What is it like working with a recruiter? What actually happens?

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gaddockteeg

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What is it like working with a recruiter? What actually happens?

Postby gaddockteeg » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:14 am

I've been getting a lot of recruiter calls and emails - none of which I've ever responded because I like my firm. However, someone just messaged me about a vague opportunity that sounds interesting (supposedly a peer firm, hometown location, extra opportunity, whatever). If I arrange a time to take to take the call - what happens next?

I'm afraid of horror stories where recruiter submits my application for me or soemthing without telling me. Also, I like my firm a lot and theres a strong chance I won't even like the opportunity once recrutier names the firm (Does the recruiter even name the firm?).

I am a junior associate at V30.

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nealric

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Re: What is it like working with a recruiter? What actually happens?

Postby nealric » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:35 am

Recruiters are all over the map in terms of competence. If they get a bite, they will schedule a time to talk about your practice to decide whether they want to push your resume. Keep in mind that while the opportunity they are talking to you about may be real, they really just want another candidate to push.

With a little leg work, you could probably figure out which firm is hunting on your own. If it's from your home town, you may know someone there, and could apply independently of recruiters. All things being equal, most firms would prefer a non-recruiter represented candidate. It's very costly to get candidates through recruiters.

gaddockteeg

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Re: What is it like working with a recruiter? What actually happens?

Postby gaddockteeg » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:38 am

nealric wrote:Recruiters are all over the map in terms of competence. If they get a bite, they will schedule a time to talk about your practice to decide whether they want to push your resume. Keep in mind that while the opportunity they are talking to you about may be real, they really just want another candidate to push.

With a little leg work, you could probably figure out which firm is hunting on your own. If it's from your home town, you may know someone there, and could apply independently of recruiters. All things being equal, most firms would prefer a non-recruiter represented candidate. It's very costly to get candidates through recruiters.


Applying on my own was my thought too. How do recruiters keep this from happening? Do they just not tell you which firm it is until they ahve your resume?

What the f.supp?

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Re: What is it like working with a recruiter? What actually happens?

Postby What the f.supp? » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:26 am

This is probably way more than you're asking for, but here goes. I've never personally used a recruiter, but my wife and several good friends have, so I know a fair amount about how the game is played.

The recruiter will tell you about the firm (a "pitch" really) and ask whether you're interested in applying. If interested, you send resume and LS transcript to the recruiter, they submit it to the firm, and then you hear back from the recruiter (could be days to weeks) on whether the firm wants to interview you. You'll set up interview times and logistics through the recruiter. Dings occur through the recruiter, offers usually from the firm directly.

I've heard those horror stories as well, but the good/reputable recruiters would never do such a thing as it would torpedo their reputation. Doesn't hurt to note when emailing your materials that they are only to be submitted to X firm. Yes, the recruiter tells you the name of firm (you'd want to know where you're applying, right?)

I need to get back to work (feel free to PM if you have more questions), but a couple random tips follow.

(1) Ask about the recruiter's recent placements and to which firms. Is he dealing with peer firms? If they refuse to tell you (citing confidentiality or some other BS), red flag.
(2) If the recruiter is pushy with you applying ("you have nothing to lose!"), red flag.
(3) Don't agree to be exclusive with the recruiter in any way. For example, if recruiter asks you to promise to go through him if you eventually decide to pursue the firm he's calling about (so that they get the referral fee), red flag. Don't agree. You might receive a call from a different recruiter with a better connection to the firm and recruiter #1 may get all apoplectic if you get placed through recruiter #2. There is a pending lawsuit on this very issue where the recruiter is suing the candidate in his individual capacity for breaking this promise during a surreptitiously recorded telephone call.
(4) Check out the "Career" pages of the good firms' websites in your hometown. The listing you're hearing about may be there. Others may disagree with the following, but I think if you have both decent credentials (V30) and a solid connection to the location (hell, it's your hometown) then you may fare quite well just applying on your own. Any alumni from your LS working there (even in a different office)? I'm sure they'd love to pass along your resume and get that $$ (of course they couldn't vouch for your skills, but it would guarantee that you are considered). Plus firms like hiring based on internal referrals and avoiding those huge recruiter fees.

Hope this is helpful and best of luck.

Sgtpeppernyc

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Re: What is it like working with a recruiter? What actually happens?

Postby Sgtpeppernyc » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:55 pm

What the f.supp? wrote:(2) If the recruiter is pushy with you applying ("you have nothing to lose!"), red flag.


Came here to make this point. Not necessarily a "don't work with this person," but be very mindful of the recruiter's incentives, as they are extraordinarily one-sided. I worked with a NY-area IP / media recruiter who is effective but extremely pushy, and here are some of the lines I got:

- Our incentives are perfectly aligned (no, they aren't).
- Take this job. Even if it's not your ideal position, you can always work your way into the group you want (no, you usually can't).
- They like people who accept on the spot. You should absolutely be ready to say yes once they give you an offer (don't ever do this).
- Basically anything else that plays down your current job and plays up the job he/she is placing you in.

Ultimately got the job that I wanted, but wished I was better at calling out my recruiter's bullshit.

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nealric

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Re: What is it like working with a recruiter? What actually happens?

Postby nealric » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:02 pm

gaddockteeg wrote:
nealric wrote:Recruiters are all over the map in terms of competence. If they get a bite, they will schedule a time to talk about your practice to decide whether they want to push your resume. Keep in mind that while the opportunity they are talking to you about may be real, they really just want another candidate to push.

With a little leg work, you could probably figure out which firm is hunting on your own. If it's from your home town, you may know someone there, and could apply independently of recruiters. All things being equal, most firms would prefer a non-recruiter represented candidate. It's very costly to get candidates through recruiters.


Applying on my own was my thought too. How do recruiters keep this from happening? Do they just not tell you which firm it is until they ahve your resume?


A lot of recruiters are literally just trolling firm websites for openings. They often have no relationship with the firm. I have had recruiters identify firms specifically before they had my resume- it's up to them how close they hold their cards. Even when they don't, they may say "500 attorney [city] based firm with offices in XYZ. There's often only 1-2 firms in a given city that fit that description if you know the market.

In any event, if you aren't talking about NYC, there are only going to be so many firms that practice in your specialty. A few informational interviews can usually tell you more than any recruiter can.

gregfootball2001

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Re: What is it like working with a recruiter? What actually happens?

Postby gregfootball2001 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:29 pm

A bit of a tangent, but from someone with no knowledge of the process - once the recruiter has told you the name of the firm, what's to stop you applying there on your own? Why would anyone stay with the recruiter, especially if you know that the recruiter will cost the firm $$$?

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nealric

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Re: What is it like working with a recruiter? What actually happens?

Postby nealric » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:37 pm

gregfootball2001 wrote:A bit of a tangent, but from someone with no knowledge of the process - once the recruiter has told you the name of the firm, what's to stop you applying there on your own? Why would anyone stay with the recruiter, especially if you know that the recruiter will cost the firm $$$?


The recruiter reduces leg work. If you just submit your resume, it will go into a black hole. Someone has to bring your resume to a decision maker. The best person to do that is another partner, or failing that, an associate. But if you know literally nobody at the firm (and don't know anybody who knows someone) the recruiter can fill that role.

The bottom line is that firms don't want to even look at someone who hasn't been pre-screened in some manner. Another partner who knows the candidate personally is the best, because they can vouch that the candidate is a nice, normal person who has the basic qualifications. But, a firm may trust certain recruiters to perform that task- they just prefer not to because it's expensive.

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Re: What is it like working with a recruiter? What actually happens?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:40 pm

Another thing about recruiters is that once a recruiter submits your resume to a particular firm, you can't independently apply to that firm for a different position for a year. I'm not sure if this applies to the same firm in a different regions. The reverse is true also: I've worked with a few recruiters (had them submit my materials to firms) and they wouldn't touch a firm that I had independently submitted to within the year.

Most recruiters from big name companies (i.e. Parker + Lynch, etc) are very up front with you about the process. If you're not an exceptional candidate for a pariticular position, a good recruiter will tell you that you'd have better luck applying on your own because the recruiter fee may hurt your application. I've had a few tell me this.

What the f.supp?

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Re: What is it like working with a recruiter? What actually happens?

Postby What the f.supp? » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:40 pm

gregfootball2001 wrote:A bit of a tangent, but from someone with no knowledge of the process - once the recruiter has told you the name of the firm, what's to stop you applying there on your own? Why would anyone stay with the recruiter, especially if you know that the recruiter will cost the firm $$$?


Nothing is stopping you. Recruiters generally don't get paid for a placement unless they introduce the candidate to the firm (usually by submitting resume). Recruiters can be beneficial (for the reasons nealric mentioned) but if you already have a connection at the firm, that is almost always the best way to proceed.

Sgtpeppernyc

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Re: What is it like working with a recruiter? What actually happens?

Postby Sgtpeppernyc » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:08 pm

Plus if you know an associate at the firm, and the associate is willing to vouch for you, the associate may be eligible for a $5,000 - $10,000 bonus, making all parties involved happier.



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