Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Saturday, September 26, 2015

5 things not to take to a Job Interview

As legal recruiters, we regularly hear of horrific interviews that have gone badly wrong and these are some of the things that people have turned up with and seriously affected their chances of success. 

1)    Their Mother.

We have actually had instances of candidates turning up to job interviews with their mother in tow and both sitting in the reception area of the company or firm they are interviewing with and becoming the source of great fascination amongst the staff.  Why on earth would anyone take their mother to a job interview?  But it happens. If your mother has given you a lift to the location or offices of the firm you are interviewing with, then park her in the local Costa Coffee. Do not for a second think it is a good idea to let her come into the building with you when you are attending for an interview. It is a terrible idea and one to be avoided like the plague.

2)    A naff carrier bag
Your choice of carrier bag can
 affect the outcome of a job

Feedback on a couple of interviews in recent years has been that they like the candidate and thought they were very friendly but their appearance was awful.  This included the Lidl carrier bag they were carrying their stuff in.  Not only had it indicated that particular candidate's shopping habits, which some would say are tasteful and others would be horrified by, it also indicates a lack of preparation in that the candidate hasn't got a smart bag to take with them to professional meetings. How will this candidate be when speaking to clients of the firm or company they are interviewing with?

3)    Odd socks

Your clothing really does matter for interview. If you have odd socks on and you cross your legs as a man, and the firm see the odd socks, then unless it is a clear fashion statement it is very likely that they are going to hold this against you. Similarly, wearing jeans and a t-shirt to an office based interview is definitely not a good idea, neither is turning up in a cap. Similarly, you can be overdressed.  We have heard of people turning up for job interviews wearing a suit, but also having a waistcoat, bow-tie and a cumberband. Whilst this look may be fantastic for dinner parties or balls, it is definitely not a good idea for job interviews.

4)    Tattoos

It will probably pain a lot of people to hear this but there are still considerable numbers of employers out there who regard tattoos as a sign of the devil and are very unlikely to employ you if they spot one.  It is understandable that if you have 'Kill' tattooed across your knuckles or a picture of an angel tattooed across your forehead it is not going to be very easy to hide these blemishes. However, if you have a picture of Popeye on your forearm and have the option to wear a long-sleeved shirt, then it might well be worth considering wearing the long-sleeved shirt for the interview.  No doubt in time this taboo will end as the vast majority of people under the age of 25 seem to have a tattoo somewhere on their person and employers will have to move with the times. However, as it stands tattoos are not a good idea to keep visible. 

5)    A Big Mac Happy Meal from McDonalds.

When you attend a job interview, it is more than understandable that beforehand you want to make sure you have got plenty of energy to stay alert and awake and keep focused. But whilst eating a Big Mac Happy Meal from McDonalds is probably not going to give you the same boost as a banana and a bag of nuts, there are those who would find this a comfort before attending a job interview.  However, walking into the buildings of the company who are interviewing you and asking if there is somewhere you can put your Big Mac Happy Meal bag is not to be recommended.  It does not go down well with the employer who no doubt will find out about it when the secretary or receptionist expresses horror that you have deposited the said item with them.

So there we have it, 5 items not to take to a job interview if you can help it. Don't forget to switch off your mobile phone. Good luck!

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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How to Recruit Staff without Incurring Agency Fees - Subscription Recruitment

It is estimated by a number of different bodies (including CIPD) that the average cost of recruiting a new member of staff at all levels, from junior assistants through to senior executives is over £4,500 plus VAT. This takes into consideration agency fees, training fees, time taken to do the recruitment if not using an agency and the time taken by the new employee to settle into their role before they become productive.

Recruitment agency fees can be a considerable chunk of money. At junior level they can range from about 10% through to 20% of the first year's annual salary or package, and at a senior level they can be as much as 35% of the package. Putting this into perspective, if you recruit a chief executive or senior manager on a salary of £100,000, your agency fee could be as much as £35,000 plus VAT.

This cost can be prohibitive for small firms and preclude them from even considering using the services of a recruitment agency.

But what if there was an alternative to paying an agency a large sum of money up front without any guarantee of a decent return?

What if there was no issue of worrying about you receiving a rebate of the fee if the candidate leaves within a set space of time?

The answer is that there is an alternative. Subscription-based recruitment. This is also known as a recruitment membership service or unlimited recruitment but the basis of subscription recruitment is that there is no fee charged by the recruitment agency for the successful, placement of a member of staff. Instead, you pay a small monthly fee which acts virtually as an insurance policy. This small monthly fee guarantees you access to the recruitment agency's candidates as and when you need them. This may of course never happen but if you have a five-year contract and decide even to use the service once, then you will have earned back the money you paid out in one placement of a candidate through that agency.

Take the Ten Percent Unlimited Option. Full details of this can be found at . This service operates for 5 years and enables solicitors' firms and legal employers to recruit at all levels for a period of 5 years, including both locum and permanent candidates. The prices start from just £60 per month and depend on the size of the firm, the number of offices, turnover, types of law covered and geographical location.

If you have a vacancy you simply send it through to Ten Percent and they run the vacancy in the same way they would do if you were paying a contingency fee (i.e. you pay if a successful placement occurs). The agency, Ten Percent Legal Recruitment, will send your vacancy out to their candidates on the company database, advertise the vacancy across a range of job boards, promote the vacancy via their own website & other sources and send CVs across.

The difference with the subscription service is that from the moment the CVs are sent across you have full control of the recruitment process. You can choose to contact the candidates directly yourself, you can ask the agency to contact them for you, you can check the candidates out to decide whether or not they are of the calibre you wish to consider further, and you can do as much or as little with the CVs as you wish.

The restrictions on the subscription service for Ten Percent Unlimited include not being able to forward CVs onto third parties and a fair usage policy, i.e. if a firm starts sending false requests for CVs when they have no intention of recruitment - this would kick in and reduce the number of CVs they could access - and no roles involving commission-only payment structures.

You can see the cost saving involved in using a subscription service. Say that you want to employ a new sales manager on a salary of £35,000, two secretaries, a couple of temporary staff to cover whilst the secretaries and the sales manager are on holiday and an emergency cover for a few weeks at some point in the next five years. The cost of all this would be around the £10,000 mark if you went through a conventional agency. However, using the subscription based model the cost would only be the monthly payment that you would make for 5 years. So assuming you were at the lowest end of the Ten Percent Unlimited scheme, the cost would be £3,600 plus VAT for the 5 years, which is over 60% cheaper than the standard conventional contingency only model of recruitment. Adding to this unexpected recruitment on expansion or future replacements of staff and you can see that the cost savings can be quite phenomenal compared with the costs of using an agency in the conventional way.

This is just one type of subscription recruitment service but Ten Percent Unlimited already has over 100 solicitors' firms as members. A good number of clients choose to use the conventional Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment locum and permanent services as well, paying a fee when a successful placement occurs.

The same service operates in other fields as well via different agencies and is possibly argued to be the future of recruitment in certain sectors. It works up to a certain level but eventually the search and selection becomes so specialised that employers have no alternative but to use a specialist recruitment agency in the traditional manner to try and recruit themselves.

For full details of the Ten Percent Unlimited Scheme including a quote, please visit

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.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Ten-Percent Foundation - Nominations Needed for 2015 Donations

Summer 2015 10% Donations - Nominations Needed 

It is time for us to take any nominations for our charitable trust - we were due a trustees meeting last month but it has been carried over. We hope to provide continuing support to a number of our existing charities, including the British Stammering Association, LawCare and a school in Tanzania, but apart from this we are open to suggestions. We do not, as a matter of policy, donate to any charity paying staff more than £75k. Email any suggestions to

About Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment 
We are a specialist legal recruiter, covering both permanent and locum roles across the whole of the UK. Over 11,000 lawyers are registered with us and we have access to a range of external and internal job boards and websites where we do not have candidates available ourselves.

We also assist with recruitment advice and assistance, regularly advising partners and practice managers on suitable salary and package levels. Our company is unique for a number of reasons, including the fact that we are not shy to publish our fee structure and also donate a chunk of our profits to charity each year.

We offer unlimited permanent and locum recruitment for a fixed monthly fee or one-off fees depending on the job.

We donate 10% of our profits annually to charity, hence our name.

 We have three recruitment consultants, Jonathan Fagan, Clare Fagan and Pete Gresty, together with our finance director Pearl McNamara. Together we have over 40 years of experience in the legal profession.

Jonathan Fagan is a qualified solicitor and still (reluctantly!) undertakes litigation on behalf of the company when required.

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment also owns Interim Lawyers, a specialist locum service. We operate an outsourced UK based typing service as well – and are preferred suppliers to a number of institutional clients and law firms across the UK and overseas.

The Ten-Percent Group of Legal Recruitment websites gives 10% of annual profits to charity (hence our name). We have carried on with this tradition since we formed the company 15 years ago. So far over £66,000 has been donated to charities in the UK and Africa including LawCare and the CAB.

Locum Hourly Rates of Pay - Update August 2015 from Interim Lawyers and Ten-Percent Legal

Updated Locum Hourly Rates of Pay - August 2015

Hourly Rates of Pay for Locum Solicitors and Legal Executives
Locum hourly rate payment varies widely according to the demand, length of assignment, level of experience and advance notice available. Hourly rates go up during the summer (June-September). NB: These rates are intended as a guide only. Hourly rates can vary according to the location, duration and level of expertise.

August 2015 Private Practice Law Firm Rates:
* Conveyancing Locum Solicitors – 1-5 years PQE, handling residential standard sale price only – £26-30 per hour (slight variation for central London – £29-35 per hour).
* Conveyancing Locum Solicitors & ILEX – 5-35 years PQE, handling all levels of conveyancing including managing a department – £30-£40 per hour, including central London.
* Commercial Property Solicitors – 1-40 years PQE - £35-50 per hour.
* Wills & Probate Solicitors and Executives – 3-35 years PQE – £35-43 per hour.
* Family Solicitors – 4-40 years PQE – £23-30 per hour. Occasionally this goes up to £35 per hour for short notice or a few days cover.
* Civil Litigation – 1-35 years PQE. £27-35 per hour. These rates cover mainstream litigation – eg county court and small claims matters.
Hourly Rate, Weekly Rate and Salary Equivalents:
£20 per hour = £750 per week or £36,000 per annum (assuming a 7.5 hour day and a 48 week year).
£25 per hour = £937.50 per week or £45,000 per annum.
£30 per hour = £1,125 per week or £54,000 per annum.
We have over 11,000 lawyers registered with us. To request CVs for a specific vacancy please register your vacancy - Locum or Permanent
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.