Are you getting enough out of your agent?

It’s no secret that the legal recruitment industry comprises a very mixed bag of talent. Navigating your way through it can be a complete minefield. There’s the exceptional, the good, the bad and the damn right awful recruiter. The variations in the way recruiters work is similarly diverse. Unlike the legal industry there are no rules, no code of conduct or industry accepted best practise. There is no representative body or council that can hear your complaints. There is no unanimously accepted rankings guide like the Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal or Chambers & Partners. What do all these gaping holes mean for you? At best, it can make the search for a new opportunity unnecessarily slow and messy, which isn’t good for you or your positioning in the market. At worst, it can cause for your credentials to end up in the hands of an overzealous and unwieldy recruiter that spams your details far and wide.

Most of the candidates we work with are referred to us personally; usually by former candidates. We’ve consolidated their experiences of working with other agents into the three most commonly encountered issues to help you navigate your way through your next job search.

  1. Traction: this is seemingly the biggest frustration. Why aren’t they getting more interview requests? What’s happening with their CV? Is their agent aware of all the opportunities available? Maximise the traction your agent makes by ensuring you are contemporaneously updated with each and every approach s/he has made. Make sure you know how the approach was made and to whom. In our experience lack of traction is attributable to three things 1) market conditions, 2) cold approaches, and 3) weak relationships. You can’t do much to influence market conditions. Firms either want to hire or they don’t. Cold approaches and weak relationships will make your search slow, disheartening and unfruitful. If your agent doesn’t have the warm well-established relationships with the people you’re hoping to reach…you’ve no chance. Make sure you’re working with a specialist; someone that knows your practice area and is well versed in recruiting in and out of it.
  2. Contact: insufficient and untimely contact from the agent seems to be the second most common frustration. Everyone these days is time short. Most recruiters can talk the hind legs off a donkey, but they can also go suspiciously quiet when they get too busy with too many jobs to fill and too many candidates to service in multiple practice areas. For those agents working in organisations that are very target driven and KPI led, the reality is you’re just a number that they hope will help them to reach theirs. Your agent should be responding to you within 24 hours if you have an active interview process at play. Competition is fierce and your interviewers are time short. Time is always of the essence. If you don’t have an active interview process in play, it is not unreasonable for you to expect a response to your communications within 48 hours, meanwhile they should be keeping an accurate and detailed list of each and every approach they’ve made on your behalf and the feedback their getting. Effective and timely follows ups by your agent are also critical to your search.
  3. Knowledge: unlike the legal market most recruiters will work in numerous practice sectors from pensions to property, family to fraud. The difficulty candidates so often encounter with this approach is that their agent lacks the market knowledge needed to get a step ahead of the competition and adding value throughout the interview process. Your agent should be up to speed with which teams are winning big instructions, therefore, requiring more hands-on deck. They should have intelligence about team plans, direction and growth as this is how opportunities are created and, they should be able to add significant value when it comes to interview preparation; what should you expect, what questions have they asked candidates in the past; what style do the interviewers adopt? What developments in the market should you be ready to discuss?

Mimoza Fleur was established to minimise the calamity, confusion and complexity that is all too common in the London recruitment sector. Get in touch with us today to discuss, in confidence, your next move and how we will help you to strategise it.

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