Different Recruitment Strategies Used and What it Means for Your Candidacy
Attorney-candidates are — generally speaking — unfamiliar with the legal recruitment industry and the strategies utilized by various legal recruiters to identify and secure best-fit opportunities. As you explore your options, it’s important that you understand the strategies implemented by legal recruiters so that you can evaluate whether that strategy will be most suitable for your purposes. Effective legal recruiters engage with attorney-candidates in a collaborative manner, and are open to changing gears when circumstances allow and when the candidate has a stated preference.
Let’s take a quick peek at some of the more common recruitment strategies, their advantages and disadvantages, and how such a strategy might impact your overall success in the legal job market.
Targeting the Entire Market
Some legal recruiters choose to target the entire market in a particular segment (matched to the attorney-candidate’s background). This type of targeting is not limited in any way, and in fact, the recruiter may identify opportunities for which an open position has not formally been created. For example, if the legal recruiter understands that the market in the San Francisco Bay Area for intellectual property attorneys (with a focus on genetics-based technologies) is heating up in 2019, then they can attempt to “canvas” an attorney-candidate’s application with firms that might have a need for them, given the market demand.
This strategy can work extremely well if the legal recruiter is making their decision on the basis of insider information about the hiring decisions in a given firm — though the position might not have been formally created yet, a legal recruiter might have “heard through the grapevine” that a particular firm will soon be looking for, say, an intellectual property attorneys with a focus on genetics-based technologies, and can work to put a candidate in front of the firm’s eyes early so that they have an advantage.
Alternatively, legal recruiters target the market on the basis of past hiring data that they have collected about certain firms. For example, a recruiter might know that every other Fall, a set of firms hires more commercial litigators — as with insider information about a firm, this sort of predictive data can be used to slip a candidate’s application in at an early stage.
Close Relationships with Employers
One of the most tried-and-true legal recruitment strategies for securing a best-fit opportunity for an attorney-candidate is to form close and transparent relationships with legal employers in a given market. Employers trust certain recruiters to identify “top talent” to bring to their workplace, and as such, they often give those recruiters an edge at various points in the hiring process — for example, a firm might give a trusted recruiter advance notice on upcoming job openings so that they can submit applications before the competition.
Here at Garb Jaffe & Associates, our recruiters have longstanding relationships with prestigious Biglaw and in-house employers throughout the state of California. This — in conjunction with our network of former candidates and other contacts in the industry — gives us unprecedented access to the inner workings of the hiring process for our target firms and in-house legal departments.
Targeting Open Jobs and Databases
Some legal recruiters prefer to use databases of actual job openings. With such a large number of job openings at any given time, the recruiter simply helps an attorney-candidate identify suitable, positive opportunities and to apply to a high volume of such positions.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of this strategy, however, is the fact that by using a database-oriented approach, a recruiter can identify opportunities in underserved markets and with firms and in-house legal departments that might not be considered otherwise. For example, a firm in Los Angeles might have an open position that would not be known to recruiters who do not have an inside connection with them — by using a database strategy, however, a recruiter will have adequate notice about the opportunity and can alert their client to the possibility of submitting an application (if the fit is right).
When evaluating these approaches, it’s important to understand that skilled legal recruiters do not necessarily implement them exclusively. It’s possible to chase down known opportunities with trusted partners first, then — failing that — to pursue a database-oriented strategy, for example.
Contact Garb Jaffe for Assistance
If you are interested in making the jump from your current job to a new position at a prestigious Biglaw firm or in-house legal department in California, we can provide the assistance you need to “cross the gap.” Here at Garb Jaffe & Associates, our team of experienced Los Angeles legal recruiters has a successful track record spanning decades — we have worked with numerous attorneys, guiding them through the recruitment process and helping them to secure best-fit opportunities most suitable for their short- and long-term career plans.
We believe that the most effective legal recruitment strategy is one that is specifically tailored to the needs of the candidate. As such, we engage collaboratively with attorney-candidates so as to more fully understand their goals and expectations over the course of the recruitment process.
Ready to get started? Call us at 310-207-0727 or send us a message online to connect to a member of the team here at Garb Jaffe today. We look forward to speaking with you about your job prospects and next steps.