Why shoot yourself in the foot?

06 Sep 15:00 by Laurence Simons


Sometimes, you need to go it alone in life. You need to take risks and chances, learn from your mistakes and throw caution to the wind... Hiring a new team member is not one of those times. 

More and more clients are spending time and money on hiring Talent Acquisition teams to fill a vacancy. That is fair and completely understandable. These teams are usually best placed to assist with a multitude of high volume, generalist vacancies across all areas of the business. They can save time and money. However, when it comes to hiring lawyers or compliance professionals, here are the reasons why it pays to have a specialist approach.  

- Your process will take longer than if you approached a recruiter in the first place. If the internal recruitment team is unsuccessful, the hiring manager will then reach out to external assistance. At this point, 3 months will have easily passed since the hire was approved internally.

-  On average, lawyers do not respond well to being headhunted directly by the new employer. Highly qualified and experienced candidates appreciate a conversation and a detailed overview of all aspects of the job from someone who is a consultant within that field.

- Lawyers may question how serious an employer is if they are advertising online or are contacted directly. The most important positions are usually filled through a discrete and controlled search.  Lawyers may also consider how the Legal team is viewed within an organisation if a generalist approach to hiring is taken.

-  Talent Acquisition teams are a critical part of every business. That said, appointing an expert who is a specialist in the legal recruitment field and most likely has a similar background to the candidates, ensures that only the best people are approached and ultimately, hired. 

-We often see an advertise – fail, advertise – fail approach from talent acquisition teams before we are contacted. This cycle also reduces your candidate pool and sometimes out of sheer necessity, a client hires a lawyer that wouldn’t have been their first-choice due to failings in the process.

- It will cost you more in the long run. Replacing staff members comes at a cost and this increases significantly when you factor in the time it takes for the new employee to reach full productivity.  It is important to also take other costs such as direct advertising into consideration - especially where these campaigns don’t yield results.

- Experienced lawyers will do their due diligence ahead of time, long before even submitting their resume. They want to know all about the company, the job, the career path and potential progression, work-life-balance and reasons for the vacancy. Fielding these inquires (a candidate will often make multiple) can be an incredibly time-consuming task. Let us handle inquires and screen applicants before passing the best candidates to you. While you may still opt for the internal route prior to engaging external recruiters, we always advise that you avoid shooting yourself in the foot and ruining your reputation in the market by having a conversation with a trusted recruiter beforehand to discuss possible recruitment strategies.

- Your brand is at stake. If you are searching for more than 3 months and are not yet at the final interview stage, candidates in the market will question your company, the job and the culture. We are frequently asked by candidates for our input on vacancies which are being advertised online and whether it would be the right next step in their career. Candidates never fail to ask why the opportunity is still being advertised months later.  Is the company unstable? Will the candidate be joining a culture of indecisiveness?  Is the company struggling to retain its employees?

At Laurence Simons, we understand that not every position is made to be filled by an external recruiter and we are happy to help our clients fill their role. If that means giving only advice and pointing our clients in the right direction then we are happy to help. Our international team is well placed to give you tailored in region advice on anything from hiring strategies to housing allowances or process requirements which vary hugely by jurisdiction.