With today’s online job boards and social media platforms effortlessly connecting more people than ever before, employers are being asked to decide if a legal recruiter’s fee is a beneficial expense. As companies and law firms face mounting cost-containment pressures, external recruiters are often targeted for reduction.
All employers would no doubt agree that their most important resource is their employees. When a position opens-up, hiring the right or wrong person is a decision that’s critical to any successful enterprise’s bottom line. The “million-dollar” question then becomes whether or not retaining a legal recruiter will result in a better hire. Our clients emphatically say “yes” in situations when certain conditions are met. What follows are the reasons why.
Legal Employers Face these Hiring Challenges
For example, let’s assume that you are the hiring authority for a law firm or in-house position. You need a smart, hardworking fourth-year corporate attorney who’s been trained at a large firm – someone who also fits in well with challenging personalities. The recruitment ad you placed yielded 100 unqualified candidates, 20 of which kept following up with you by leaving rambling voicemails that cluttered your inbox.
After investing hundreds of dollars in advertising and countless hours examining off-point resumes (or worse, interviewing people whose personality does not mesh with your company culture), you are no closer to hiring the right candidate. Even more frustrating is the fact that you’ve lost far too many billable hours during the process. Could working with a good legal headhunter improve hiring efficiency 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 healthcare company
Benefit #1: Application Guidance
Instead of pouring over hundreds of resumes, an external legal recruiter can help you streamline the entire applicant screening and interview process. Knowing how to be a successful legal recruiter starts with the ability to understand the legal marketplace, experience that can only come from working on a multitude of attorney searches and knowing where to find highly specialized talent – qualities that in-house legal recruiters often lack.
An effective recruiter can also present a job opportunity in a creative light that isn’t possible while reading a black and white job post filled with words. To persuade a top candidate to apply for a job they otherwise wouldn’t consider, a headhunter can share details and insights, along with testimonials from other employees at the same firm or company who they’ve already placed there.
Benefit #2: Time Savings
Starting with their applicant-screening capabilities and deep talent pool, an external recruiter can be a real time-saver for your firm or company. Not having to sift through stacks of resumes and sit through pointless interviews will allow you to spend more time practicing law and generating revenue.
Benefit #3: Established Recruiting Network
Paying for a recruiter is like paying for a specialized physician. That specialist may only see you for 15 minutes and charge several hundred dollars – a fee that might seem excessive for that single service. However, what you’re really paying for is the doctor’s many years of education, residency, training, experience, and cutting-edge technology.
Similarly, the job of a good legal recruiter is to combine the latest technology with years spent developing a vast network of highly specialized candidates. Because those contacts know other legal professionals in their area-of-expertise, the recruiter’s reach becomes exponential.
Knowing how to choose a legal recruiter oftentimes boils down to finding one with a host of niche practice attorneys who possess various levels of academic credentials and experience. Effective recruiters also realize that top candidates who are discretely considering career opportunities would never respond to an online posting. That’s because they prefer the added layer of confidentiality that a discrete recruiter will provide.
Benefit #4: Market Expertise and Insights
When it comes to negotiating a competitive compensation package, a good legal headhunter also has a firm grasp on what similar firms and companies are offering equally talented candidates. Because they understand the “big picture” with respect to hiring requirements across various practice areas, a recruiter can help a hiring authority prepare an offer that’s attractive enough to convince a qualified candidate to say “yes.”
Any effective recruiter will also be aware of candidates who are moving, or who want to move, to a state like 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 in demand at prestigious firms and companies.
Bottom line: If the job requires specialized skills, experience, academic criteria, or language, a recruiter can be instrumental is finding you the best people. When hiring in a challenging location like another country, an international legal recruiter can be an invaluable resource.
How to Choose the Best Legal Recruiter
A good legal recruiter listens attentively to the needs and wants of both parties, while discretely, thoughtfully, and carefully screening potential candidates that possess the right mix of skills, knowledge, and personality. This detailed process helps all interested parties determine if a long term, mutually beneficial relationship is in their best interest.
Since repeat clients are the biggest source of any effective recruiter’s business, making an authentically good match is always in their best interest.
“We have used Momentum Search Partners with great success on several occasions. The recruiter understood our firm’s culture and was able to effectively select candidates whom she knew would fit in with our team. Many candidates look good 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
When it comes to paying a recruiter’s fee, hiring the wrong person can be expensive to remedy. An effective headhunter improves your odds for hiring the right candidate at the right time for a given position. Good recruiters also provide your law firm or corporation with adequate protection by providing a money-back guarantee period that varies by length.
At Momentum Search Partners, our team of six legal recruiters has 100+ years of legal recruiting experience in Texas and nationwide. With offices strategically located in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, our fingers are constantly on the pulse of the Texas legal market. For more information about our recruiting services contact us today!