Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Interview Answer 5

Legal Interview question 5 (with answer) How do you react if you find that someone you work with does not like you?

This question is positively evil! There is very little you can say that will result in a positive outcome. If you say "well I always try to work through our differences and create a comfortable working environment", you have opened yourself to cross-examination to ask why someone would not like you, and if you say you never have, your answer is very short and doesnt give you the chance to explain things further.

In reality, there will be very few fee earners who have not worked in a solicitors firm or a legal job, and discovered that someone else there does not like them. It is a fact of life that not everyone can like you, and vice versa! I used to work in an office where almost everyone was at war, from the senior partner down to the receptionist, and the whole firm would degenerate into a brawl if things got out of hand!

My advice on this one is to go with the "I have never worked with anyone who did not like me, I always get on well with everyone from all walks of life." Although this makes you sound like Mother Theresa, it prevents any interviewer from cross examining you on negative points, which of course is something you very much want to avoid... You could always try saying "I send some heavies round to give them a beating" or "I call crimestoppers and grass them up for running a smuggling ring".

Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online at

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Is the LPC a waste of time?

30.01.07 'The LPC is a waste of time'. Some would even say a money tree for universities.

I suspect this may be a fairly contentious view, so playing devils advocate, what exactly does the LPC do? Speaking from personal experience, I did my LPC by distance learning whilst studying for a training contract via the part time route. I have to say that being in practice I had a fairly good view of law in a practical setting, which a good number of my contemporaries also had. The LPC to us was simply a burning hoop to jump through in order to qualify. It almost seemed at times that the University were trying to get us through to qualify - allowing books into the examination, giving out specimen questions that were remarkably similar to the actual examination. 

There is one university that combines the two courses (LLB and LPC) and this seems a good idea. However, the stark reality of the current solicitor profession is that there are two tiers to it - those solicitors in city legal jobs and commercial practices earning £50,000 to £60,000 at newly qualified level, and those at high street level lucky to be hitting £28,000-£30,000. If you are earning c£15k as a trainee solicitor for 2 years, followed by a few years on the above salary, paying off a £10,000 loan having completed the LPC is a considerable amount of money, and one that law graduates need to consider carefully before entering the profession. It is nice to be able to call yourself a solicitor, and to gain admission to the roll, but at the end of the day, I would rather find a sales post and earn more money for less hours than to end up thousands in debt, and with very few career prospects. 

On the other side of the coin, the LPC weeds out those few who really are not very well suited to being a solicitor, and gives a balanced outlook of the role of a solicitor. I have to confess that I did use my LPC manuals when a trainee to get advice from, and so it probably has some use, apart from stinging every aspiring lawyer for thousands!

Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online at www.ten-percent.co.uk/register.htm

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Relocating to a legal job hotspot

28.01.07 Firms in some areas of the UK are crying out for lawyers in certain fields - where exactly are they?

When it comes to relocating in the UK, it sometimes helps to have an idea as to where there are solicitors firms in need of lawyers for particular fields of law. Some legal job vacancies tend to be fairly easy to predict, whereas others are a bit more erratic. 

Starting in the South West, there is almost always a shortage of general practice solicitors able to deal with conveyancing and something else. Family solicitors are usually in short supply down there, particularly the further west you go. On the south coast, it again tends to be commercial property solicitors that firms salivate at the sight of, as well as residential property and wills & probate. The latter tends to be quite popular in Sussex, around Eastbourne and further inland. 
In the Wiltshire and Swindon areas, just about every field of law suffers from a shortage, and usually there is a firm somewhere looking at a particular field at one time. 

London is just a hot bed of recruitment for everyone bar immigration solicitors, family solicitors and litigation solicitors. These seem to have been problematic fields since time immemorial, particularly since I have been in recruitment, which is now 7 years. Newly qualifieds seem to struggle as well, although if you move out of central london there are usually posts somewhere. 

Middlesex seems to have a perpetual shortage of experienced property lawyers, and Essex just seems to struggle with everything bar family solicitors. Surrey always has firms looking at the more corporate side, and Kent firms usually pay fairly poorly in comparison with other areas, so recruitment seems to stay busy. 
East Anglia - everything bar family and litigation is always going, and the same for the area around Milton Keynes and Bedford.  The Midlands is so erratic I wouldnt like to comment, and the same applies for the East Midlands, although crime is always good around Nottingham. Yorkshire is always busy in non-contentious work and commercial fields, particularly Hull and Sheffield. 

Manchester, Liverpool and Lancashire usually fairly quiet, as lots of candidates in the areas. Cumbria is good for everything high street wise, particularly solicitors who multi-task. North and South Wales are difficult to predict, and the same for the North East, although we have noticed over the years that firms in Teesside and Tyneside do not like family solicitors much!

If thinking of relocating, get in touch with us for a chat, or alternatively have a read through our relocation reports. Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online at www.ten-percent.co.uk/register.htm 

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Interview Answer 4

legal interview question 4 "What are your weaknesses?"

This is a question that bamboozles a lot of lawyers, whether interviewing at trainee or senior partner stage. What on earth do you say? Two responses below:
'I can be a bit lazy at times, and I have been known to turn up to work late occasionally when I have overslept'. This would probably followed by 'why should we employ you then - what benefits would we get out of you joining our firm?'
'My team say that sometimes I work a bit too hard, and perhaps I need to take more time away from my work.'Whilst you have given a negative question a negative response, this has not opened up the floodgates to allow a partner in to cross examine you on how irresponsible/lazy/useless you are going to be when you join their firm.

It is the old interview saying again that during this time you love everybody, and everybody loves you. Life is positive, and there are no negatives! Repeat this mantra again and again before legal job interviews, and you will shine!

Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online at www.ten-percent.co.uk/register.htm

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Interview Answers 3

legal interview question 3: "In your view, what are the major problems/opportunities facing the legal industry?"

Tough question for anyone who does not read the Law Society Gazette and The Lawyer regularly! This does not cost a lot of money to do, more time. The Law Society Gazette can be read online and the The Lawyer can also be read online. If you read these and keep abreast of the issues arising both in terms of opportunities and also difficulties, you should be nicely prepared for this question.

Make sure you know what current issues there are affecting law firms. Your job as a solicitor or trainee solicitor may well depend on it. For example, any lawyer not knowing about the Carter reforms in 2007 will be at a serious disadvantage if working in a high street setting dealing with LSC funded work. Try to concentrate on opportunities as well rather than problems. For example, both journals run articles on overseas and regional markets, outlining where there are opportunities to make money for firms. Try to take these in. You can also see where posts are currently advertised in the backs, as these will give you an idea as to where the legal market is buoyant as well as the legal job market.

Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online at www.ten-percent.co.uk/register.htm

Friday, January 19, 2007

Interview Answers 2

popular legal interview question: "Tell me about a time when you successfully handled a situation?"
This is a question that regularly throws candidates attending legal job interviews - yikes, what on earth do I say to that?! - usually our advice is to think of something before you go for the job interview for this question, and make sure it has no negative overtones. I once attended a Legal 500 firm in Leeds for an interview (they have now merged into something larger if that gives the game away!), and got asked two questions similar to this. I managed to incorporate two deaths from accidents into the answers, which I am not sure went down too well! I think it is a good idea to think of something related to time spent in a law firm if possible, and describe a situation that is going to keep the interviewers attention. I have heard people use the "when I taught TEFL in Japan I needed to organise the classroom and teach to the right age etc..." or "when I went BUNACamping in the USA I had to organise my bunkhouse". Thrilling - I am usually not listening by about the third word! If you had a situation such as the time you were working for a practice, and a client asked what you thought of a barrister as he hated him and wanted to sack him and the firm unless you sorted it out there and then, I would listen to every word you said. This is legally related, interesting, and catches every lawyers' ears!

Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online at http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/register.htm

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Legal Job Update 17 01 07

Jobs added to the Ten-Percent Legal Job Database in the last week:

3113 Housing and community care solicitor sought by central London firm - LSC funded work Central London Housing
3112 Paralegal sought by insurance company to deal with specialist RTA arising from pets. Harrogate, North Yorkshire Personal Injury 1 3
3111 Private client and conveyancing solicitors or executives sought by central Bradford practice. Bradford, West Yorkshire Conveyancing, Wills & Probate NQ 1 3 5 P
3110 Balham firm seek a crime supervisor to join and run their department South London Crime 3 5 P
3109 Crime solicitor or accredited police station rep sought by Southampton firm. Southampton, Hampshire, South Coast Crime NQ 1 3 5 P
3108 Conveyancing solicitor or executive sought by central Leicester firm in nice location. Leicester, Leicestershire, East Midlands Conveyancing NQ 1 3
3107 Employment solicitor sought by Bristol practice of medium size to deal with a range of contentious and non-contentious work acting for both applicants and respondents. The same firm seek a Company Commercial, Litigation or Employment Lawyer to develop their central London office further. London, Bristol, South West Employment, Company Commercial, Dispute Resolution, Commercial Litigation NQ 1 3 5 P
3106 Solicitor sought to join an in house firm looking to take advantage of the deregulation and offer law, accounts and financial advice all under the same roof. Would be working as an assistant to the directors, dealing with company commercial and company administration matters. Hull, East Yorkshire Company Commercial NQ 1 3 5 P
3105 MHRT panel member sought by Lincoln firm of medium size to expand and develop their caseload. Lincoln, East Midlands Mental Health 1 3 5 P
3104 MHRT panel member sought to develop a small department of a firm in Gravesend. Gravesend, Kent, South East Mental Health 1 3 5 P
3103 Mental health solicitor sought to join a medium sized practice in Paignton and assist a partner with an MHRT caseload. Paignton, Devon, South Coast Mental Health NQ 1 3 5 P
3102 MHRT panel member sought to continue a small department of a firm in Newcastle. Newcastle, Tyneside, North East Mental Health 1 3 5 P
3101 MHRT panel member sought by Colchester firm with fairly large department (mental health-wise), to join the team. Colchester, Essex, South East Mental Health 1 3 5
3100 Police station rep (accredited) sought by Cornwall firm with offices in St Austell. May also consider a solicitor. St Austell, Cornwall, South West Crime, Police Station NQ 1
3099 Private client department head sought by medium sized Crawley and Ewell firm. Crawley, Sussex, South East, South Coast Wills & Probate NQ 1 3 5 P
3098 Privately funded family solicitor sought by a leading Crawley practice. Crawley, Sussex, South East, South Coast Family 1 3 5
3097 Civil litigation solicitor sought to work in Southampton and Christchurch with smaller sized practice. Christchurch, Dorset, Southampton, Hampshire, South Coast Civil Litigation 1 3 5 P
3096 Employment solicitor sought by Fareham firm of medium size. Fareham, Hampshire, South Coast Employment 1 3 5 P
3095 Legal 500 firm based in Crawley and Horsham seek a corporate solicitor at assistant level (guide would be NQ-2 years), and associate level, a commercial property solicitor - around the supervisory level mark but less or more considered, Commercial Litigation solicitors with experience, employment solicitor at senior level, residential conveyancing solicitor to assist partners dealing with wide range of work, and a solicitor looking to manage a conveyancing department at the Horsham office. Sussex, South East, South Coast Corporate, Commercial Property, Commercial Litigation, Employment, Residential Conveyancing NQ 1 3 5 P
3094 Private client solicitor or executive sought by Bucks firm to set up and develop a wills & probate department. Buckinghamshire, South East Wills & Probate NQ 1 3 5 P
3093 Insolvency practitioner (licensed) sought by Manchester firm of financial advisers. Manchester, North West Insolvency 1 3 5 P
3092 Mental health review tribunal panel member sought by leading Nottingham firm of larger size with good national reputation. Nottingham, East Midlands Mental Health 1 3 5 P

Any interest in any of these, please email me on jf@ten-percent.co.uk or phone 01352 810850.

Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online at www.ten-percent.co.uk/register.htm

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why do you want to be a solicitor?

popular legal interview question: "why do you want to be a solicitor at this firm?"

Well, why do you? Usually I hear answers like - "since I have been at primary school I have always felt that the diversity and scope for career development suited my own skills set and ambitions..." etc.. etc.. I don't think I have ever listened to a word that anyone has said on the subject apart from one candidate who asked "well why did you want to be a solicitor - I suspect I want to be for the same reasons - good career, social status and reasonable standard of living". Fair enough! There is no right or wrong answer to this question. If you are asked it at the start of the interview, it is usually because the senior partner has not looked at your CV and wants you to waffle whilst he finds it, or it is to loosen you up for more interesting questions. Try not to waffle, keep your answer short and sweet, and try to say something you think the person interviewing you may be interested to hear. Diversity, career development, transferable skills etc.. are for HR managers and professionals, and best avoided with solicitors firms. Legal job interviews can be quite different in focus - solicitors want someone they get on with, who has a sense of humour, and who realises the key to private practice is to make money; not a monotonous robot able to waffle in the local authority language (or the "I've spoken to my careers adviser at law school") of a select few.


Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online at http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/register.htm

Monday, January 15, 2007

Lawyers Working Conditions

15.01.07 "I want to move because my current office is affecting my health - damp on the walls, mould on the ceiling, and freezing cold. No pay rise for anyone at the firm in 5 years"
Another firm yet to wake up to the realities of modern day living - being nice to your legal staff and giving them heating of some sort!
This entry was included over the weekend in a candidate's registration form for legal jobs on our website. His salary was not particularly brilliant, and probably would not even result in being able to purchase 1 bedroomed flat in most areas of the UK, and I suspect the firm have a very high staff turnover rate.
We find some firms seem to consider that when they rent premises they do not need to do any work on the surroundings that may make things too comfortable for their staff. Perhaps it is the worry that lawyers go to sleep when it gets too warm, or may not be so productive. It doesnt take much to get a can of paint, a new carpet, some decent blinds and some new desks from somewhere like IKEA to really smarten up an office. One of the main things that scares me as a client at law firms is when I walk in and find them looking like a bomb site.
Heating doesn't need to cost the earth - portable floor heaters from Argos for £12.00 or similar will keep any freezing feet warm in listed buildings without double glazing, and if you are sat for long periods of time it is quite easy to get frostbite!
A private area is always beneficial to all staff - even if it is to discharge various functions that other staff are probably best not being in the room for (vegetarian lawyers particularly thought of at this point!).
All in all, think about your working environment, and how comfortable you find it, and then consider your employees, and what you would make of theirs.
Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online at www.ten-percent.co.uk/register.htm 

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Planning Legal Career Paths

11.01.07 "I've heard a lot of talk about career paths - what should I be doing about this, and is it a good idea to plan 5 years in advance when working in a law firm?"
It is very hard to know what a legal career is all about when you start out in law. Firstly you achieve great things when you graduate from University with a law degree. 3-4 years of hard graft, and what do you get out of it? Another 3 years of hard graft! 1 year on the LPC followed by two years of training contract, which can involve working for peanuts and being asked to do jobs such as clean the solicitors' cars, or go and fetch the secretaries' lunch! Finally, after 6-7 years of slaving away results in you qualifying as a solicitor, and you wake up the following morning pleased with yourself. But what then - great you are a newly qualified solicitor? But where do you need to aim to from there?
Well it all depends on what your ambitions are. Sit down with a pen, and work out where you want to be in 5 years time. Do you want to have children, a steady income, a big house and a small mortgage, a partnership in a firm, or out of law and in another field? Do you want to be rich, mega rich, or just comfortable?
You then need to work out what you need to do in order to achieve these goals - do you need to stay in conveyancing working for a bucket shop so you establish a steady career and income, or do you need to start planning your own firm for once you have gained those three years of experience to be able to set up your own practice? If you want a big house and lots of money, it is important to plan earlier rather than later as to how you wish to achieve this - if you remain an assistant solicitor on £30k for too many years you would probably need to rob a bank in order to do this, which we do not recommend!
The answer to the question re career paths is yes - you should be planning out your career path - with aims and goals, and set out to achieve these. If you do not do this, you may find yourself stuck in a rut in future years, or going completely away from where you wanted to be.
Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and register with us! www.ten-percent.co.uk/register.htm

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Are Legal Job Boards a waste of time?

10.01.07 "why waste time searching legal job boards when you can register with one agency to look at every option for you?"

The opposite argument is of course that you might miss a whole load of posts arising!

We used to subscribe to a legal job board, who of course must remain nameless, but we found that almost totally all the candidates who registered with us, registered with every other agent out there as well, and firms were getting CVs from all angles pitching up at them. We simply found that spending time sifting through CVs from unsuitable candidates and responding, as well as posting vacancies constantly on the sites was taking too much of our time, so we gave up - we wanted to spend time speaking to contacts, searching for opportunities and marketing our candidates rather than looking at lists and sifting all the time.

In the same way, we argue that you do not actually need to search the boards if you find a good legal recruitment consultant to act for you. We would like to think of ourselves in this category, and in fact would also argue that you can save significant time and effort just registering with one agency to start the ball rolling and give them an open shot at finding you work, assuming you are a marketable candidate of course!

So sit back, register today, play some of our online games, and see what your legal recruitment consultant can do for you with little effort on your part! Of course, some of the contents of this article are slightly biased...

Jonathan Fagan, Legal Recruitment Consultant for Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - the no.1 online legal job agency - register today and put your feet up!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Skills of Negotiation Questions for Law Firms

"Describe a situation requiring skills of negotiation and verbal reasoning". Why is this question asked, and how come I can only remember the first two words whenever I get asked it?!
This question is asked to basically put you on the spot and see if you can remember sentences that last for longer than 3 words. I have asked this question so many times, and by the end of the answer (if indeed one is forthcoming) I have started to do the shopping for that evening or wondered why anyone would want to be a lawyer when they have to think up ridiculous answers to ridiculous questions! I have also answered it lots of times when looking many years ago for a training contract or paralegal work.
There is no right and wrong answer to it, or no interview guru advice I can give. The advice has to be to jump through the hoop and give your somewhat boring and tedious answer without making the listener go to sleep too much.
Usually we recommend thinking of a situation involving a commercial or business environment rather than "When I was in the scouts we had to redesign a woffle for our scarves and I had to tell Obi Ben Knobi to stop interrupting me". Think of something you have done during your work experience (you have got some of this haven't you - see our guide for getting some or a training contract here) and use this as the basis for the answer. Think of a couple of examples before attending the interview. Always remember to remain positive with your answer and avoid office politics answers.

Jonathan Fagan - Legal Recruitment Consultant with Ten-Percent Legal - the no.1 online legal recruitment agency for legal jobs. Read our top 100 interview questions and our guide to finding a training contract by visiting our careers centre on the www.ten-percent.co.uk website.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Business Acumen

08.01.07 "business acumen" - what's it all about?
This term comes up quite often in legal job interviews, whether for training contracts or qualified solicitor roles. But what exactly does it mean? In reality, not a lot!
The usual question is along the lines of "can you give an example of when you have had to demonstrate business acumen in a legal, commercial setting or otherwise". You then start to waffle about your student days and when you saved the hang gliding club 30p by introducing more efficient advertising on the student boards!
What the law firms are looking for (we think) are demonstrations where you have understand the reality of the legal profession. The law is all about money - law firms are there to make money, and to gain business acumen you simply have to understand this fact - it is not a dirty word, nor is it some sort of immoral side to the business. The reality is that law firms, partners, solicitors and assistant solicitors together with any other fee earners are exactly that - fee earners. When they work on a case, they are generating income. Have a read of John Grisham "The Firm" to understand this further - it will help you answer the question I think. If you have never had any involvement in running a business before, it is probably worth thinking about it now - setting up a business is one of the best ways to gain an understanding as to what it is all about!
Jonathan Fagan - MD www.ten-percent.co.uk - UK's No.1 online legal recruitment agency for all jobs in law.

Friday, January 05, 2007

I want a training contract

05.01.07 I want a training contract and you're going to help me - after all, you are a recruitment consultant...
This is often an approach taken by law students or graduates hunting around for work experience or training contracts who seem to think that if they utilise their cross examination skills well, a lowly recruitment consultant will eventually cave in and admit that they can actually identify a training contract for them and book an interview there and then. The call usually goes:
"Hi - I'm a graduate not quite qualified with an LLB - I want a training contract."
"Right - and what do you think we can do to help".
"Well, you are recruitment consultants arent you?"
"Yes, but we specialise in solicitors."
"Well, I am almost a solicitor - I have an LLB - why can't you get me a training contract?"
"Because we only assist qualified solicitors - have you visited our careers page for our free guide on obtaining a training contract?"
"No - I'm not looking for careers advice - I am looking for work - I am doing the LPC next year..?"
This tends to carry on for a while before they get exasperated and hang up! As a rule of thumb, we and any other consultants cannot find training contracts. Some years ago I think I assisted one person get a contract, but that was in particularly exceptional circumstances with someone who had been in the industry for many years so was recruited on the basis of that rather than their qualifications.
Finding a training contract or paralegal post is up to you as an individual - get your CV honed up, get experience and get applying - see our guide for assistance...

Jonathan Fagan, www.ten-percent.co.uk - the no.1 online legal recruitment consultants

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Money for Old Rope

04.01.07 "All you do is send out a CV and make a telephone call to get paid a fortune - recruitment consultants are like estate agents!"

I like to think that as a legal recruitment consultant I work very hard for our clients and candidates. What a lot of people do not understand is the amount of work we have to put in to attract solicitors, lawyers and legal executives to our sites and services. The average cost of recruiting a solicitor without an agency is about £3,600 including advertising and time spent interviewing and selecting. That is assuming you can find a solicitor - a good number of legal jobs are left vacant for a considerable amount of time - it can be up to a couple of years or more.
I thought it might be worth setting out what we do.

Firstly our site is optimised each month to push us up the search engine ratings - we are usually in the top 5 on Google, MSN and Yahoo, although MSN has recently changed its search patterns, and most of the larger agencies have dropped rather dramatically. Increased competition from the legal job boards has also pushed the agencies down a little bit.

Secondly, we advertise on all the major search engines, spending £1000's each year on ensuring our ad is on most search pages for the relevant keywords. This covers us for most of the main searches that you would do to find us. We also advertise occasionally in the Law Society Gazette.

Thirdly, we write articles, provide services and run the consultancy side of the business to attract passing trade and keep our current candidates interested in us.
We also have to maintain a good knowledge of the legal market, and attend trade fairs when necessary to speak directly to clients and candidates (Law 2006 was one such event we attended). We also sponsor various events and awards from time to time.

Some of our recruitment is very straightforward - we send out a CV to a firm advertising with us, they interview and offer a post with very little involvement from us. The key here is that we have had to attract the firm and the candidate to us, and this is where the cost issues come in - we have introduced two parties together that may otherwise have never met. Some of our recruitment is extremely complicated, and involves a considerable amount of work liasing with the firm and candidate (usually when we have a good candidate for whom we secure a number of interviews for), and subsequently spend a lot of time advising the firms and candidate on salary levels, terms and conditions for the contract, start dates, etc... There is a statistic in the recruitment world that says that only a certain number of interviews will progress to offer stage, although this does tend to be high in law. As a result, because we are in a commission based industry, we can spend considerable amounts of time dealing with a certain candidate, only to find that when we get to offer stage, they decide not to proceed, and we have to write the time off - not wasted, but not generating any income for the company.
On the whole I think a lot of consultants work long hours to secure offers and posts for their candidates, and it is usually not just a case of whacking out a CV and making a telephone call.

Jonathan Fagan, Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - The no.1 online legal recruitment agency for all legal jobs.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Are Recruitment Consultants crooks?

are Recruitment Consultants crooks?
"After all you lie, cheat and generally behave abominably without making much effort to help anyone find a job!"
I think some firms are convinced that consultants are there simply to cream off money that would otherwise have gone into the partners pockets. I have heard it said that we effectively swindle firms into handing over huge swathes of cash for no work or actual knowledge about the candidate or the firm we are dealing with.
Well, most consultants these days are trained and qualified. Whilst I have to accept that this does not mean that the market has avoided its fair share of cowboy operators, it does mean that a good number of consultants have obtained MREC or FREC status from the REC - Recruitment & Employment Confederation (www.rec.uk.com ) and have agreed to adhere to policies of best practice and ethical standards. I have not seen or heard of many consultants in recent years acting in ways that you would think them to be lacking in morals or ethics! I myself have sat the Certificate of Recruitment Practice exam, and found it interesting to say the least as to what the industry considers best practice. Very useful indeed, and we picked up pointers that have assisted us assist candidates and clients alike.

Jonathan Fagan - MD of www.ten-percent.co.uk - the no.1 online legal recruitment agency.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Is the Legal Job market cyclical?

We notice whenever there is World Cup, a serious incident in world politics, Christmas Parties, Christmas shopping, New Years resolution season, NQ qualification season and so forth. The answer therefore is yes! The year always starts fairly slowly - over the Xmas break some solicitors have a think about their current legal job, and have a trawl of the legal recruitment consultancies. We get registrations from all over the UK. After the New Year, and when everyone has that depressing moment when they have to go back to work, we get the New Years resolutions registering - wanting a change, or just seeing what the grass is like on the other side of the fence. This carries on for a few weeks into February, when the market picks up to its maximum peak, before quietening down for the half term. Following this, the market is busy again until Easter and the end of the tax year in April. The first two weeks of April are always very quiet, as the firms are collecting everything together for the year end, but this does not last long. May, June and July are always our busiest three months of the year, before the summer holidays start to kick in for August. The market again goes quiet, before September and October start in earnest, and the third recruitment season of the year comes into play, before sliding off again as Christmas shopping season starts.
Each season comes with different types of candidates, and at certain times of the year we can almost guess how many applications a candidate has made before they have registered with us, as it is often linked to the season and the cyclical nature of the recruitment market! The worst time for us is the World Cup - it seems to finish off interviews and job offers as everyone has something more interesting to do...

Happy New Year! Jonathan Fagan, www.ten-percent.co.uk - the online legal recruitment consultants.