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Is Having a PSL An Advantage for Your Law Firm?

  • February 10, 2020

Imagine the scene. Your senior litigator has just announced they are taking early retirement. Consequently, it would help if you got someone in place fast, but you also need to ensure you hire the right candidate with the qualifications, experience and ethos that’s a good fit for your law firm.

It could take several weeks or months before you find a recruitment agency who can offer the right candidate for you. Then there is the contract to negotiate, time to meet and get to know the recruiter and time for them to understand the calibre of candidate you are looking for.

So now, an alternative scenario. You still need a replacement for your senior litigator, fast. But this time a member of your team refers to your Preferred Supplier List (PSL), dials a number and is instantly connected to a recruiter who knows you, your firm, your ethos and what you need.

They may even have someone in the pipeline already who’s ideal for you.

Which scenario do you prefer?

Establishing a PSL will provide benefits for your law firm, and in this article, I’d like to demonstrate how a PSL can add value and ease potentially challenging scenarios like the one above.


Firstly, I’m sure you are aware that looking for the right candidate to fill a legal role can be time-consuming and exhausting. Having a PSL is advantageous in saving you a potentially inordinate amount of time in the whole process.

A good legal recruiter will have network connections, industry knowledge and insider information. This includes information on passive candidates who are not actively looking for roles, as well as details of what and who your competitors are currently looking for to fill positions in their organisation too.

All this knowledge will speed up the entire process and remove any stress from your law firm.

Your PSL will provide you with a list of pre-approved suppliers who have already committed to an agreed rate and service level, so there will be no need for further lengthy negotiations.

As a result, what might take you weeks or even months to achieve can frequently be actioned in a matter of days.

Reduced Costs

Working with a PSL allows recruiters to build up knowledge of your law firm – your ethos, needs, business goals and staffing requirements – so it’s much simpler to develop stable, knowledgeable and trusting relationships.

This, in turn, means that when you need to find a new Commercial Litigation Solicitor or Employment Partner, the recruiter is best positioned to be able to provide the most suitable candidates, thus lessening recruitment time, and ultimately, cost.

An Efficient Supply Chain

Having a supply chain of trusted recruitment companies enables you to be able to assess what’s working and what isn’t periodically. This ensures you can have total confidence in the efficiency of the process. It allows you to add to existing agreements or create new ones so you can be sure that your law firm is getting the best out of its recruitment agencies.

Additionally, by setting out terms and conditions in advance you can determine the rebate period, candidate ownership period and other points that are important to you, so there won’t be any unexpected surprises when you come to use a particular agency.

Access To Top Recruitment Companies In Your Sector

A PSL will ensure you have the top legal recruiters to hand, enjoying the benefits of working with industry professionals who can quickly access their network to find the ideal employees for you.

Specialist recruiters are skilled at placing the right candidate with the right client and are guaranteed to provide exceptional service, whenever you need it.

Understanding Partnerships

Your specialist legal recruiters will focus on your requirements, as the client, to fully understand your values. Good recruiters often share principles with their clients too, making for even stronger partnerships and depth of comprehension of your firm’s needs.

This will enable them to match candidates to your vacant roles, assessing not only qualifications but a good culture fit with aspirations that reflect your firm’s goals, to ensure you get a candidate with the right attitude as well as aptitude.

Trusted Suppliers

For the recruitment company, it’s in their interest to be selective when appraising potential candidates; the calibre of individual they send forward for an interview is a measurement of their professionalism and ability. Their reputation lies in the success of their recommendations.

They will, therefore, ensure they choose those individuals whom they believe will be ideal for your law firm. You can be sure that they will want to make sure they get it right: first time.

Consequently, you can be sure that any candidates progressing to interview will be a good fit for your legal team.

Next Steps

In a candidate-led legal marketplace which is currently suffering a skills shortage, maintaining a good PSL can position you well ahead of the pack when it comes to recruiting the right talent to your law firm.

Are you considering establishing a PSL in your law firm? Clayton Legal offer specialist advice on develop your legal team and maximising your firm’s potential. Call one of the Clayton Legal team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options.

About Clayton Legal

Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability. We have made over 5,000 placements from Partners to Legal Executives, Solicitors to Paralegals and Legal IT personnel to Practice Managers.

If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to know more about recruiting trends in the legal sector this year, download our latest guide here.

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