How to Hunt a Headhunter. Three Questions You Should Always Ask a Recruiter.
So, work is going well. Your relationship with your employer is mutually beneficial. You feel appreciated, you are nicely paid, you are getting the support you need, you have room to grow, and you have no major client conflicts.
And recruiters are calling you.
You may think that since you are not currently interested in a move, you do not need to learn about opportunities. At Mestel, we know that information is power, and often-times, it is also who you know that matters. Whether to learn about hiring trends, compensation, or simply to sate your curiosity, having a resource with deep market knowledge is critical. Recruiters can be trusted advisors who alert you to dream opportunities and help you navigate unexpected turns in the road.
Should you engage with just any recruiter? No. Search firms are not created equal and information is only as good as its source. When you receive headhunter calls, consider the following questions to vet the person reaching out to ensure your information comes from a valid and trustworthy source and your time is well spent:
- What clients have you met in the past month? Learning which firms a recruiter has met with in the past month is a great litmus test to determine market connectivity. For example, there are countless legal recruiters calling into the District, where I recruit. An overwhelming number of these calls are made by people who are not D.C.-based, do not know the local legal market, and have never visited or met with the law firm about which they are calling. On the other end of the spectrum, Mestel has had boots on the ground in D.C., and each of its markets, since we started in 1987. For over thirty years, we have built solid relationships with our clients and we have served them as trusted advisors in D.C. and nationwide. If you asked us this question, we would tell you the names of five or six clients without hesitation.
- Who is hiring and who is losing partners in my practice area? A recruiter worth their salt will know the current trends of your local market in order to be a good resource for you, including who is hiring and losing attorneys. Whether you are looking for opportunities or information, it is critical to talk to a recruiter who has her finger on the pulse of the market. We make it our business to know the trends, practice groups, financials, cultures, movements, and more.
- Where has your team placed lawyers? Anybody can talk a good game and make it sound like they have market expertise and strong client relationships. At Mestel, we don’t just counsel lawyers and groups, we place them. Knowing a recruiter’s record of success is important to truly understand with whom you are working. Clients have come back to us to help them build out their practices for decades. Our clients seriously consider the confidential introductions we make because we are discerning, strategic and we deliver results. We understand what firms and individual attorneys need as well as what they are looking to achieve.
When all is copacetic at work, take some time to learn about the different platforms in the market and current hiring trends from a reputable resource. Life can be full of unexpected events. Why not be prepared? Just make sure that you are an active participant in the conversation, and you take the precautionary steps to find a trusted adviser who will truly empower you with useful information.
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