Attorneys have a lot of work to do on a daily basis. From soliciting clients and reviewing legal documents to appearing in court and remaining knowledgeable on ongoing case law, they have their hands full with managing their own tasks. When you add in the requirements of running a practice, the situation seems to become even more hectic.
Perhaps that’s why hiring new legal talent is a task that so many lawyers dislike. The process of advertising open positions, reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, and onboarding new hires is exhausting — and it’s just one reason why many are turning to legal recruiters. In this article, we will discuss eleven reasons why your firm might want to consider using recruiters rather than handling hiring in-house.
“A good legal recruiter will get to know your firm and especially its culture, We become “ambassadors” for your firm and can educate candidates as to why they should work for your firm. Second, we can reach passive candidates who are not actively looking for a position and would not necessarily answer ads. It is important to also select a recruiter who treats both clients and candidates with professionalism, kindness and integrity.”
– Lisa Garcia, Garcia Legal Search
Reason #1: You dread the recruiting process
We’ve already alluded to this rationale in the introduction, but it bears repeating: If the idea of having to supervise the acquisition of new talent fills you with dread, you ought to delegate the task to someone else, including someone who is an outside expert. If you’re asking, “Should I use a legal recruiter?”, know that forcing yourself to work through an important task that you nonetheless despise carries serious risks. You’re likely to make mistakes, ignore relevant data, and ignore more profitable work at which you actually excel.
Reason #2: Your travel schedule hinders your accessibility
When considering the pros and cons of legal recruiters, it’s worth remembering that hiring is an intensive process in both terms of expended effort and mental concentration. It also requires your physical presence either in the office or via video-conferencing tools. While Zoom, Webex, and other conferencing solutions have made it easier to hire while you’re on the road, it’s difficult to fully devote yourself to hiring when regularly traveling. In such instances, consider reaching out to a recruiter.
Reason #3: Your company does not have a dedicated recruiting or hiring specialist
Time spent hiring new personnel is time away from your personal core competencies and the main work of your firm. Yes, it’s a necessary part of any legal practice — but it’s also one best handled by individuals who specialize in finding top talent. Such specialists have expertise and experience in hiring that even top attorneys lack, and if you don’t have one on your staff, working with a legal recruiter makes sense.
Reason #4: You´re hiring because you terminated a poor performer
When you let a hire go due to job failure, you may find yourself thinking that the problem originated with that person. However, you might be incorrect. If you’re regularly terminating poor performers and experiencing high turnover, the problem may lie with your hiring practices. Failing to secure the right people for the right job is a recipe for failure in and of itself. Outside hiring talent may be able to secure someone who is a better fit.
Reason #5: Personnel problems are interfering with productivity
Similar to our previous point, constant productivity issues that occur regularly indicate that you have a greater issue than just a few unideal selections. Your hiring practices themselves may be contributing to the problem.
Reason #6: You’re falling behind other firms in your area
You may find yourself struggling to fill open positions if you’re located in a particularly competitive legal market. Larger cities such as Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco have no shortage of legal firms, many of which are likely already working alongside a legal recruiter.
Reason #7: Your plate is already full
Good hiring takes time. You need to sort through reams of paperwork, return scores of phone calls, meet with numerous applicants, and devote mental energy to determining which would work best with your firm. Most attorneys lack the margin to devote the necessary time to such an endeavor. Their proverbial plates are full and trying to scrape some to the side in order to accommodate the task of hiring is likely to make a mess.
Reason #8: You don´t have time for or experience with proper documentation
The hiring process involves more than merely finding and selecting the right person. You also need to maintain accurate and appropriate records in order to avoid future disputes and remove any potential liability. If you tend to wing it when it comes to hiring paperwork, then when you ask yourself, “Should I use a legal recruiter?”, know that the answer is a resounding “yes!”
Reason #9: You are focused on one pool of candidates
According to anthropologist and theorist Robin Dunbar, the average number of people with which someone can maintain some sort of genuine relationship is about 150, although that number may flex between 100 and 250 depending on the individual. No wonder, then, that hiring practices can become rote and stale if you manage everything in-house. Turning to an outside expert may reinvigorate your firm’s practices and culture.
Reason #10: Negotiation is not your forte
Lawyers specialize, and perhaps your sphere of expertise centers around litigation or bankruptcy, energy law or governmental law, environmental regulation or copyright. However, little of that will likely come into play once you’ve completed the vetting process and gotten down to brass tacks with negotiations. A lack of skill with or disinterest in negotiating will likely hurt your firm in the long run.
Reason #11: You have limited recruiting or hiring experience
Finding good candidates isn’t simply a part of a job; it’s almost a whole job itself. Extensive professional networks, academic connections, industry-related organizations, and long-standing reputations are all ways to discover ideal applicants. But such things take time to develop, and you’ll need extensive experience to capitalize on them. If you don’t have those links and don’t possess experience with hiring, you’d likely do better with the aid of a professional.
Reason #12: You need to fill a specialist position
Law firms often need to fill specialized positions, the kinds of positions that require highly credentialed and uniquely skilled applicants. It takes an equally specialized kind of knowledge to find these sorts of candidates given their relative scarcity in the market. It’s these sorts of scenarios where legal recruiters excel.
When you want to find legal recruiting professionals who can get you in touch with top legal talent, turn to Legal Recruiter Directory. We’re the most comprehensive and accurate directory of legal recruiters available.