Whether you’re transitioning between legal roles or just starting to consider a move from your current contract position, actually finding that right interim job is a daunting and time-consuming task. It requires constant monitoring of the ever-changing legal job market—a formidable task. Browsing job boards, updating resumes and applying to jobs online can quickly become a full-time job in and of itself.
One important connection that can help you streamline your job search process is that of a legal recruiter. For starters, partnering with a trusted recruiter means that you are not alone in your job search. It also means that you will have access to that recruiter’s market and company expertise that can be instrumental in matching you with the right job for your skills and career goals. A well-established recruiter will save you time and make the process more efficient, especially when looking for interim and project-based legal work. Here are a few reasons why cultivating a strong relationship with a recruiter is especially important for consultants:
- Access to a hidden market: In the interim market, hiring needs are often driven by unpredictable changes that require split-second solutions. While there are times an organization may publicly post a position, many times an organization is likely to turn to a trusted recruiting agency to fill a position as quickly as possible. Working with a well-connected recruiter usually gives you early access to the job market and sometimes even hidden opportunities that are not publicized.
- Out of the resume pile, into the office: Even if a contract opportunity is posted by an organization, how many times have you applied for a job you are wholly qualified for only to never hear a word back? In the interim market, companies do not have the time to wade through hundreds of job applications. A quality recruiter will not only ensure that your resume is seen, they will advocate for your candidacy. This can make all the difference in the consulting market where a company is more likely to rely on a recruiter’s expertise.
- An edge on the competition: You do not need to be reminded that the job market is very competitive. A quality recruiter will offer insight into an interview process and a company’s pain points that other job-seekers are not privy to. Especially in the interim context, where time is of the essence and decision-makers are hoping to be “wowed” early in the process, this information can be the difference between quickly securing a job and heading back to the job board.
- Repeat placements: Especially in the interim market, the value of a strong, long-term relationship cannot be overstated. Your connection with a high-quality recruiter does not end when you walk through the door on the first—or last—day of your placement. The reward for good work is more work. Successful completion of a contract opportunity cements your access to a stream of contract opportunities that a good recruiter is likely to have.
- A partner throughout: Working with a recruiter on an opportunity means having a confidante from start to finish. A good recruiter will help to facilitate your success on an assignment. They will work with you to share feedback, celebrate triumphs and discuss areas for improvement. They are a luxury, a neutral sounding-board to hear whatever you need them to hear and a conduit through which to communicate with the company you are engaged by.
Keep in mind that recruiters are usually hired by the organizations looking for employees to fill their open positions. So while they don’t find jobs for people (they’re finding people for jobs), establishing a strong relationship with and working closely with a well-connected recruiter will provide you with many advantages in your job search.
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Matt Wheatley is a Director in our Solutions Practice Group. Based in our New York office, Matt specializes in placing legal and compliance talent in various substantive interim and permanent positions within in-house legal departments and law firms.