Today's guest blogger is Christopher Manning, a partner recruiter at Garrison & Sisson.
File-strewn office. Summary judgment motion needs work. Pre-bills to review. Depo prep ready? Not even close.
You are having a heck of a day.
Then your phone rings.
Oh no, not another legal recruiter on the line!
But before you ignore that call, stop and think about what you might glean from the conversation—even if you have no interest in making a move. In the same amount of time you might spend browsing a news web site to take a mental break, consider investing a few minutes listening to the recruiter. At the risk of sounding self-serving, I believe most experienced, successful lawyers will agree that having a solid recruiter relationship can help your career.
Here are some reasons to listen to what the person has to say:
1. You will get valuable intelligence about what other firms are looking for.
Chances are, a legal recruiter is calling you about a specific law firm search. After your brief expression of interest, a good recruiter will be forthcoming about the exact nature of the position available and the identity of the law firm looking.
In most cases, however, a mere scintilla of interest opens the door to interesting information about another law firm’s business needs, hiring trends, level of portable business required, billing rate data, staffing available, and more—all for the “price” of maybe four to five minutes.
2. You will get a general sense of the market.
Beyond gaining market intelligence, humoring a legal recruiter gets you insight into which particular areas and skill sets are in the most demand. An informed recruiter will be willing/able to answer questions about the demand for certain sub-practices (i.e., practices within larger practice areas), billing rate norms, staffing trends, and the like.
3. It will help you establish an ongoing relationship with a recruiter.
Everyone needs a good doctor, a good lawyer, a good tailor, and a favorite restaurant. It might take a few tries to find the right fit but going through the introduction process is a necessary evil that can yield a potential career-long relationship. Your relationship with an honest, ethical, tapped-in legal recruiter could make a difference in your next move, the size of your practice, and your compensation. So take the time to “interview” until you find the right one.
Upcoming post: How to Vet a Recruiter.
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Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? E-mail The Careerist's chief blogger, Vivia Chen, at VChen@alm.com.