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Big firm, little firm…get the best from your recruitment provider

22/01/2018
Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick
There’s no doubt that recruitment in the legal profession today is very different than it was a decade or two ago. Firms have had to adapt to new hiring processes - online communities, digital meet-ups and candidate data all play a significant role in today’s recruitment.

And with so many different aspects now to consider, the lure of using a big recruitment agency is appealing; the legwork is done for you, the burden is taken away from your HR department, and in the past it’s proved an effective way to access large pools of available candidates.

Yet all this can come at a cost – aggressive third-party recruiters, increasing placement rates and commission fees, and dealing with recruiters that are only interested in fulfilling their activity quotas pose a potential risk when working with a large recruitment agency.

So, what if using a recruitment giant wasn’t the only option besides taking on the recruiting yourself? What if you could benefit from a more personal touch in the hiring process, enabling you to find and attract unique top legal talent that could really help your firm excel?
Here’s why you don’t have to settle for using the big recruitment firms:

Jobs boards are universal – despite what you may hear, jobs boards are accessible for all, and there’s no reason why you need to rely on the biggest firms to advertise for you. Don’t forget that a cleverly written, engaging job description will help you stand out amongst hundreds of job vacancies advertised in exactly the same way.
You can get the same level of candidate access elsewhere – don’t be fooled into thinking that it is only the biggest agencies that have access to the greatest range of candidates. It’s not simply a case of volume, you need access to quality, talented candidates that are the right fit for your firm – and that means tailoring the hiring process to meet your specific needs.
Smaller firms give the personal touch – smaller recruitment agencies can put in the time, effort and legwork to build relationships over time – both with you the client, and with those all-important candidates. The best specialist agencies will have built up relationships with firms over many years, building trust and reputation as they do.
A credible voice in the legal market is invaluable – specialist agencies will be able to demonstrate detailed knowledge of the legal sector, and you’ll benefit from working with true experts in the field, rather than relying on a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Plus, you can tap into valuable industry help and advice, as and when you need it.
Speed takes priority – this isn’t always the case but big recruitment agencies will often prioritise filling quotas, meeting targets and making commission, over providing you with the service you’re looking for. Time is money as they say…but what if speed over quality costs you more in the long run?
They come at a high price – as well as charging high fees for their services, you might also find costs mount up elsewhere too. Failed hires, in particular, are extremely expensive for legal firms, highlighting the importance of investing wisely from the start to find the right candidate to fit your role.
Sophisticated data analytics aren’t just for the giants – increasingly data analytics are playing a bigger part in recruitment but you don’t have to be using a big recruitment agency in order to access them. Specialist firms will often have a better insight into the data that specifically concerns the legal profession.
Thinking outside the box pays off – if you want to successfully reach out and recruit a range of legal professionals, you need to be thinking outside of the box. Not only are millennials more likely to jump ship, research shows that 90% of professionals are interested in hearing about new job opportunities…so it’s important you don’t overlook passive candidates, in search of only active ones.

Finding the right fit for your firm is more important now than ever before and having the right recruiting process in place – with a focus on the personal touch as well as just ‘filling the role’ – is essential.
Of course, the most effective way to find, access and attract exceptional legal talent is by ensuring you’re working with a recruitment provider that understands your firm and helps you to get the most out of your candidate search. To find out more about what a specialist firm can bring to the table, just get in touch with us here at Clayton