As recruiters and counselors to attorneys at all levels in an ever-changing legal industry, we strive to provide objective and straightforward advice so that attorneys feel well-equipped to make strategic decisions regarding their career advancement.

How Do I Choose the Right Recruiter?

How Do I Choose the Right Recruiter?

By Nicole E. Spira, Esq.
Partner
t. 212.897.0993
nicole.spira@sjlsearch.com
website bio

As a formerly practicing litigator in a thriving legal market, I remember all too well the days when I would receive upwards of three calls a day from legal recruiters. I know how difficult it can be to differentiate one recruiter from another. It took me many years to make the leap into the world of recruiting in part because of my skepticism about the industry and recruiters in general. Part of this skepticism was borne from a negative experience that I had with a legal recruiter during my first foray into the lateral market as a 4th year associate. Thankfully, this experience did not permanently sully my impression of the industry, and when I initiated a job search, I became educated about the differing philosophies and personalities within the legal recruiting community. Below I offer a few recommendations that you will hopefully consider as you contemplate a lateral move and choose the right recruiter for you.

The Cold Call…
Many associates disregard cold calls until the actual moment they seek to make a move. This can (and I’ve seen, unfortunately, sometimes does) lead to trouble. Who you choose to guide you through the lateral process, by providing constructive professional advice and potentially representing you in the market, is a decision that should be given thought and care. Not all recruiters are created equal. The reputation that an individual recruiter has, as well as the reputation of his or her company, can impact your process. Recruiters subscribe to different ethical standards and have different relationships with clients (read: recruiters can have a positive or negative influence). It’s worthwhile, if at all possible, to start building relationships with recruiters before the moment you have one foot out the door. When you receive a cold call, rather than instantly cutting the recruiter off (I’m sure I was guilty of this on occasion), when time permits, consider taking a few minutes to get a sense of who’s on the other end of the phone. Are they calling you with the “perfect” opportunity even if you’ve never spoken to them before? Do they seem interested in wanting to know about your background and what your goals and interests may be? Have they asked if you would like to meet in person or are they asking you to forward your resume without putting a face to a name? Are they a formerly practicing attorney? I often send my bio to associates, so they can get a sense of my background and experience. Although I realize how difficult it is to make time to meet a recruiter in addition to work and personal obligations, I cannot underscore enough how meaningful this meeting can be. Hopefully, if you have a productive meeting, you will have the necessary information to decide whether you want this person to be your ambassador in the lateral market.

What to Expect…
A good recruiter provides an invaluable service – helping to navigate the market and providing access to opportunities based on his or her relationship with clients, revising your resume/deal sheet, preparing you for interviews, acting as a strategic advisor with regard to your career (i.e. actualizing your goals) and helping you to weigh offers, among other things. A thoughtful job search requires a substantial time commitment and, hopefully, the process is one that you can view as exciting, as opposed to daunting! It’s the recruiter’s job to understand the market and, to not only know what opportunities might be available, but to help you ascertain which opportunities might make sense for you. A meaningful relationship with a recruiter is truly a partnership and one where the right recruiter will be an essential advisor and career counselor to you throughout your lateral process and beyond.

How Do I Manage My Career During the 4th Quarter?

How Do I Manage My Career During the 4th Quarter?

What Questions Should I Be Asking Myself Before Lateraling to Another Firm?

What Questions Should I Be Asking Myself Before Lateraling to Another Firm?