Bluntly, recruiters can often be seen as a nuisance, and the positives of building a long-term relationship with them are frequently missed. On the flip side of this, I am not suggesting you go and make relationships with all the recruiters in the market, as this will certainly dilute the many advantages of a good working relationship with your recruiter.
Firstly, it is important to know how to communicate with recruiters. To do that you need to be open and honest about your current situation and your career goals - the more information you tell us the more we can help. As recruiters, we have key connections within the market and often work on projects exclusively, meaning we are protective over who we put in front of our valued clients.
Building a long-term relationship with a recruiter can offer considerable value;
· Exclusive job opportunities – many of the top law firms and teams opt for retained searches with leading recruiters in the market, meaning you will not hear about them elsewhere.
· A key insight into the market – good recruiters have a great overview of the market and are often amongst the first to know about any movement. We also hold great knowledge in market trends and the skills that are in high demand and short supply.
· Negotiate higher remuneration packages – People easily forget we have just as much invested interest as them to get the highest package possible. We know what the limits are and how hard to push negotiations, without pushing too far and posing a risk to the offer.
· Provide specific advice on applications – We know our clients and what they look for. We know the reasons why other candidates were unsuccessful and what experience to highlight to give you the advantage. We also know culturally what a good fit is, and what is not.
Ultimately, a good legal recruiter will always look to build long-term relationships with you and will understand that the way to do this is to offer helpful and genuine advice. If you have the sense that your recruiter is not motivated to provide advice that is in your best interests, then I suggest you look to find one that is.