Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Friday, June 29, 2007

Feedback for Solicitors Firm following a Legal Job offer rejected by a Candidate

Why didn't a candidate take us up on our offer?

I was thinking today about firms offering candidates posts, and then not taking the opportunity post offer (if rejected or even if accepted) for blunt feedback on the performance of their firm and staff during and after interviewing.

It is a golden opportunity to see how your staff are performing - eg; whether your receptionist gives a good impression of your company, if the offices are a bit drab, or whether you need to paint the outside of your front door and remove the litter. Also how you came across in interview - did you sell yourselves well, what were the sticking points, and how could you address these in future? After all, the person you have interviewed is somewhat uniquely placed to comment - they will be qualified lawyers, and used to the environment, and able to give a qualified and professional opinion that it may be worth listening seriously to. Similarly if they asked for part time flexible hours, and you have refused point blank, it may also be worth looking at the way you work to see if there is a possibility of including flexibiliy for staff..

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, June 20, 2007

How long can I keep a job offer before making a decision when applying to a solicitors firm for a legal job?

How long can you leave an offer of a legal job hanging on for?

Here's the scenario - you have one definite offer from a firm, and a couple of interviews elsewhere in the next few weeks. The first firm want an answer quickly - they are a bit edgy about the whole thing, and have pushed you to say yes or no.
How long can you leave it before you have to give them a positive answer one way or the other?

The answer is not simple, but usually we advise honesty in part - ie you tell the firm you have a couple of interviews elsewhere, and you are waiting for the outcome of these before making a decision. Always convey your decision to both parties - including the one you have decided not to accept, so that everyone knows where they stand. What you don't want to be doing is letting the agency hang on waiting for you to come back to them before giving any further information. We find some candidates think that if they ignore all messages left for them - whether telephone, email or in writing, eventually the firm will go away, and that is the end of that. However, what they often forget is that the firm they have done this to will come up during their career, and the lawyers will remember that candidate solely for the failure to give a decision...

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

Monday, June 18, 2007

Legal Recruitment closure in South Wales

18.06.07 Another Legal Recruitment Agency opens and closes - not as easy work as some think!

We noticed, whilst surfing the net to find a good web developer, that another company who attempted to branch out into legal recruitment has opened in the last few years and closed its doors again (to legal recruitment work).
Altior, a South Wales company known to 1000's of lawyers (including myself) for its good quality training (I did my Professional Skills Course with them many years ago), opened a recruitment division a few years ago for South Wales, and heavily promoted it in the Gazette and online. There always seems to be money in recruitment for anyone not involved in the practice, and it is a bit of a shock when you go for 4-5 months without introducing any lawyers when you first start up (not saying that Altior did this - we certainly did many years ago!). It looks as if things havent worked out there, as the division has now closed.

Many years ago, I was advised by a Financial Adviser who said that if he could impart one piece of useful business advice it was to stick to what you are good at, and let others worry about making money elsewhere. Partly true, but having dabbled ourselves in other fields at different times, we understand this advice entirely... Every year we watch recruitment firms open their doors, and then close again, when they realise that recruitment is not a quick buck enterprise, but one that involves a lot of patient, hard graft, sometimes for no money at all despite many hours investment! We have invested a lot of time over the years attracting candidates who come back to us time and again to see what we have because they know we are still going to be here, and offer a very honest and reliable service.

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

Friday, June 08, 2007

Open Plan Offices - solicitors love them or loathe them

Open Plan Offices and Solicitors

Open plan offices are the bane of our lives as recruiters. Some firms insist on them, as it is good for the boss - he sits in a nice large office at the end of the hall containing the workers, and has a significant amount of credibility. The workers all huddle around desks set out at seemingly random intervals across the floor, with just about sufficient space to put a photo up and speak to someone on the phone without another person hearing 10 metres away.

Solicitors on the whole, I have found, absolutely detest them. It gets back to the whole picture of becoming a solicitor - you get status, spend 8 years of your life studying away to earn what a good secretary does in other firms, and then find you are expected to base yourself on the shop floor with other similarly suffering lawyers who get more and more depressed and cynical as they go on.

Alternatively, some people love them! They get to interact with others, ask questions of more senior staff without needing to knock on their doors, and deal much more quickly with problems.

I do think at times though firms seem to rush into designing these without consulting with the very people who will be working in them. Practice managers are not often the best people to ask - usually solicitors regard themselves as superior in mind and status to these individuals, and taking a HR director or Practice Manager's advice on the issue is not sufficient - it has to be the solicitors who make the decision.

Time and again we get one of the main reasons for moving as not liking the open plan office environment...

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