By Barbara Levenson Schweitzer
At some point, you’ve contemplated a job change.
You might be contemplating changing jobs right now. You’re probably wondering how your firm is going to emerge/evolve once life returns to “normal.” Will you be able to continue working from home? Do you even want to continue working from home? If you weren’t happy in your job before the pandemic, working from home probably hasn’t changed that. Zoom has many capabilities; however, magically transforming difficult colleagues into people you enjoy working with is not one of them. Now that the novelty of working in sweats has worn off, it’s time to think about your future. One question that you should be asking is: should I use a legal recruiter for my job search?
During my 31 years as a legal recruiter, I have been asked this question countless times.
What about LinkedIn? What about law firm and company websites? If employers are posting jobs, won’t they look more favorably upon someone who doesn’t have a recruiting fee? Not necessarily.
There are several reasons firms and companies utilize a Legal Recruiter.
Here are the top three:
1. Save Money: The cost of hiring mistakes often exceeds the annual salary of the person hired. Time is money, and employers are willing to pay recruiting fees in order to fill their positions with qualified attorneys as quickly as possible. Our reputation is based on the candidates we submit. A firm wants to spend less time interviewing and more time billing. A good recruiter will facilitate that by sending qualified candidates. Recruiters only get paid when our candidates get hired and there is a guarantee period. If the attorney doesn’t work out within that period of time, the recruiter will need to provide a refund.
2. Save Time: Any time a firm receives a resume, the resume needs to be logged into their system, even those from attorneys whose background is not a fit. For example, if a firm is looking for a midlevel litigator with securities litigation experience who graduated from a top 20 law school, they will receive resumes directly from attorneys who graduated in the bottom of their class from lower tier law schools, or who don’t have any litigation experience. To paraphrase one of my clients, “does this person have any idea who our firm is or what job they are applying for?”
Time is money, and employers are willing to pay recruiting fees in order to fill their positions with qualified attorneys as quickly as possible.
3. Avoid Mistakes: Recruiting is a relationship-based business, and as in all relationships being truthful is the foundation for a lasting relationship. I spend a lot of time getting to know each of my candidates who are seeking new positions, as well as their potential employers. This is the only way to help ensure a good fit, both professionally and culturally. A lot of factors go into the hiring process and it’s a competitive market. A recruiter who really understands the market, and who has long-standing relationships in the legal community, is vital to your success.
Despite the pandemic, attorneys are changing jobs. I have candidates interviewing right now.
Working with a legal recruiter who has a proven track-record is more necessary than ever. You need someone who is your advocate. If you’re an employer, you need someone who can set your team apart from your competitors. You need someone who can enthusiastically let attorneys know that you’re thriving and hiring. If you’re a job seeker, you need someone who can highlight the skills, talents, and qualities that you’ll bring to help and enhance the team. Working from home means a lot of distractions. Zoom interviews require a lot of additional coordination. You need a recruiter who can help keep the process moving forward. Looking for a job is a full-time job. A good legal recruiter helps you find the job that you want, while you’re doing the job that you have.
Barbara Levenson Schweitzer is a Principal with Levenson Schweitzer Attorney Placement. She has been a legal recruiter in California since 1989. Barbara can be reached at: email@example.com.
Barbara Levenson Schweitzer
President, Levenson Schweitzer, Inc.