What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

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What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:37 pm

I was wondering what role recruiters play vs. hiring partners. Do recruiters have any say, at all, in who gets hired? Or is it entirely up to the hiring partner? Or is it some sort of hybrid/mix?

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rpupkin

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:46 pm

Depends on the firm. At some firms, the recruiter's role is essentially clerical. At other firms, the recruiter's opinion carries some weight.

Also, a "hiring partner" is generally not as powerful as many on TLS seem to believe. At most firms, hiring decisions are made by a committee consisting of several lawyers. The hiring partner runs the hiring committee, but the hiring partner rarely (or never) unilaterally decides who gets hired and who doesn't.
Last edited by rpupkin on Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby iliketurtles123 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:46 pm

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I thought recruiters collect resumes and looks through to see who's qualified, forwards them to partners who chooses who to interview (or the recruiter might do this step as well), then their say is over. Hiring partner/committee (other partners/associates) will decide whether to offer.

At most firms, recruiters are basically the gatekeepers but don't contribute to the final say.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:54 pm

iliketurtles123 wrote:Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I thought recruiters collect resumes and looks through to see who's qualified, forwards them to partners who chooses who to interview (or the recruiter might do this step as well), then their say is over. Hiring partner/committee (other partners/associates) will decide whether to offer.

Like I said, it varies from firm to firm.

Here's a good rule of thumb for applicants: treat everyone you meet as if that person has substantive input into the firm's hiring process. And I mean everyone: associates, recruiters, secretaries, receptionists...everyone.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby v5junior » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:02 pm

Seems like there's a disconnect here between recruiters who work for independent recruiting agencies vs. recruiting personnel who work at a law firm. My guess would be OP is intending to refer to the latter.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:05 pm

v5junior wrote:Seems like there's a disconnect here between recruiters who work for independent recruiting agencies vs. recruiting personnel who work at a law firm. My guess would be OP is intending to refer to the latter.


OP here. Yes, I was referring to the law firm.

The reason I ask is because I hit it off really well with the recruiter, but the hiring partner seemed a bit more stiff. I'm sure that's just her interviewing style, but I was hoping the recruiter would have a strong-ish say.

I'll have to wait and see, I guess.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby Devlin » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
v5junior wrote:Seems like there's a disconnect here between recruiters who work for independent recruiting agencies vs. recruiting personnel who work at a law firm. My guess would be OP is intending to refer to the latter.


OP here. Yes, I was referring to the law firm.

The reason I ask is because I hit it off really well with the recruiter, but the hiring partner seemed a bit more stiff. I'm sure that's just her interviewing style, but I was hoping the recruiter would have a strong-ish say.

I'll have to wait and see, I guess.

The recruiter gets paid to hit it off well with you. As others said, it just depends. Good luck.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby Rlabo » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:36 am

rpupkin wrote:
iliketurtles123 wrote:Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I thought recruiters collect resumes and looks through to see who's qualified, forwards them to partners who chooses who to interview (or the recruiter might do this step as well), then their say is over. Hiring partner/committee (other partners/associates) will decide whether to offer.

Like I said, it varies from firm to firm.

Here's a good rule of thumb for applicants: treat everyone you meet as if that person has substantive input into the firm's hiring process. And I mean everyone: associates, recruiters, secretaries, receptionists...everyone.


Rule of thumb here is an obvious one, but there's a more interesting question: if the above is correct and a recruiter's job is to run a first pass and see who is qualified, would it not always be better to try and get your resume straight to the interviewer, especially if you may not meet a certain threshold?

Easy example would be if you have a relevant background in the position (say you were a real estate broker before going to law school and want to practice transactional real estate work). For a recruiter, they may just see whether your gpa meets a certain threshold, whereas a partner may overlook your C in conlaw given your relevant background and give you an interview. Granted, if were talking cravath et al it makes no difference, but things get more interesting if it's Fox Rothschild for example and then it may be worth going straight to a hiring or department partner.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:51 am

Rlabo wrote:Rule of thumb here is an obvious one, but there's a more interesting question: if the above is correct and a recruiter's job is to run a first pass and see who is qualified, would it not always be better to try and get your resume straight to the interviewer, especially if you may not meet a certain threshold?

The problem is that you don't know who your hypothetical interviewer is (or interviewers are) in advance. Interviewers are selected after the firm has decided to invite you in for interviews.

If you're thinking that you'll just send your resume straight to the hiring partner, the very likely outcome is that the hiring partner will not read it and just forward it onto recruiting. I suppose there's a (very) small chance that the hiring partner would open your resume, read it, and unilaterally decide that you're worth calling in for an interview even though you don't meet some minimum threshold. But there's probably an even better chance that the hiring partner would find the cold contact unprofessional or obnoxious. On balance, you're probably not doing yourself any favors by cold contacting the hiring partner when the firm has a recruiting department.

Here's what I think: if you have a genuine contact at the firm--an attorney who knows you well enough to say something nice about you--then send your resume to them. If you don't have that, you're probably better off just going through the normal channels.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby Rlabo » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:24 am

rpupkin wrote:
Rlabo wrote:Rule of thumb here is an obvious one, but there's a more interesting question: if the above is correct and a recruiter's job is to run a first pass and see who is qualified, would it not always be better to try and get your resume straight to the interviewer, especially if you may not meet a certain threshold?

The problem is that you don't know who your hypothetical interviewer is (or interviewers are) in advance. Interviewers are selected after the firm has decided to invite you in for interviews.

If you're thinking that you'll just send your resume straight to the hiring partner, the very likely outcome is that the hiring partner will not read it and just forward it onto recruiting. I suppose there's a (very) small chance that the hiring partner would open your resume, read it, and unilaterally decide that you're worth calling in for an interview even though you don't meet some minimum threshold. But there's probably an even better chance that the hiring partner would find the cold contact unprofessional or obnoxious. Overall, you're probably not doing yourself any favors by cold contacting the hiring partner when the firm has a recruiting department.

Here's what I think: if you have a genuine contact at the firm--an attorney who knows you well enough to say something nice about you--then send your resume to them. If you don't have that, you're probably better off just going through the normal channels.


So a follow-up would be instead of sending to the general hiring partner, why not send it to the chair of the department in the office you hope to work in?

Fox Rothschild posts a job seeking a junior associate with 2-3 years experience and bar passage for their real estate department in NYC. A 3L at a T1 is looking for a position who has a C in con law from 1L and is otherwise generally a B to B+ student with a background as a broker. I would think that that 3L has much better odds, albeit still slim, by reaching out to the department chair than through recruiting.

Its a question of who's culling and who's picking. To the extent the partner finds it unprofessional/obnoxious, much of this is based on an assumption that the 3L would likely otherwise not make it through a recruiter's first pass (which in this case given the experience/bar passage requirement is fairly certain), so its irrelevant, unless you think said partner is so pissed that he/she goes and tells friends at other firms or something else of the like to hurt applicants chances elsewhere, which seems unlikely. It's also based on an assumption that a partner is more likely to see value that a recruiter may miss because partners are actively working in the field and have a better understanding of what they are looking for and may believe that a C in con law is well outweighed by a B+ in contracts plus relevant experience, while a recruiter may only see a 3.25. These assumptions aren't full proof but they're not that crazy either.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby Rlabo » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:46 am

Just to show this hypothetical is not far fetched:

https://www.gobiglaw.com/jobs/852495-re ... schild-llp

"Fox Rothschild LLP has an opening in the Philadelphia, PA office for an associate in the Real Estate Department. The ideal candidate will have 1 to 3 years of general real estate and/or transactional law experience. Strong academic record and excellent writing skills required. Large law firm experience preferred. Must be licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. EOE. We are currently not accepting resumes from search firms for this position."

If I were a 3L, my contact wouldn't be recruiting. It would be this guy http://www.foxrothschild.com/craig-l-finger/ .

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby Johann » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:32 am

Rlabo wrote:Just to show this hypothetical is not far fetched:

https://www.gobiglaw.com/jobs/852495-re ... schild-llp

"Fox Rothschild LLP has an opening in the Philadelphia, PA office for an associate in the Real Estate Department. The ideal candidate will have 1 to 3 years of general real estate and/or transactional law experience. Strong academic record and excellent writing skills required. Large law firm experience preferred. Must be licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. EOE. We are currently not accepting resumes from search firms for this position."

If I were a 3L, my contact wouldn't be recruiting. It would be this guy http://www.foxrothschild.com/craig-l-finger/ .


partners are busy nad delete 99% of random emails. youd be an idiot not to email recruiting.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:11 am

Rlabo wrote:If I were a 3L, my contact wouldn't be recruiting. It would be this guy http://www.foxrothschild.com/craig-l-finger/ .

That guy isn't your "contact"; he's a busy partner who doesn't want to read unsolicited crap. Partners pay recruiters for a reason.

Also, there's a misimpression that recruiters invariably enforce hard-and-fast standards while partners, in contrast, have the flexibility and willingness to look past those standards. That's not usually how it works. The recruiters know which lines are truly bright, and which lines the firm is willing to blur in certain circumstances. If Mr. Finger will occasionally look past a "C" in con law, the recruiters know that; it's not like the recruiters are dinging otherwise qualified candidates in order to meet a quota or something. Their mission is to find associates whom the partners want to hire.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby Rlabo » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:16 am

Meh agree to disagree, though I will say tactics like that only work because most law students think the way you do and would never reach out directly to the chair of the department, so he's not typically being bombarded by recruitment emails and when he receives one it's not Armageddon. If 3Ls en masse followed the above tactic any edge would be lost. Still though, I don't think you actually believe that the 3L described above actually would have any chance if he applied through recruitment. Decent mass mail numbers are 5-10% at best.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby lymenheimer » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:21 am

Rlabo wrote:Still though, I don't think you actually believe that the 3L described above actually would have any chance if he applied through recruitment. Decent mass mail numbers are 5-10% at best.

Pretty sure it's not considered "mass mail" when you are applying for a position they are actively looking to fill.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby Rlabo » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:30 am

lymenheimer wrote:
Rlabo wrote:Still though, I don't think you actually believe that the 3L described above actually would have any chance if he applied through recruitment. Decent mass mail numbers are 5-10% at best.

Pretty sure it's not considered "mass mail" when you are applying for a position they are actively looking to fill.


When you don't actually have the required qualifications requested? You can call it whatever you like but a recruiter will generally not give you a second look.

Anecdotally, I've actually used the tactic to mixed success so this is not simply a hypothetical thought experiment. Obviously, framing is tremendously important here, but at least from my limited experience, this can be leveraged properly to work in a candidates favor. Do with that what you will.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby nealric » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:54 am

Rlabo wrote:

Fox Rothschild posts a job seeking a junior associate with 2-3 years experience and bar passage for their real estate department in NYC. A 3L at a T1 is looking for a position who has a C in con law from 1L and is otherwise generally a B to B+ student with a background as a broker. I would think that that 3L has much better odds, albeit still slim, by reaching out to the department chair than through recruiting.



I think this is only true of the student in question has some personal connection to the department chair. Most probably won't even look at the application without at least knowing the family of the applicant (if not the applicant personally).

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:51 am

lol @ the idea of hiring partners reading random cold emails. I'm a first year and I don't even open emails unless it's for a deal I'm on. And my email volume is a fraction of a partner's. 99.9% chance they forward to recruiting or delete.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:09 pm

Rlabo wrote:
lymenheimer wrote:
Rlabo wrote:Still though, I don't think you actually believe that the 3L described above actually would have any chance if he applied through recruitment. Decent mass mail numbers are 5-10% at best.

Pretty sure it's not considered "mass mail" when you are applying for a position they are actively looking to fill.


When you don't actually have the required qualifications requested? You can call it whatever you like but a recruiter will generally not give you a second look.

Anecdotally, I've actually used the tactic to mixed success so this is not simply a hypothetical thought experiment. Obviously, framing is tremendously important here, but at least from my limited experience, this can be leveraged properly to work in a candidates favor. Do with that what you will.

Even if the partner reads your application, this will only, potentially, work out in your favor if there are truly exceptional circumstances that make you totally unqualified on paper and yet uniquely qualified in reality. The odds this describes any given person applying for any given job are close to zero.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby Rlabo » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:25 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Rlabo wrote:
lymenheimer wrote:
Rlabo wrote:Still though, I don't think you actually believe that the 3L described above actually would have any chance if he applied through recruitment. Decent mass mail numbers are 5-10% at best.

Pretty sure it's not considered "mass mail" when you are applying for a position they are actively looking to fill.


When you don't actually have the required qualifications requested? You can call it whatever you like but a recruiter will generally not give you a second look.

Anecdotally, I've actually used the tactic to mixed success so this is not simply a hypothetical thought experiment. Obviously, framing is tremendously important here, but at least from my limited experience, this can be leveraged properly to work in a candidates favor. Do with that what you will.

Even if the partner reads your application, this will only, potentially, work out in your favor if there are truly exceptional circumstances that make you totally unqualified on paper and yet uniquely qualified in reality. The odds this describes any given person applying for any given job are close to zero.


Which is why I always advise 2Ls and 3Ls who struck out at OCI to pick an area of law and begin specializing - sure a year and a half of law school courses or an externship in the right place won't turn anyone into an expert, but that can help create that exact unique situation where ones grades in 1L, while not quite adequate, don't necessarily tell the full story as they will have a differentiated themselves in other ways. That's a compelling story that can be sold better to a partner who's actually looking for a good associate than to a recruiter who sees hundred of apps and need an easy system to sift through while covering their ass, or grade threshold. None of this is by any means a guarantee or anything remotely close, but I think it's marginally but materially better than going through recruitment – remember these candidates struck out at OCI so I tend to have very little faith that going back through recruiting is going to be the golden bullet. You're all focused on but the partner isn't going to read it but the better question is what do you have to lose? My premise is this candidate all but has no shot through recruitment which if you've gone through this process is a fair assumption for the most part. At least this gives the applicant a marginally better shot of making an impression.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby Rlabo » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:33 pm

This may shock y'all further, but depending on the size of the firm, usually (100 or less), I've also suggested snail mail v email. Emails are far more intrusive, annoying, and easy to delete in comparison to snail mail, plus resume paper always makes your resume that much better. Not the kind of the things that works at most big law but if the office is small enough that solves a lot of the "annoying the partner" issues and shows a level of thought and care.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby foregetaboutdre » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:37 pm

Rlabo wrote:This may shock y'all further, but depending on the size of the firm, usually (100 or less), I've also suggested snail mail v email. Emails are far more intrusive, annoying, and easy to delete in comparison to snail mail, plus resume paper always makes your resume that much better. Not the kind of the things that works at most big law but if the office is small enough that solves a lot of the "annoying the partner" issues and shows a level of thought and care.


I'll lend this some credibility, but only to firms that have like less than 5 or 10 attorneys. Saw a post somewhere where someone mentioned mass mailing 100 firms via snail mail and receiving a reply from one stating they haven't received a resume in 15 years (lol).

Not sure how efficient this is though to be completely honest.

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Re: What role do recruiters play vs hiring partners?

Postby Rlabo » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:40 pm

foregetaboutdre wrote:
Rlabo wrote:This may shock y'all further, but depending on the size of the firm, usually (100 or less), I've also suggested snail mail v email. Emails are far more intrusive, annoying, and easy to delete in comparison to snail mail, plus resume paper always makes your resume that much better. Not the kind of the things that works at most big law but if the office is small enough that solves a lot of the "annoying the partner" issues and shows a level of thought and care.


I'll lend this some credibility, but only to firms that have like less than 5 or 10 attorneys. Saw a post somewhere where someone mentioned mass mailing 100 firms via snail mail and receiving a reply from one stating they haven't received a resume in 15 years (lol).

Not sure how efficient this is though to be completely honest.


I've had much better success with these (20% on major plaintiff firms ranging in 50-150 attorneys but it was a small sample size ~20 or so firms) but it's definitely more of a time suck and more expensive. Still, blanket mass mailing without any strategy is just a waste of time to me so this was well worth it.



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