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Don’t let top talent slip through your fingers

Posted by
06 Jul 2016
The legal sector has become increasingly candidate-led in recent years. As a result, it is imperative that recruiters can attract high-calibre talent. In this fiercely competitive sector, all too often candidates I speak to will tell me stories of the ‘nightmare’ recruiters they have had to deal with. Recruitment can be challenging at times, even more so if a candidate already has a pre conceived distrust due to a previous experience, which makes my job that bit harder. It is experienced recruiters such as these that are damaging the reputation of the recruitment industry as a whole.

An example that comes to mind is when I took a call from a senior candidate who had recently been made redundant from a long-standing post. It’s a difficult situation to be in, entering into the tumultuous world of job searching after a long period of stable employment; most candidates understandably find it to be a worrying and stressful situation. For this particular candidate, the concern was two-fold. Firstly, she had not made a conscious decision to leave her job and was therefore not prepared or equipped to look for a new career opportunity. Secondly, having been with her previous employer for a significant amount of time she felt out of practice with regards to the current methods, techniques and channels relating to the job hunting process.

So, with an update and refresh of both her CV and LinkedIn profile, she finally felt confident enough to begin the search, firstly by approaching a number of ‘reputable’ legal recruiters in her specialism, the in-house market. Surprisingly, this highly-qualified candidate received knock back after knock back, and she was rudely shunned for her ‘lack of experience’ in this market, which as you can imagine came as a huge shock.

Those who work in the legal recruitment sector will know that in-house commercial legal roles are in high demand and are incredibly difficult to secure. This is especially so for those coming from a publicly funded background, as this candidate was. However, difficult or not, she had three years’ experience working within a FTSE100 company, and held a Senior Director role in a legal capacity prior to that. To be told point blank that she did not have a chance at securing another in-house role, without even having her CV placed in front of an employer, seemed absolutely absurd and for obvious reasons left her feeling rejected and very vulnerable.

I was shocked and very disturbed at the lack of empathy, understanding and general common courtesy this very qualified and able candidate received. We are all at ‘war’ in this game for high-calibre talent, and this candidate was inarguably a talented individual with excellent career prospects and a strong legal background deserving of good, honest and effective representation.

Since then, Sellick Partnership have offered the candidate in question guidance on different tools and assisted her during her job search. She has now been placed in a role best suited to her skillset in a highly reputable organisation. It is cases such as these that remind us how important it is to assess not only a candidates’ work experience or skills, but also values and motivations. 

The recruitment sector is becoming more challenging at every turn, and given that as recruitment consultants we are all in a constant struggle to prove and justify our position within the process, examples such as this are not helping. No one in this industry is better than their last placement, and reputations are of the upmost importance across the board. It is time candidates are treated with more respect, and are placed on the same pedestals on which we place our clients. Don’t let the good ones slip through your fingers.

If you are looking for reliable assistance in your job search, get in touch with our Legal team on 0161 834 1642 or email hannah.cottam@sellickpartnership.co.uk. Alternatively, browse through our latest legal jobs. Browse Vacancies

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