Getting Recruitment Wrong? The Critical First Step You Need to Know

Getting Recruitment Wrong? The Critical First Step You Need to Know by Kara Plummer


Although fee-earners are sometimes reluctant to spare the time to do it, the smart ones will know that taking the time to provide HR with proper details of what they’re actually looking for will certainly increase the chances of recruiting and more importantly recruiting someone appropriate for the position. 


Obviously the job specification can change and evolve as the recruiting process progresses, but fee-earners taking the time up front to explain what they’re looking for will help enormously and prevent “stabbing in the dark” or you having to use your powers of ESP to work out what they want.  In addition, giving a detailed spec to recruiters will save you time as it will prevent you having to answer the same questions a thousand times over.  I’m sure you’ve all fielded multiple calls from recruiters trying to explain what the role is.


What do candidates really want to know before they consent?


Obviously this differs according to the level of the recruit, however for a lot of lawyers, they simply won’t consent unless they are given a detailed job specification.  When you’re talking about lawyers who are naturally cautious and risk adverse, and who are concerned about confidentiality, unless they are given a large amount of information about the role, it can be incredibly difficult to obtain consent to the particular role.


A practice area, level and name of partner won’t — in most circumstances— be enough for the candidate to consent.


Here’s an idea of what information is required to obtain consent from lawyers to go forward for a position:


  1. What team is it to work in?
  2. Who the role is to work for (whether it’s one partner in particular or a number of partners).
  3. The structure of the current team (this is obviously more important for more senior lawyers, but most would want an idea of who is in the team already.
  4. Why the team is looking to recruit?  Is it a replacement or expansion position?
  5. What salary you’re looking to pay for the role.
  6. Is there any particular experience the person needs?
  7. What experience is desirable for the role?
  8. Does the recruit need a specific academic background?
  9. What sort of personality would fit well in the team?
  10. When does the recruit need to ideally start?
  11. What sort of hours will lawyers be expected to work in the team?


If you have this information, things should be a lot easier.  It will also save you a lot of time if you have the information up front and not have to go backwards and forwards to the partner and candidates/recruiters with the information.


Kara Plummer

Senior Legal Professional Consultant

empire legal

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