Working with a Recruiter as a Candidate

Working with a Recruiter as a CandidateHarnessing the intel of a well-recognized and credible legal recruiting firm, such as Major, Lindsey & Africa, is an essential tool in your arsenal when seeking to identify the next career advancing legal role. However, it is valuable to understand how to work well with your recruiting professional in order to maximize the benefits of this relationship. The following are a few points to keep in mind when working with a recruiter.

Be Candid about your Current Circumstances and Motivators

It is crucial to establish transparency early on in this relationship. Be open about why your current role is not a good fit and what is motivating you to move on. These early conversations with your recruiter are a great way of uncovering the source of your discomfort as well as confirming your instincts to consider new roles. Please be thoughtful and clear about what drives your desire to move on.

Keep Us Informed

You are a candidate in demand. You may very well be contacted by other recruiting firms or internal company recruiters. A thorough job search is one marked by due diligence so please do shake every branch and follow every lead if it will result in landing your dream job. However, please keep us informed of the status of your efforts. Should you be invited for an interview or an informal exchange about a new role, please let us know. Your choice to share this information with your recruiter only improves the efficiency with which we can move your candidacy through the screening process with our client. We will advise our client that you are actively entertaining other opportunities and that you’ll need clarity sooner rather than later as to the likelihood of an offer. Understanding that a candidate is in demand and expecting a potential offer, clients will oftentimes expedite the screening process to give the candidate answers sooner rather than later. Sharing this information can only work in your favor.

Understand that this is a Confidential Process

This is a long-term relationship and we aim to serve as a trustworthy guide through this ever-shifting legal market. Major, Lindsey and Africa aims to support your search and candidacy as you move from an Associate placement to a Partner placement to an In-House placement. To that end, we pride ourselves on delicately handling sensitive information with professionalism, understanding and compassion. As such, the information you share with us about compensation, benefits, family-related issues and other matters are managed with the highest level of confidentiality. In the business of legal recruiting, a typical Monday may include speaking over the phone to a General Counsel about company instability and her desire to leave her present role. On a typical Tuesday, we may be introduced to that same General Counsel along with three of her colleagues to discuss a new search for the next Senior Counsel and the importance of maintaining head-count amid company instability. We enter and exit these exchanges without a blink of the eye. As such, find comfort in sharing the details about your need so to transition without fear of disclosure. These details are important to us and increase our ability to support you as you make the next step in your career.

If you'd like to learn more about working with a recruiter or the services of Major, Lindsey & Africa, join myself and my colleagues, Sonya Som, Judene Hylton and Neonu Jewell at the Minority In-House Counsel Association (MIHCA) 2016 conference October 26 at the Metropolitan Club in Chicago. We'll be hosting one-on-one counseling sessions to help you get noticed in the market. You can also benefit from the enriching professional development sessions throughout the two-day event, which supports MIHCA's mission of promoting the development and career advancement of minority in-house counsel and furthering diversity in the legal profession. I hope to see you there!

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Keri LindsayKeri Lindsay is a Director in the Solutions Practice Group, working out of the Chicago office of Major, Lindsey & Africa. As a Director of Professional Recruiting, Keri is a market expert, supporting her candidates with meaningful data as they make significant life choices, and making matches that fit both the client and the candidate, not just the words on paper.

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