experienced recruiter should have industry knowledge, including local job markets, compensation information and trends. Recruiters often begin their careers in a particular industry, commonly working as paralegals or lawyers before becoming legal recruiters. This previous experience can be invaluable when headhunting, since many of these recruiters are seen as peers and former colleagues.
Recruiters Should Have a Robust Portfolio of Candidates
Where a search firm provides value is by presenting on-point candidates that are not currently in the job market. Many of these professionals are highly sought after and maintain communication with headhunters.
The ability to develop and maintain relationships with these types of candidates is one of the key benefits of working with a search firm. An experienced recruiter should immediately have a pipeline of potential candidates. Resources will include their company’s database, personal & professional connections, referral network, and other industry-related services the company uses. A hiring manager should hear, “I have a few people in mind and will begin making calls to them immediately.”
Review What Kind of Placements a Search Firm Provides
Consider what type of job is your firm or company looking to hire—C-level, Director, Executive Assistant, Paralegal, or all of them. Some search firms only focus on one tier of professionals, e.g. attorneys or administrative staffing. Other search firms have expertise recruiting at all levels, and that may be a better long-term solution for many firms and companies. Search firms can also handle the search completely on their own or offer resources to supplement an internal recruiting department effort.
Questions to Ask a Potential Recruiter or Search Firm
- Industry experience: Professional background of the recruiter(s) and length of time working in the industry. Which recruiter(s) will be assigned to your firm or company?
- Market knowledge: Hot practice areas, business news that impact your industry, compensation, difficulty of search. Does the recruiter have a thorough understanding of the current search market?
- Process: How it works, points of contacts, resume review, interviews. Does the recruiter provide a transparent roadmap to candidate delivery?
- Resources: Ask about the search firm’s passive and active recruiting & headhunting tools. How do they identify and attract candidates, proprietary database, paid subscriptions to industry specific candidate pools?
- Full service: Job description, sourcing & screening candidates, interview coordination and preparation, offer negotiations, post-hire integration of new hires. Does the search firm offer everything you’re looking for?
- Fees, policies and guaranties: Many legal search firms will charge a different fee for attorneys & staff. How long will the search firm guarantee the new hire, and what are the replacement or refund policies?
- Off limits: Search firms should have an off-limits policy. They will not recruit from clients where they have active searches or recent placements. Will this affect the efforts to recruit for your company?
Since most searches are on a contingency fee basis, there is no harm in testing the waters if you believe a search firm may be a good addition to a company’s internal recruiting effort. Contact us if you wish to start your attorney search today.