Many job seekers work with recruiters, but few understand them. Unfortunately, lack of understanding coupled with unrealistic expectations is a recipe for disaster. Below are four things every job seeker should know about recruiters.
- Recruiters work for employers. It’s true that recruiters value top talent, but at the end of the day they still report to the employers and hiring managers who’ve tasked them with filling a job order. With this in mind, each job seeker should look out for their own interests and consider the recruiters perspective when making requests for their time and energy.
- Good recruiters vet job candidates. If you’re tempted to fudge the truth on your resume—don’t. The best recruiters thoroughly vet job seekers before they forward their resume to an employer. If you’re found to have lied on your resume you could find yourself locked out of future opportunities.
- Recruiters get paid via fees from the employer. This fact is important for a few reasons, 1) if you’re working with a recruiter working with just one at a time will reduce the chance of fee disputes, and 2) you should let your recruiter know to which employers you’ve already sent your resume.
- Recruiters have working relationships with certain employers. If you’re trying to get a job at a particular law firm, it’s best to do your research. Many firms work with the same set of recruiters repeatedly. This means that connecting to the right recruiters can offer you a pipeline of job opportunities at the law firms you prefer.
Understanding how recruiters work will help you create a productive relationship with your next legal recruiter.
The recruiting process can be stressful, but that doesn’t mean hiring managers, job seekers, and others have the right to abuse you. If you’ve been in the recruiting business for any length of time, then you’ve probably dealt with your fair share of rude people. Below are a few tips on how legal recruiters can handle those people and still get the job done.
- Don’t take it personally. It’s important to realize that rude behavior from others, even from a hiring manager who’s hired you to source for their job order, is never personal. And internalizing rude behavior causes stress, depression, and is bad for your overall mental health and self-esteem.
- Keep your cool. Never allow the rude behavior of another person to dictate your emotional response. To do this you must create psychological distance from the behavior and remind yourself that it’s not personal even if the rude person thinks it is.
- Set boundaries. You are not required to tolerate rude behavior from anyone. And it’s important that you calmly and professionally let the rude person know that. If you’re being treated rudely let the other person know that you will need to end the conversation if they don’t change their behavior.
- Enforce your boundaries. If the rude person continues with their behavior, you must enforce your boundaries. The best response to the rude person who won’t change his behavior is to remove yourself from his presence. If you’re on a telephone call, hang up. If you’re at a face-to-face meeting, leave the room. By enforcing your boundaries you send a clear message to the rude individual.
Get the respect you deserve by handling rude people the right way.
No one wants to get negative feedback from a supervisor, especially if they’re a new hire. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to turn negative feedback into a win-win situation for you and your firm.
- Get perspective. Remember, negative or critical feedback isn’t about punishment. It’s about letting you know how you’re failing to live up to the employer’s expectations. Getting that information is important because it empowers you to make productive changes to the way you approach your job.
- Decompress before responding. If possible, it’s better to wait before responding to negative feedback. Give yourself at least 24 hours to think about the feedback you received before you give a reaction. Remember, it’s natural to feel defensive or even angry when receiving negative feedback, but giving an angry reaction could harm your relationship with your boss.
- Ask for suggestions. As part of your response, ask your supervisor to give suggestions on how you can improve your performance. Don’t let them get away with giving vague answers. If they’re not specific, make sure you make it clear that you can’t really improve if you don’t know what they’re looking for in your performance.
- Get a timeline for a second review. Once you get suggestions on how you should improve your performance, you should get a date for a second review. This follow-up review should be done no later than the halfway point between your official evaluation and your next official evaluation. This way you’ll know if you’re on the right track for your performance long before your next evaluation.
Don’t let negative feedback get you down, take the right steps to make it work in your favor.
Even for the most motivated and skilled recruiters, procrastination is often a problem. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep procrastination at bay. Let’s take a look at a few tips:
- Keep a schedule. For the more free-spirited amongst us, keeping a schedule can feel like mental shackles. However, the opposite is often true. Since a well scheduled day gives each task its own time slot, it can prevent you from falling into the procrastination trap.
- Start with the most difficult. Beginning your day with the most difficult tasks leverages your energy efficiently. You can focus on the hard stuff first when you’re most energetic and then make your way to the easier tasks later in the day when you’ll probably have less energy.
- Do one thing at a time. Having a lot of things on your plate can feel overwhelming. That’s why you should never multi-task. Focus on one task at a time and break larger tasks into smaller parts. Remember, the only way to “eat an elephant” is one bite at a time.
- Create deadlines. By giving yourself a set time to finish a project, you create positive pressure. This pressure to meet a deadline will give you the motivation you need to stay on task and avoid procrastination.
- Let go of perfection. If you’re a highly skilled legal recruiter, it’s only natural that you want to do your best. However, doing your best and being perfect are two different things. Let go of perfection because it is impossible to attain. Instead of perfection, embrace excellence.
If you want to up your productivity and your value as a recruiter, make it a point to beat procrastination every day.
The stereotype that lawyers are terrible managers is something that successful attorneys work to disprove. If you want to excel in your law career, you’ll need at least four core management skills no matter what level you’re at.
Attorneys who can inspire and motivate others are the rainmakers and influencers of the industry. Inspirational attorneys help keep morale up amongst colleagues and they have enough vision to push through difficult cases and help others along the journey.
Despite the need of every attorney to sometimes play rough with their opponents, it’s important that you always display a high level of integrity. Remember, people won’t follow or trust someone who is seems as dishonest or deceptive.
Just like the rest of the business world, law firms face problems. Attorneys who can offer solutions to those problems will always be the first hired and the last fired. Problem solvers are difficult to come by so employers are willing to offer them the best positions and compensation.
The number one management skill every attorney needs is the ability to produce measurable results in themselves and others. You must have the ability to set long-term goals and then move a team to complete those goals effectively.
If you want to ensure yourself a lucrative and long career as an attorney aim to shore up as many core management skills as possible.
Loyalty is never given away for free. If you want candidates that send high quality colleagues your way and employers who choose you to recruit for their most precious job openings, you’ll need to earn their loyalty. Below are four tips for making candidates and clients loyal to your recruiting business.
- Be real and genuine. While you may feel inundated with emails and social media messages, it’s important that you give respect to each candidate and employer you interact with. How you interact with your clients and candidates will play a big part in whether or not they come back in the future or refer business your way.
- Be useful. The number one way to be useful to employers and candidates is to always cater your services to their real needs—not the needs you want them to have but the needs they really have. In order to know what those needs are, you’ll need to keep an open line of communication asking them about their goals and challenges.
- Be transparent. There’s nothing about your process that should be a mystery to the people you’re doing business with. Transparency and honesty is one of the cornerstones of getting loyal candidates and clients. And whatever you do, never stretch the truth or lie to candidates or employers, once they find out the truth that will be the end of any trust you’ve built with them.
- Keep your word. The old cliché—underpromise and overdeliver is incredibly important when building relationships that foster loyalty. Make sure that you always do what you say you’re going to do, and if you think you’ll fall short, communicate the fact immediately.
One of the keys to becoming a successful recruiter is building loyalty in the people you do business with, so make it a top priority.
It’s natural to be a little nervous before a job interview, but too much nervousness can hurt your chances of getting hired. Below are a few tips on how to boost your self-confidence before your next interview and get the job you want.
- Step up your grooming routine. Before your next interview, have your hair cut and styled, your clothes freshly laundered and pressed, and make sure your personal appearance and hygiene are top notch. By pampering yourself you will instantly improve your self-image.
- Dress in good quality clothes. Even if you’re strapped for cash, make sure you invest in a high quality business suit you can wear to interviews. Dressing in the finest clothes will help you feel and look more confident.
- Know your stuff. Before going on your next interview, prepare thoroughly—research the company, investigate the interviewers, and know your own work history, skills, and experience by heart. Nothing boosts confidence more than the ability to confidently discuss the company and your professional life with an interviewer.
- Read industry news. Go the extra mile by catching up on industry news, events, and trends. Even if you don’t delve too deeply into industry talk, your ability to “talk shop” will give you the confidence to go into your next interview with your head held high.
- Eat healthy and exercise. Go for a light walk and eat a healthy meal before going on your next interview. Fueling and caring for your body will help give you the boost of confidence you need.
If you want to leave a good first impression at your next interview, make sure you enter the room with confidence.
Most employers field dozens of inquiries from recruiters wanting to do business with them. If you’re one of those “hungry” recruiters, then you’ll want to do something that makes you memorable. Below are a few tips on how you can become the recruiting firm that’s different.
- Do difficult things. It’s human nature to seek out the well worn path. But if you’re seeking to be seen as the recruiter who’s different, you’ll want to take the path less travelled. Offer services that are hard to get, solve problems that stump everyone else, and deliver results that are almost impossible to come by. By doing difficult things, you’ll become the recruiter who stands out in the mind of employers.
- Do it right when others don’t. Every industry has a sore spot—something that almost everyone gets wrong. Find out what that sore spot is and aim to get it right all of the time. If you’re able to position yourself as a recruiter who can deliver something that other recruiters can’t, you’ll definitely be remembered by employers
- Have vision and share it. When working with employers, try to offer more than resumes and cover letters. You should think long term, recognize problems the employer is facing, watch for changes in their business, and offer your insight and suggestions. For example, if you know that the employer is planning to open a new office in a few months, suggest that they begin recruiting now so that they’re not rushing to staff the new office at the last minute.
To become a recruiter who is perceived as different, you’ll need to mold your business into something unique and hard to replicate.
The cliché that beggars can’t be choosers should never be applied to job seeking, even if you’re unemployed. If you want to move effectively in the direction of your career goals, you must learn to be a discerning job seeker. Below are four ways to be a picky job seeker and still get hired:
- Clarify what’s important to you. Before setting out on your job search, determine what qualities you’re really looking for in an employer. Create this list of “must-have” qualities without judgment and without comparing your list to what other people say you should want.
- Determine which of these “must-have” qualities will help you reach your career, financial, and professional growth goals. For example, if you said you want to work for a law firm located in a large metropolitan area—ask yourself how this quality helps you reach your goals.
- Separate the “deal breakers” from the “nice to have” qualities. It’s natural and good to have a dream employer, but our dreams rarely measure up to reality. By getting down to the basics of your core deal breakers, you can come up with a shorter and more realistic list of qualities that you want an employer.
- Use the 80/20 rule. No employer will have everything you want. That’s why you need to determine the fail point. A fail point is the point at which an employer fails your test of acceptability. If an employer can meet 80% of your “must-have” list, then that’s a good rate of acceptability. Anything below 80% and you’re probably going to have a less than satisfactory experience if you decide to work with them.
Don’t let a long job search force you to accept any offer, stay discerning to improve your long-term career prospects.
The most profitable recruiters understand the marketplace, clients, and the effectiveness of their own processes. But how do you join in on the success of your most profitable peers? Below are a few tips:
- Plan your success. To become more profitable, you must plan beyond your day or week. You need to use data gathered about your business, clients, and the marketplace to create a long-term macro-level plan that will push you in the direction of profitability.
- Monitor your processes. For recruiters who have found the ‘profitability’ sweet spot, it’s all about matching their processes with the most successful tactics. Monitor your processes—how do you go about finding new clients, recruiting job candidates, and pricing your services? And how long does it take you to reach your goals or complete task? For example, how many cold calls do you make before getting an employer who’s interested? How many job candidates do you contact before getting a quality person to submit a resume? By monitoring your processes you get a better idea of what you’re doing to achieve your objectives.
- Analyze data. Using the data you’ve gathered from process monitoring, try to figure out how you can tweak your process to be more effective, efficient, and profitable. Is it more cost effective to outsource or automate certain processes? Should you eliminate or reduce time spent on other processes? Your analysis of the data should help you get the most out of your recruiting processes.
- Customize and automate communications. Communicating with clients and job candidates is a critical part of every legal recruiter’s business. That’s why customizing and automating your communications can save you time and effort, and maximize your effectiveness. As a rule, you should tailor each piece of communique to the needs of the recipient. For example, you wouldn’t send the same type of newsletter to a law firm that you would to an attorney—you would customize it.
If you want to maximize the profitability of your recruitment business, you must perfect your processes and streamline the way you communicate with contacts.