Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Saturday, July 08, 2017

CV Bloopers of the Month


CV Bloopers of the Month

Full CV received from a 10 year PQE Solicitor applying for a commercial solicitor role in London.
[Name
Address
Email, Phone]
Personal statement
I like to provide service to the highest standard. I used to have very high marks for essays. I worked in Legal departments of local authority and many large law firms.
Work Experience
Solicitor
Responsibilities & Achievements - sole practitioner
CV sent for a training contract application
"Work Experience
I work from 12 years old. Any salesmanship and last 4 years as store manager."
(no other details provided)



Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

Using LinkedIn to Headhunt and Recruit new staff – does it work?


How long will LinkedIn last? Who knows? I imagine something else will come along sooner or later that does the same thing bigger and better. LinkedIn restricts certain access (eg contacting other people requires using up a limited number of contact credits) and I suspect another network will come along and do the same thing with free access and consign LinkedIn to the dustbin.
You would probably expect me to write something similar to the information below as it is in my company’s interest for you not to go directly to candidates and instead ask us to help you recruit and get paid a wodge of cash. However LinkedIn has been promoted as the next best thing in so many articles and advice documents recently (including whole courses on how to use it to recruit) that I thought an article injected with a bit of reality and anecdotal evidence may be of interest.
Here is a conversation I have on the phone from time to time.
Caller: “Hello can I speak to Jonathan Fagan please?”
Me: “Speaking – how can I help?”
Caller: “My name is Joshua and I’m calling you from Ant & Dec Rec to Rec Agency. Have you a got a few minutes for me to tell you about a fantastic opportunity you have been recommended for as a perfect fit?”
(
For the uninitiated “Rec to Rec” stands for Recruitment to Recruitment – ie a recruitment agency specialising in recruitment of recruitment consultants. Its big business…).
Me: “Yes sure. Tell me about it.”
Caller: “My client has a strong and consistent stream of returning clients and seeks a well established and experienced recruitment consultant to handle it. Your name has been put forward by one of your peers in the industry as someone who really knows their stuff. Would this be of interest?”
Me: “You do know I am Managing Director and part owner of a legal recruitment consultancy located in North Wales?”
Caller: “Erm no. Err – do you know anyone else who is looking at the moment for a job?”
Me: “You don’t actually know who I am do you?”
Caller: (ends call).
This is the reality of headhunting - companies surfing LinkedIn pretending to know who you are. I know of a few people who have been approached and so flattered by the fact that someone has expressed an interest in them they have joined a firm they would not otherwise have touched with a barge pole. Usually this is something they regret within a few months!
We sent a recruitment consultant on a headhunting course a few years ago and it was fascinating. You spend about half the day learning how to get past the “gatekeepers” (these are receptionists, secretaries and anyone who answers the phone) and the other half of the time learning how to pitch a vacancy to the “target”. It is cold calling and sales at the best of times, and a thankless task.
Most of the people you will speak to will definitely dislike you intensely and your chances of success are very slim. However if you are successful the rewards are good for recruiters – the usual fee for a headhunting placement is a payment up front of about £5,000 and then a percentage success fee on top. This can be up to 50%. After all the recruitment consultant (or salesman) is going to have to be very good to ensnare someone you may be interested in.
It works if the following happens:
1. You have a good vacancy.
2. It is one that has a very limited pool of eligible candidates.
3. You are paying at or above market rates for the vacancy.
4. Your business has a good reputation and is one that people would want to work for and not run away screaming from.
In these fairly limited scenarios it is possible to use headhunters effectively. I am sure that sometimes they are totally unnecessary; one of our local independent schools recently used one to recruit a new headmistress which to me seemed a complete waste of cash – surely a prestigious role like that advertised in the right places would attract a good range of candidates without needing to spend £000s of cash on a consultant?
I started this article talking about LinkedIn and this is the link – if you use LinkedIn to approach potential candidates you are doing exactly the same thing as the headhunters do – approaching candidates as a cold lead after searching for them on LinkedIn and then contacting them to try and sell a job to them.
Companies have started getting their HR departments to do this and I doubt very much if it has had much effect other than use up precious time that could have been spent more productively. After all most people who go into HR are not sales people. Most headhunters are sales people and spend years perfecting their skills.
We recently had a law firm based in South London get in touch to ask for a locum conveyancing solicitor to cover maternity leave for 12 months. We sent a mix of CVs across and they requested interviews with a couple of property solicitors. However the introduction went quiet. Later we discovered that the firm had gone on a tour of LinkedIn, using up a considerable number of 'InMails' to contact locums advertising on the site and checking availability. I know this because a number of our locums checked back with me to see if it was the same company. None were available in any event to assist.
I would imagine that you would need to be making about 30-40 similar connections before you found anyone who was vaguely interested and suitable in your role, whether locum or permanent. On LinkedIn this is an expensive exercise.
Recruitment consultants are slightly different. On the permanent side we maintain a database of candidates who have been registered with us for some time, some of them up to 17 years. This is because we run a database of active and passive candidates. Passive candidates are the type that we generate most success from. These are candidates who may not have realised they are actually looking for work until you dangle a particularly interesting vacancy in front of them.
Whenever law firms send us vacancies we mail them out to any suitable candidates from our database and post the jobs onto a range of job boards and across our network. We get the vast majority of our placements from passive candidates getting in touch to say that they are interested in a specific role in a particular location. We spend considerable time and money advertising vacancies, but these lead more to new candidates than to placements the majority of the time. This is important because it is our stream of candidates onto our database that generates future business. As an individual employer you do not really want to be making the same investment of time and effort as unless you are recruiting 100s of staff this will be a pretty pointless exercise!
LinkedIn is but one cog in our very large machine. You cannot use LinkedIn to get the same effect as we do. If you make contact with a candidate via LinkedIn then we think that they are often worried that their employer will find out you have been in touch and this will affect their career prospects. Chances are they will ignore your message. Advertising for jobs is very often only effective at introducing your brand to candidates rather than getting a vacancy filled. This means that they come to you when they are ready to make a move, particularly so for recruitment agencies.
So yes you can use LinkedIn to try and source candidates, and we wish you the best of luck, but make sure it is just one small part of your overall strategy. Whilst you may get some results, you will probably stand more chance of success advertising in the Law Society Gazette and also on your own website (something a lot of law firms seem to forget to do or fail to keep up to date).

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

Get Away from it all and start again - Unique Opportunity for Partnership Offshore


Unique Opportunity for a Clean Break - Offshore Law Firm for sale/partnership

Ref VAC 17235
Very rare chance to take partnership in an offshore law firm. The practice undertakes a range of work that includes (properly funded) legal aid crime work - which is fairly lucrative without much competition, family and commercial. The crime work is a mix of mainstream general crime, some specialist complex matters and some military. The firm would be interested in speaking to anyone looking to run their own practice on a full time or part time basis. Not necessarily seeking an immediate buyout or purchase of equity. Opportunity to benefit from profitable levels of legal aid rather than punitive. Owner looking to move on to non-law related pastures new and move back on shore. Well established law firm in a stunning location offshore. Very similar law to England and Wales.
Current partner happy to stay in situ to assist or sell outright. All options available for purchase - including working for the equity (very little upfront cash needed) and splitting the commercial matters away from the private work.
This law firm purchase would particularly suit a crime solicitor looking to make a clean break and start again with an existing business already operating. The practice would also make a good branch office. Thriving local market for legal services with further expansion very possible. Location identified once a confidentiality undertaking signed. Contact us quoting the reference above.


Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

How to Review your own CV


How to review your own CV

We recently received a CV from a candidate with the following advice placed at the bottom (would this fit into our CV Blooper series? Quite possibly..). I have edited it for a bit of content - eg the writer recommended 2 pages max but we think a CV can be as long as it needs to be for someone with experience. The remainder is a very effective and useful guide to reviewing your own CV.
CV Guide
1. Check and recheck for spelling and grammar. Attention to detail is absolutely key so ensure dates, names of companies etc are all correct and never use abbreviations or colloquialisms. Ask someone you trust to proof read your CV as a new pair of eyes can often be useful in identifying mistakes.
2. In order to demonstrate a professional image it is best not to use fancy fonts or include graphics, photos or colour of any kind. Ensure spacing, alignment and font style is consistent throughout the document.
3. Do not include personal details such as date of birth, nationality, religion, gender, marital status etc.
4. Write your CV in the first person but remove the ‘I’ e.g. ‘Responsible for…’ as opposed to, ‘I was responsible for’.
5. Employers want to see what practical skills you have to offer and what you can actually do. Therefore keep all information factual and use professional, concise and clear language.
6. All strengths must be evidenced.
7. Avoid gaps in the chronological order of your CV. Employers/recruiters will always ask if there appears to be a gap in your employment or education.
8. Once you have established a standard CV with all relevant details included, you can tailor it to suit whatever opportunity you are applying for.
What employers are looking for…
Academic Ability
A lot of employers, especially large organisations, will be expecting at least a 2.1. Many will also expect good A-level grades. You can be successful with a 2.2 but you’ll have to be able to offer additional skills and experience.
Commercial Awareness
Any form of work experience shows that you have commercial awareness i.e. you understand the world of business, company structure and politics. You can develop that awareness by reading good quality newspapers; especially the financial pages.
Communication Skills - Written and Oral
Ability to understand complex language and information, with the ability to present such information in clear, concise English. Presentation skills demonstrates eloquence, confidence and an ability to adapt your style
to different audiences.
Interpersonal Skills
A team player. A good listener who gets on well with people from different backgrounds and can win respect and confidence from others. This may also be evidenced by good negotiating or persuasion skills.
Personal Effectiveness
Time management, organising skills, people management, able to get things done on time and to a high standard. Able to prioritise. Able to see the wider picture. Flexible and able to take on new ideas.
IT Skills
Use of word processing packages, spreadsheets, financial accounting packages, e-mail, internet.
Numeracy Skills
Able to understand financial statements and interpret financial information. Familiar with business and accounts terminology.
Professional responsibility and integrity
Ethical approach.


Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

CV Blooper of the Month - June 2017

CV Blooper(s) of the Month

This is taken from a law student's CV:

"I went to watch a court case in the old bailey where a young man was being cross examined (a term I learned there ) for a drug charge. He represented himself without a lawyer and I was surprised by the strength of his rebuttals (another term I learned there) and also by how eloquently and respectfully everybody talked in the court. When leaving I decided that I was a bit more sure that I wanted to ingeniously use a thorough knowledge of the law as a career. I decided to enter a Cambridge Law essay competition where the question was “Should we repeal the human rights act 1998 “. The effort and private study I put into this essay was proof enough for me that I was compatible with a law career. I naturally feel I gravitate towards law, I love writing, studying and thinking about it. I haven’t been able to get an opportunity to explore any fields of law which I hope to do in summer."

You couldn't make it up.. 

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Minimum Wage and the Legal Profession


Minimum Wage and the Legal Profession

Over the last few months we have posted fairly junior job vacancies for a couple of our member law firms (ie firms who have signed up to TenPercentUnlimited - google for further info). One was for a receptionist at a salary of £13,000 and the other a paralegal for £14,000. We received a couple of responses, one of which is below (and quite fair I thought!):
"I [have] reported you for offering a low salary of £13000 which is under [the] minimum wage. A person who needs to pay rent, transport, food and try to save, will never be able to live a decent human life with that salary. Shame on you for offering slavery! You are disgusting."
I sympathise entirely with this thinking (who on earth can live on £13,000 in London?) and had a look into the regulations in a bit more detail. We often get confused by the hourly rate translating into annual salary levels and as a result thought it might assist to publish our understanding of the figures. Please let us know if we are wrong.
As we understand it the hourly rates are as follows (as at 9th May 2017):
25 years+ = £7.50 per hour
21-24 years = £7.05 per hour
18-20 years = £5.60 per hour
This means that in terms of salary (assuming a 8 hours x 5 day x 52 week year) the minimum wage levels are:
25 years+ = £15,600
21-24 years = £14,664
18-20 years = £11,648
As such the advert for a receptionist at £13,000 was clearly below the level for anyone over the age of 20 years, and in fact by advertising at that level I presume the vacancy demonstrated discrimination on the grounds of age (as the firm would only be able to employ and pay staff under 20 years old at a rate of £13,000 per annum).
From this point onwards we, as a recruitment agency, will be more vigilant for vacancies like this one, but it is quite clear that the thinking amongst some law firms needs to change. £13,000 for a full time receptionist in London (or indeed anywhere else) is way too low for anyone to survive unless they are getting considerable support from state benefits on top.
I had noticed some time ago that there was a charity called The Living Wage Foundation encouraging companies to pay a Living Wage and that this level was higher then the government's definition. For example the charity considers the rate should be £8.45 outside of London. Being that we have a campaign to look at excessive charity pay (see our website and click the charity links) I thought I would have a look at the structure of the Living Wage Foundation. As a charity that campaigns for fair pay for all I would have imagined that the level of remuneration across the charity would be similarly fair and reasonable. Other charities, including Medicins San Frontieres, have policies such as not paying any member of staff more than 3 x the lowest person paid.
Other charities don't pay any staff over £60k even when they have considerable budgets and staffing levels to manage.
However according to the Charity Commission website, the charity running the The Living Wage Foundation, Citizens UK, paid their chief executive between £70 and 80k in 2016 with pension contributions to add to this of £7,473. Assuming a £70k salary, 52 week year and a 40 hour week, this equates to £37.24 per hour including the pension contributions. Is this fair pay, particularly from a charity promoting fair pay?

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

CV Blooper of the Month

CV Blooper of the Month - May 2017



CV Blooper of the Month: References section from a CV of a Paralegal applying for a job:


CV Blooper May 2017

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Cure Parkinson's Trust - charity supported by the Ten Percent Foundation in 2016-2017


The Cure Parkinsons Trust - charity supported by the Ten Percent Foundation 2016-2017

Our criteria and policies for donating to charities can be found here – https://www.ten-percent.co.uk/charitable-trust/
This year we have written a piece about each charity we have considered and explained why and what we are funding. We have also included any information the charity have sent us including updates from last year on our ongoing donations.
Cure Parkinsons Trust logo
We discovered the existence of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust whilst researching alternatives to Parkinsons UK. The cure or treatment of Parkinson's is of particular interest to us as we have lost a family member (and former trustee) to the disease.
In 2016 we wrote an article about high salary paying charities and were surprised to discover that Parkinsons UK were on the list (we have donated to them in the past). 10 staff at the charity were earning between £60,000 and £130,000 in 2015. Total amount paid to the senior staff team was £744,550, which means that from the £20’ish million the charity received in donations & legacies, about 3.6% was paid out to 10 members of staff. The Head of Philanthropy at Parkinson’s UK responded to our request for a statement regarding the pay of the senior team, and her response can be found here – https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=36839305&postID=3207980881259529512
The Cure Parkinson’s Trust aims to find ways to cure Parkinson’s. They had the following accounts for 2015:
They received £2.02 million in donations and legacies.
The charity spent £1.16 million on research funding and education.
Grants to research institutes were £672k.
Salaries at the charity were £425k.
No members of staff earned more than £60k.

The charity sent us a proposal for funding with the following information: “One of our upcoming trials which we urgently need to secure funding for is a trial using a diabetes drug called Lixisenatide. This is part of our Linked Clinical Trials programme, which takes drugs used in other diseases and tests them as treatments for Parkinson’s – because they show strong biochemical potential to slow, stop or reverse the disease. This is ground-breaking work and we believe it will have an impact in the clinic within five years. The Lixisenatide trial follows on from previous research we have supported testing diabetes drugs in Parkinson’s with encouraging results, and will help us to understand how diabetes drugs can slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s. I have attached a brief proposal with further details about the trial and our work and we would be delighted if your Foundation were able to consider supporting the project.”
We made the decision to donate £1,000, with a view to donating again in future years. We have also highlighted The Cure Parkinson’s Trust on our website and mentioned them to other donors. The charity’s website is https://www.cureparkinsons.org.uk/
For further details about the Ten Percent Foundation please visit https://www.ten-percent.co.uk/charitable-trust/

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

CV Blooper of the Month

CV Blooper of the Month- spotted on a legal CV sent to Ten Percent Legal Recruitment in March 2017.


CV blooper - competeance skills


Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Legal Recruitment Blog in the Top HR and Recruitment Blog List for 2017


We have received notification that Jonathan Fagan's "Legal Recruitment" Blog is in the top HR and Recruitment Bloggers 2017 List. Always nice to find out someone has read some of our ramblings (they have been likened to those of a madman in the past!). You can view our blog on the site, together with lots of other interesting blogger websites at:

http://www.agencycentral.co.uk/articles/2017-03/recruitment-hr-bloggers-2017.htm 



Agency Central have very kindly reviewed the site as well with the following entry: 

Jonathan Fagan  - Legal Recruitment
http://legalrecruitment.blogspot.co.uk/

Who is the author?
Jonathan is the MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - a UK-based consultancy serving solicitors and recruiting for permanent and temporary roles within the legal sector. The company famously donates 10% of its profits to charity. Jonathan has also taught legal CV writing and interview practices to postgraduate law students at Huddersfield University.

His blog in a nutshell: 
The award-winning Legal Recruitment blog is the only one on our list to focus almost exclusively on the legal industry. Jonathan is passionate about both the legal and charitable sectors and has invested a lot of time and effort into his blog, which has been regularly updated over the last 10 years. You'll find a wealth of resources here, with posts on everything from legal CV writing to reference checks and how to avoid recruiting bad candidates!

Why follow him?
Jonathan is honest to a fault and brings his readers a rare glimpse into the many challenges faced by legal recruiters. He also offers free careers advice for new and aspiring legal professionals, with wisdom attained from outside of the confines of the lecture hall!

Recommended Reading: Brexit and the effect on legal recruitment in the UK

Social Media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jonathanfagan
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jbfagan/
Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.