In an effort to understand the world, everyone makes assumptions. But for legal recruiters, certain assumptions could be costly, allowing opportunities and top talent to slip away. Below are three assumptions recruiters may make that could harm their business:
Assumption #1: Hiring managers understand a recruiter’s value.
Recruiters are a valuable part of the hiring process, but many hiring managers don’t realize that. It’s up to you as a legal recruiter to remind hiring managers why you’re important and be specific about what benefits you bring to the table.
Assumption #2: Top talent is always looking for new opportunities.
So, you’ve got your hands on a dream job order and you just know that no one in their right mind will turn it down. While it’s true that most ordinary job seekers won’t turn down a job opportunity that appears to be “dreamy,” top talent is a lot more picky. Never assume that the best attorneys will bite at your job order. The truth is that you will need to prove that what you’re offering is not only better than what they have, but that it will help them reach the future goals they’ve set for themselves.
Assumption #3: Employers are honest about what they really want in a new hire.
Life would be a lot simpler if employers simply gave you an understandable job description and a list of what they desire in a candidate. But reality is never that simple. The truth is that many employers may not be aware of what they really want, and may give you a list of wants/ needs that they believe is desirable but may not in fact be what they need. It’s up to you to dig deeper and help them get to the truth of the matter. Since what they want may morph as you go through the recruiting process, remain flexible so that you can help them get the candidates they truly need.
Recruiters who find the most success filling job orders always challenge their assumptions and work hard to find the truth.
If you’re just out of law school, you’re probably anxious to get started on your career path by taking the bar exam. But what if you’re feeling unsure? Is there any good reason to delay taking the bar exam after graduating law school? Maybe. Let’s take a look at a few:
- If you’re strapped for cash, you may want to delay taking the bar exam so you can work and save money. Having enough cash in the bank to cover expenses while you study could mean the difference between failure and success.
- If you’re married and/or have children at home, you may find it difficult to get enough study time and tend to family responsibilities. Delaying your bar exam will give you time to come up with a strategy for arranging childcare and managing your relationship while studying full-time.
- Law school is exhausting, and many recent law school grads simply don’t have the energy to jump right into studying for the bar exam. If that sounds like you, give yourself a few months off to rest before getting back on the study grind for your bar exam.
- Even if you’re prepared to do the hard work of studying for your bar exam, you may not feel sure that it’s really enough time to be truly ready. If that’s the case, then delaying your bar exam makes sense, just make sure you don’t squander the extra time you’re giving yourself.
- By giving yourself enough time to rest, study, and attend to your family obligations before taking the bar exam, you will build the confidence necessary to pass. It’s best to attempt passing the exam on the first try, since failing might sap your confidence.
Delaying your bar exam could be a smart tactic, just be sure to have a plan for how you’ll use that extra time.
Getting good connections and landing the type of job you want often depends on your ability to use charisma when networking. But what if you feel that you’re simply not that charming, especially in group conversations? Well, there are a few things you can do to improve your charisma.
- Stay present. In a world with some many things competing for our attention, staying present while conversing with others can be challenging. But staying present, not distracted by your phone and other gadgets or people, will make the person you’re talking to feel that you’re really listening to them.
- Present a polished appearance. Looking well put together—pressed clothes, manicured nails, freshly shaven face—can help you build confidence and make others take you seriously. And if you’re at a networking event that involves food, consider carrying along breath mints and a toothpick.
- Memorize names. If you want to really impress people at your next networking event, take the effort to remember and use their name. Everyone wants to be around others who respect them enough to take note of their name.
- Talk positive. As you mingle with other guests at a networking event, be sure to avoid negative talk. Negative talk could include discussion of bad news or even bad weather. By focusing on only the positive, you’ll make others feel good about being in your presence.
- Control your body language. Charismatic people are perceived as appealing because not only do they use positive words when engaging others, but they use positive body language. When interacting with others, be sure keep a pleasant facial expression and confident posture.
If you want to effectively leverage your charisma when networking, you’ll need to use a combination of strategies that signals to others that you’re worth knowing.
Legal recruiters with busy schedules and important tasks to complete may find it difficult to stay focused when our modern world is filled with distractions. Below are five ways you can keep focused while working:
- Create a “needs pod.” Create a little cubby near your work area that includes everything you need while working. Your “needs pod” should contain enough water to sustain you through the block of time you have set aside for work and some snacks so you easily munch when you’re hungry without getting up from your desk.
- Don’t check the internet. Checking your email, social media accounts and online newsfeeds is time consuming. To stay focused and avoid distractions don’t go on the internet at all until you finish important tasks.
- Set boundaries. Let others know that you’re working and you’re not to be disturbed. You can even put an “away message” on your email autoresponder and your voicemail. But remember, these boundaries won’t work if you don’t enforce them. Don’t be tempted to check your voicemail or email until after you’ve completed your work.
- Become invisible. Since some people are boundary busters who will distract you no matter what you say. If you need to finish important time-sensitive tasks find someplace others don’t know about. This way you won’t allow another person’s lack of boundaries to make you distracted from your work.
- Embrace sound. If you’re working in a busy area such as an office with no cubicles or a coffee shop filled with customers, use headphones. Wearing headphones will discourage others from interrupting your work and if you listen to music you get the added bonus of drowning out nearby conversations. Just be cautious, music with lyrics can be distracting, choose instrumental music instead.
Getting focused at work will help you get more of your most important tasks done.
Taking a new job is serious business, no one wants to make the wrong choice. But how do you know if that new job is a lemon or a peach? Below are five signs that you’re in the wrong job:
- You’re in it for only the money. Of course money is important, but people who enjoy their work don’t do it only because of money. Ask yourself—Would I do this if I could do something else making more money? If you’re answer is “no” then you’re in the wrong job.
- You’ve been there for months but you’re still struggling. With any new job it takes time to learn the ropes and adjust, but if you find yourself still struggling despite your best efforts, you may be in the wrong job.
- You’re embarrassed to talk about your job. If you find yourself ashamed of what you do or with whom you work, then that’s a sign that you should probably move on. Being embarrassed by your work for any reason can contribute to long-term distress and dissatisfaction.
- You’re bored. Boredom at your work can be just as bad as feeling stressed by the difficulty of it all. Boredom eventually erodes your long-term career prospects because you’re unable to build new skills and gain useful experiences when your job isn’t challenging.
- You’re constantly receiving negative feedback. It’s understandable that mastering any new position takes time. However, if you’ve been in a job for three months or more and are consistently getting negative feedback, you’re probably in a position not fit for your skills.
If you find yourself in the wrong job, don’t hesitate to find another position more suited to your skills and personality.
Getting the best job orders and candidates as a legal recruiter becomes a lot easier when you know a lot of people. You can simply dip into your network and get the resources you need. But that only works well if you have a network of quality and quantity. Below are a few tips on how you can become a super connector and grow that type of network that will benefit your recruiting business.
- Introduce others with similar goals and values. One of the most overlooked ways of becoming a super connector is to connect people to each other. If you can help others find the connections they need, you will become someone people want to know.
- Face-to-face gatherings. While the internet is a powerful way to connect to others, face-to-face gatherings can strengthen these connections. Think about using tools such as Meetup.com to organize monthly gatherings with your most important contacts.
- Follow-up with new connections. If you’re a recruiter who uses networking as part for their marketing plan, then you’ve probably met many people and failed to follow-up. Lack of follow-up makes networking a useless exercise that produces no results. Don’t let your connections grow stale, reach out ASAP so that you can begin building valuable relationships that will benefit your business.
- Deliver value. To become a super connector you’ll need to bring value to your network. Think about what value you can consistently provide for the people in your network that will be perceived as worthy enough to attract large numbers of high quality connections.
Become a super connector and create relationships that will take your recruiting business to the next level.
Networking can feel like a full time job, especially if you’re looking for work while already employed. But one of the best ways to protect yourself is to avoid burning out or wearing out your welcome when asking connections for help. Let’s take a look at four ways job seekers can avoid networking burnout.
- Create a reasonable networking schedule. Develop a schedule for when you’re going to network but try not to overdo it. Going to networking events everyday might be too much for someone working full
Balance and burnout
time but once or twice a week might be more reasonable.
- Don’t double dip. When you’re looking for work, it’s natural to dip into your social network for opportunities, but don’t overdo it. Asking your connections for too many favors too often could be annoying. Before asking anyone in your network for help measure the true value of the request, is your need for a favor worth “spending” the influence you have with this person?
- Avoid email blasts. While it’s okay to have value filled newsletters that your connections have signed up for, sending out unsolicited email blasts to people who simply gave you a business card is unprofessional and considered spam. The first time you send out one of these unsolicited emails you connections may be annoyed, the second time—well, let’s just say they probably won’t belong to your business network anymore.
- Give yourself a break. Even if networking is the core engine in your job search “machine” try to be aware at all times that you, personal are not a machine. Giving yourself one or two weeks off, especially during long job searches is important for staying to top form.
To keep networking an important part of your job search, make the effort to avoid networking burnout.
The legal market is crowded and legal recruiters find themselves battling for the best job orders and opportunities. That stiff competition can make some recruiters rely on negative comparisons to other recruiters when trying to win business. That’s a mistake. Below are three reasons why you should avoid comparing yourself to the competition when you’re trying to get new business.
- It’s free advertising for the other guys. You’ve seen those commercials where 90% of the video, text, and audio are talking about the competing brand. The funny thing is that while the intention of the advertiser is to disparage their competition it may actually get the viewer thinking about the other brand and seriously consider doing business with them. Avoid this problem by focusing what you bring to the table as a recruiter and not why your competition is worthless.
- It makes you seem insecure. No law firm wants to work with an insecure legal recruiter. Any recruiter who seems intimidated by the prowess of the competition could find hiring managers shying away. Instead of focusing on your competition, focus on projecting the type of confidence that will get you the best job orders.
- You don’t have all the information. When talking about any business or individual you don’t have insider information on, you always run the risk of stating “facts” that are in fact fiction. If the person you’re talking to realizes that something you said about the competition isn’t true not only will you lose face but they may perceive you as a bitter gossiper.
While pointing out the flaws of your most powerful competitors may seem like a good strategy, a better one is to prove that you have what it takes to deliver the type of candidates hiring managers really want.
Social media is a powerful tool for job seekers but it can also cause a lot of trouble if you’re not careful. Let’s take a look at four things job seekers should never do on social media.
- Make offensive jokes. Even if you consider yourself quite the comedian, using social media to broadcast offensive jokes could rub recruiters and hiring managers wrong. Don’t risk giving the wrong impression just because you want attention on Twitter.
- Disparage your employer. While it may be true that you hate your job and want to leave ASAP, broadcasting that to the world can seem a little inappropriate. It may be okay to calmly mention that you’re ready to move on in your career, it’s not okay to talk about why you hate working at your job.
- Gossip about co-workers. Spending so much time with others at work can give you insight into the darker sides of their personality. That said, it’s a bad idea to become the person who airs other people’s dirty laundry on social media. If recruiters and hiring managers get wind of your gossiping ways, you could find yourself locked out of job opportunities.
- Discuss politics and religion. Everyone has a viewpoint, but the nature of the internet is that even if you’re discussing relatively mild political or religious issues inevitably there’s a flame war. No matter who’s at fault in these flame wars, everyone ends up looking bad. To avoid giving recruiters and hiring managers the wrong impression, refrain from discussing hop topics on social media.
If you insist on maintaining a social media account directly tied to you real identity, make sure you present a professional and noncontroversial appearance at all times.
As the legal industry matures, the law firms poised to win have a stable of innovators working on their behalf. But how do legal recruiters easily spot priceless innovators and present them to hiring managers. Below are a few tips:
- Evolving career path. The most innovative attorneys move jobs often but their moves propel their career upward. A matter of fact, they not only move up in their career they also evolve as an attorney.
- Transformative presence. The most innovative attorneys have allowed themselves to evolve but they’ve also transformed the law firms for which they’ve worked. The resumes and cover letters of these attorneys show a pattern of devising and implementing innovative solutions for most, if not all of their previous employers.
- Industry expert status. Attorneys who innovate do so because they have an in-depth understanding of the legal industry, especially their practice area or specialty. This deep understanding empowers them to see problems others may overlook and offer solutions that less informed attorneys would never consider. Legal recruiters will know these attorneys by their involvement in the industry—conducting legal workshops, lectures, and writing editorials on the state of the industry.
- The ability to adapt to changing circumstances is one of the hallmarks of an innovator. Attorneys who can change with the times will be priceless new hires for any law firm who wants to thrive in the future.
- Predictive abilities. One of the most beneficial characteristics of an innovator is that they understand the industry so well that they can accurately predict trends. Attorney innovators who have these predictive abilities will have a track record of foreseeing changes and problems in the industry.
If you’re a legal recruiter looking for innovative attorneys, keep a close eye on job candidates’ past achievements for indications that they have the qualities you seek.