Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fascinating Tales and Common Queries from Law Firms Enquiring about the Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment £60+ Recruitment Service

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment is slowly (very slowly!) revolutionising the way law firms recruit. In July 2011 we decided to alter our fee structure to do add contingency fee-based recruitment and ask law firms who use our services to pay a monthly subscription as an alternative to paying us a lump sum. We set the monthly subscription at a level so low (from £60) that most firms would not even notice they were paying it.

We also decided to impose a 5 year membership term to stop any firms planning to take a candidate from us and then cancel within a few weeks!

The responses from law firms have been fascinating. They include

"what a fantastic idea. You have altered my view of recruitment agencies as being money grabbing parasites." Partner, Lincolnshire Firm, September 2011.

"your service is outstanding. Within a few days of joining you had found us the candidates we had been looking to recruit for some time." Practice Manager, South East London Firm, August 2011.

We have also had some very interesting responses from some partners as follows:

"If we sign up to your service and recruit from another agency, we will be paying out two lots of recruitment fees."


"This deal discriminates against smaller firms. We shall not be using your services in future." (a good percentage of our clients are sole practitioners and firms with less than 10 partners).


"We only pay contingency fees because we want to pay for success."

Absolutely fascinating. We have also had HR Managers call up to ask why they should give us at least £3,600 when they rarely recruit and it will cost them at least £3,600 whether we are successful or not. They seem to miss the point that their recruitment needs are covered for 60 months - locum, permanent, support staff and fee earners. The service is a membership service, not a one-off recruitment process each time. I suppose after 30 years of recruitment agencies, it is difficult to get away from the mentality of one-off recruitment each time you are looking for a new member of staff.

Some law firms have also tried to argue that they should only have to join once we have found candidates and they have interviewed them. A partner at a medium sized central London firm suggested that the service was expensive and comparable with other deals he was getting from the legal recruitment market.

To be frank, all of the above is a complete load of nonsense. It reminds me of the time I went to a car boot sale to shift a load of possessions when we were moving house.

About half way through the sale, we realised that the remainder of our offerings were not shifting fast enough, and as the plan was to drive home with an empty boot, we started to offer everything at 10p.

Conversations included:

"how much for your skateboard?"


"hmm....what's wrong with it?"

"nothing - we just want to sell it."

"hmm.... (examines the skateboard very suspiciously).... I'll think about it."

We did not sell very much at all at 10p. We managed to shift a computer that someone actually haggled us up on - offering us 50p.

Instead we changed the pricing structure to "everything free of charge".

We sat back and waited for a mad rush of customers. It didn't happen. Browsers still came up to the stall, examined the items carefully, asked us how much they were (despite a huge sign saying "Free to a Good Home").

The tale illustrates a human weakness - we are always looking for "the catch". Each one of the partners and HR managers calling me to find out why we are offering recruitment services at such a low price is simply following their human instinct that something is wrong with the service and that is why it is so cheap.

Our catch is the commitment. We want 5 years from each firm. If we get 5 years, we are happy to offer recruitment at a ridiculous price.

Apart from this? No catches. We have been around a long time. We want to mop up the recruitment market and get the majority of UK law firms on board. If we are first level providers to firms, just about any solicitor or support staff member will register with us in the first instance and not bother with other legal recruitment agencies.

Are the days of contingency fees for recruitment agencies in legal recruitment numbered? Probably not. We set the scheme up in 2011, got over 100 law firms signed up and we still do plenty of contingency based recruitment! Its fine with us.

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment
- Online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database.

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