When to Use a Recruiter

(Deciding to leave, same firm different office, Reference requests)
Anonymous User
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When to Use a Recruiter

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:05 pm

As an associate, when should you (or should you not) use a recruiter for making a lateral move? Is it dependent on your class year (I.e. mid-level to senior associate) or your familiarity with the legal market? The concept of using a recruiter is really appealing because my work schedule is (obviously) busy & unpredictable. I think it would be difficult to handle application follow-up myself, but I also worry that I'm closing doors by using a recruiter as a mid-level associate.

Anonymous User
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Re: When to Use a Recruiter

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:59 pm

why do you think you'll be closing doors?

Personally, given a choice I'd always use a recruiter. Not only do they save you time, a good recruiter knows of opportunities that aren't listed, knows how to present you in the best way possible, and will prepare you for interviews.

The downside to using a recruiter is that they cost money, so some positions will be closed off - particularly at the bottom end of the market. Biglaw and midlaw are generally ok with paying for it, but small firms may not want to pay the recruiter's fee.

However, there are some bad recruiters out there, who will basically submit your resume to every job available. If you're not an immediate match, or you blow your first or second interview, they move on. Besides, if a position is publicly posted, a lot of firms don't like being approached by recruiters they've never met.

In sum: a good recruiter is always worth working with, and has no problem telling you they can't help you. A friend of mine even had a recruiter give my friend the name of a firm that had an unlisted position and told the friend to go directly, because the friend's resume was such the firm wouldn't pay a commission for it, but friend might have a (small) chance going directly.
But avoid bad recruiters at all costs.

Anonymous User
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Re: When to Use a Recruiter

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:38 am

I applied for a position directly one time...crickets.


I then used a recruiter, who to my luck was good, and I ended up getting an interview - for the exact same position I applied directly too.

holtz&bernard

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Re: When to Use a Recruiter

Post by holtz&bernard » Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:53 am

I'm a bit biased because I am an attorney recruiter however, here's my take.

Recruiters are mostly of value if you have at least 1 year of experience as an attorney. Being that firms pay a fee, it typically only makes sense if your skills are immediately transferable. A law firm shouldn't need a recruiter to hire a new grad. This is not always the case but generally so.

Here are what I believe to be the 3 biggest benefits of using a recruiter:

#1. A good legal recruiter will save you a ton of time from searching, filling out applications, and waiting to hear back from firms.

#2. A good legal recruiter has credibility with law firms, therefore can land you an interview 99% of the time versus the average 2% (assuming your experience is relevant to the opening).

#3. Not all jobs are posted publicly. A good legal recruiter will have the inside scoop on jobs that you may not be aware of.

Chris Holtzhauer
Holtz & Bernard
holtzandbernard.com

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