Not all recruiters are created equal and not all recruiters are good. But find the right one and it will help you get the job that you want! If you know someone who has recently changed jobs ask for a recommendation, otherwise start by looking at legal recruiters and who is advertising jobs for the type of job you want. I make this recommendation because I find it easier to work with a specialist legal recruiter as they understand the job, know the market and should hopefully have the right connections at the firms that you are interested in. It can also help (but not always) if they have previously been a lawyer. The right recruiter, in short, can make finding the job easier and enhance the general advantages of using a recruiter.
So now that we have that out-of-the-way… what are the advantages of using a recruiter?
- They will already be working with firms looking for candidates so will have good knowledge of the local market, how often jobs are coming up and what is available.
- They can approach firms on an anonymous basis first to test the waters to see if there is interest, or if there is a role available (by using their connections).
- They will act as an intermediary, if you are looking at multiple positions/firms they can have this conversation and manage this on your behalf.
- They can push things forward on your behalf which is really useful when you have a full-time job.
- They will have insight into the role and will be able to share this with you, together with any preparation for the interview.
- They can have any difficult conversations on your behalf.
- They can help you negotiate any offers, acting as an intermediary and advise on the offers should you need more information.
Most firms will have preferred suppliers, therefore, you might end up using multiple recruiters during your job search. They expect this and there is nothing wrong with this, but make sure that you keep track of your applications and know where you have applied and with which recruiter, otherwise it will look unprofessional and disorganised if you get it wrong and/or apply for the same job twice.
By going through this process you will develop a relationship with your own preferred recruiter who will learn what works for you and who will properly market you. Best of luck in your future job search.