Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

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Tyler_Durden

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Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby Tyler_Durden » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:53 am

The positive intangible benefit for junior associates who utilize recruiters to make a lateral move is that they come from a frame of non-neediness: "I'm doing well at my current firm but this recruiter convinced me to consider an upgrade..."

The tangible benefit that recruiters will parrot at you is that they can help to move your application along and to negotiate numbers once an offer comes in. But any halfway competent attorney should be able to negotiate numbers on their own, and a partner isnt going to change her/his mind about an applicant's resume just because a recruiter they are acquainted with called and said "please interview her!"

The obvious detriment of utilizing a recruiter is the fee- typically 25% of signing year salary.

Opinions on whether junior associates should use recruiters or apply on their own?

gregfootball2001

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby gregfootball2001 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:12 am

If there's a position that hasn't been posted, the advantage to using a recruiter is obvious. You wouldn't know about the opening without the recruiter. At the very least, you can tell them that they can only submit you if you approve each submission, and only allow submissions where there's no public posting.

Past that, if the recruiter can make some sort of extremely convincing argument regarding the connections they have with that particular firm (they've placed X people there in the past few years, they know the hiring partner and will contact them directly, etc.), then maybe consider using them, provided that you have zero connections to the firm yourself. If you have a unicorn resume you'll be fine, but online applications can be lost in the shuffle without any contacts. Not necessarily saying to use a recruiter in this situation, but I can see the reasoning.

If you have any contacts at that firm whatsoever, and it's a public posting, I see no reason why a junior would use a recruiter. Negotiations will be chilled by the fact that the firm has to pay a fee, and salary is likely lockstep. Not worth it.

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:46 am

My recruiter reached out to the 20-30 firms she works on a normal basis and my interviews have been with firms that do not have active postings.

CiFULA

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby CiFULA » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:48 pm

Do recruiter fees come out of your own pocket..? I thought your new firm pays the recruiter his/her fee. Probably feels ridiculous that a recruiter would land 45k or so for moving your app in front of a couple of firms, but if its not personally costing you anything and it gets your app in at more/better(?) places, why not?

QContinuum

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:35 pm

CiFULA wrote:Do recruiter fees come out of your own pocket..? I thought your new firm pays the recruiter his/her fee. Probably feels ridiculous that a recruiter would land 45k or so for moving your app in front of a couple of firms, but if its not personally costing you anything and it gets your app in at more/better(?) places, why not?


Yes, firms pay the recruiter fees. The problem is that firms may be willing to shell out the recruiter fee for a midlevel/senior (due to supply/demand/scarcity), but they often aren't for a junior, so a junior using a recruiter may actually be handicapping themselves relative to juniors who apply sans recruiter.

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nealric

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby nealric » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:53 pm

QContinuum wrote:
CiFULA wrote:Do recruiter fees come out of your own pocket..? I thought your new firm pays the recruiter his/her fee. Probably feels ridiculous that a recruiter would land 45k or so for moving your app in front of a couple of firms, but if its not personally costing you anything and it gets your app in at more/better(?) places, why not?


Yes, firms pay the recruiter fees. The problem is that firms may be willing to shell out the recruiter fee for a midlevel/senior (due to supply/demand/scarcity), but they often aren't for a junior, so a junior using a recruiter may actually be handicapping themselves relative to juniors who apply sans recruiter.


Agreed. When I was looking to lateral, a lot of firms indicated they were glad I did not apply through a recruiter. I did have a recruiter send out my resume to a few firms where I had no contacts and got no bites. I had plenty of bites where I applied directly. Firms tend to view them as a necessary evil at best.

The real value that a recruiter can ad is for the severely over-worked associate who wants out but doesn't have time to do much to work towards that goal. With good credentials, a recruiter can get you out of your firm pretty quick. The downside is their goal is only to place you somewhere- not necessarily place you somewhere good for you. Of course, they will sell you hard on whatever off is on the table.

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:35 am

nealric wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
CiFULA wrote:Do recruiter fees come out of your own pocket..? I thought your new firm pays the recruiter his/her fee. Probably feels ridiculous that a recruiter would land 45k or so for moving your app in front of a couple of firms, but if its not personally costing you anything and it gets your app in at more/better(?) places, why not?


Yes, firms pay the recruiter fees. The problem is that firms may be willing to shell out the recruiter fee for a midlevel/senior (due to supply/demand/scarcity), but they often aren't for a junior, so a junior using a recruiter may actually be handicapping themselves relative to juniors who apply sans recruiter.


Agreed. When I was looking to lateral, a lot of firms indicated they were glad I did not apply through a recruiter. I did have a recruiter send out my resume to a few firms where I had no contacts and got no bites. I had plenty of bites where I applied directly. Firms tend to view them as a necessary evil at best.

The real value that a recruiter can ad is for the severely over-worked associate who wants out but doesn't have time to do much to work towards that goal. With good credentials, a recruiter can get you out of your firm pretty quick. The downside is their goal is only to place you somewhere- not necessarily place you somewhere good for you. Of course, they will sell you hard on whatever off is on the table.


Appreciate the advice. Would you mind shedding some light on how you went about applying to firms without a recruiter? I'm a second year associate looking to lateral, so would like to avoid using a recruiter. Did you just follow the standard line of reaching out to the recruiting department with your resume/cover letter? Or did you reach out to specific partners/associates? Just trying gauge how I should approach this. Thanks!

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:
nealric wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
CiFULA wrote:Do recruiter fees come out of your own pocket..? I thought your new firm pays the recruiter his/her fee. Probably feels ridiculous that a recruiter would land 45k or so for moving your app in front of a couple of firms, but if its not personally costing you anything and it gets your app in at more/better(?) places, why not?


Yes, firms pay the recruiter fees. The problem is that firms may be willing to shell out the recruiter fee for a midlevel/senior (due to supply/demand/scarcity), but they often aren't for a junior, so a junior using a recruiter may actually be handicapping themselves relative to juniors who apply sans recruiter.


Agreed. When I was looking to lateral, a lot of firms indicated they were glad I did not apply through a recruiter. I did have a recruiter send out my resume to a few firms where I had no contacts and got no bites. I had plenty of bites where I applied directly. Firms tend to view them as a necessary evil at best.

The real value that a recruiter can ad is for the severely over-worked associate who wants out but doesn't have time to do much to work towards that goal. With good credentials, a recruiter can get you out of your firm pretty quick. The downside is their goal is only to place you somewhere- not necessarily place you somewhere good for you. Of course, they will sell you hard on whatever off is on the table.


Appreciate the advice. Would you mind shedding some light on how you went about applying to firms without a recruiter? I'm a second year associate looking to lateral, so would like to avoid using a recruiter. Did you just follow the standard line of reaching out to the recruiting department with your resume/cover letter? Or did you reach out to specific partners/associates? Just trying gauge how I should approach this. Thanks!


Make a list of firms in the area that you know (somehow via cso or anecdotally or what) sometimes hire laterals in your niche. Send cold emails until you have a contact in every firm. The goal is to have this “coffee” or even phone call prior to the posting of a position. Inevitably, one of the firms will post a new position. Don’t apply online. Email that contact directly and ask them to pass you through. In sum, you network.

IME, this is how people typically get lateral biglaw jobs in larger markets.

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:21 am

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
nealric wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
CiFULA wrote:Do recruiter fees come out of your own pocket..? I thought your new firm pays the recruiter his/her fee. Probably feels ridiculous that a recruiter would land 45k or so for moving your app in front of a couple of firms, but if its not personally costing you anything and it gets your app in at more/better(?) places, why not?


Yes, firms pay the recruiter fees. The problem is that firms may be willing to shell out the recruiter fee for a midlevel/senior (due to supply/demand/scarcity), but they often aren't for a junior, so a junior using a recruiter may actually be handicapping themselves relative to juniors who apply sans recruiter.


Agreed. When I was looking to lateral, a lot of firms indicated they were glad I did not apply through a recruiter. I did have a recruiter send out my resume to a few firms where I had no contacts and got no bites. I had plenty of bites where I applied directly. Firms tend to view them as a necessary evil at best.

The real value that a recruiter can ad is for the severely over-worked associate who wants out but doesn't have time to do much to work towards that goal. With good credentials, a recruiter can get you out of your firm pretty quick. The downside is their goal is only to place you somewhere- not necessarily place you somewhere good for you. Of course, they will sell you hard on whatever off is on the table.


Appreciate the advice. Would you mind shedding some light on how you went about applying to firms without a recruiter? I'm a second year associate looking to lateral, so would like to avoid using a recruiter. Did you just follow the standard line of reaching out to the recruiting department with your resume/cover letter? Or did you reach out to specific partners/associates? Just trying gauge how I should approach this. Thanks!


Make a list of firms in the area that you know (somehow via cso or anecdotally or what) sometimes hire laterals in your niche. Send cold emails until you have a contact in every firm. The goal is to have this “coffee” or even phone call prior to the posting of a position. Inevitably, one of the firms will post a new position. Don’t apply online. Email that contact directly and ask them to pass you through. In sum, you network.

IME, this is how people typically get lateral biglaw jobs in larger markets.


Thanks a lot. This is really helpful. This is going to sound pretty ignorant, but where are biglaw jobs posted? The only postings I've ever seen are from recruiter emails.

beeoBoop

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby beeoBoop » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My recruiter reached out to the 20-30 firms she works on a normal basis and my interviews have been with firms that do not have active postings.


Any recommendations for a recruiter?

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:58 am

I used a recruiter as a junior (1.5 years) and got a job. It’s not impossible, but I don’t know if I would’ve had the same shot had I not used the recruiter.

objctnyrhnr

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
nealric wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
CiFULA wrote:Do recruiter fees come out of your own pocket..? I thought your new firm pays the recruiter his/her fee. Probably feels ridiculous that a recruiter would land 45k or so for moving your app in front of a couple of firms, but if its not personally costing you anything and it gets your app in at more/better(?) places, why not?


Yes, firms pay the recruiter fees. The problem is that firms may be willing to shell out the recruiter fee for a midlevel/senior (due to supply/demand/scarcity), but they often aren't for a junior, so a junior using a recruiter may actually be handicapping themselves relative to juniors who apply sans recruiter.


Agreed. When I was looking to lateral, a lot of firms indicated they were glad I did not apply through a recruiter. I did have a recruiter send out my resume to a few firms where I had no contacts and got no bites. I had plenty of bites where I applied directly. Firms tend to view them as a necessary evil at best.

The real value that a recruiter can ad is for the severely over-worked associate who wants out but doesn't have time to do much to work towards that goal. With good credentials, a recruiter can get you out of your firm pretty quick. The downside is their goal is only to place you somewhere- not necessarily place you somewhere good for you. Of course, they will sell you hard on whatever off is on the table.


Appreciate the advice. Would you mind shedding some light on how you went about applying to firms without a recruiter? I'm a second year associate looking to lateral, so would like to avoid using a recruiter. Did you just follow the standard line of reaching out to the recruiting department with your resume/cover letter? Or did you reach out to specific partners/associates? Just trying gauge how I should approach this. Thanks!


Make a list of firms in the area that you know (somehow via cso or anecdotally or what) sometimes hire laterals in your niche. Send cold emails until you have a contact in every firm. The goal is to have this “coffee” or even phone call prior to the posting of a position. Inevitably, one of the firms will post a new position. Don’t apply online. Email that contact directly and ask them to pass you through. In sum, you network.

IME, this is how people typically get lateral biglaw jobs in larger markets.


Thanks a lot. This is really helpful. This is going to sound pretty ignorant, but where are biglaw jobs posted? The only postings I've ever seen are from recruiter emails.


LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and gobiglaw.com are your best bets.

SplitMyPants

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby SplitMyPants » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:48 am

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
nealric wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
CiFULA wrote:Do recruiter fees come out of your own pocket..? I thought your new firm pays the recruiter his/her fee. Probably feels ridiculous that a recruiter would land 45k or so for moving your app in front of a couple of firms, but if its not personally costing you anything and it gets your app in at more/better(?) places, why not?


Yes, firms pay the recruiter fees. The problem is that firms may be willing to shell out the recruiter fee for a midlevel/senior (due to supply/demand/scarcity), but they often aren't for a junior, so a junior using a recruiter may actually be handicapping themselves relative to juniors who apply sans recruiter.


Agreed. When I was looking to lateral, a lot of firms indicated they were glad I did not apply through a recruiter. I did have a recruiter send out my resume to a few firms where I had no contacts and got no bites. I had plenty of bites where I applied directly. Firms tend to view them as a necessary evil at best.

The real value that a recruiter can ad is for the severely over-worked associate who wants out but doesn't have time to do much to work towards that goal. With good credentials, a recruiter can get you out of your firm pretty quick. The downside is their goal is only to place you somewhere- not necessarily place you somewhere good for you. Of course, they will sell you hard on whatever off is on the table.


Appreciate the advice. Would you mind shedding some light on how you went about applying to firms without a recruiter? I'm a second year associate looking to lateral, so would like to avoid using a recruiter. Did you just follow the standard line of reaching out to the recruiting department with your resume/cover letter? Or did you reach out to specific partners/associates? Just trying gauge how I should approach this. Thanks!


Make a list of firms in the area that you know (somehow via cso or anecdotally or what) sometimes hire laterals in your niche. Send cold emails until you have a contact in every firm. The goal is to have this “coffee” or even phone call prior to the posting of a position. Inevitably, one of the firms will post a new position. Don’t apply online. Email that contact directly and ask them to pass you through. In sum, you network.

IME, this is how people typically get lateral biglaw jobs in larger markets.


Thanks a lot. This is really helpful. This is going to sound pretty ignorant, but where are biglaw jobs posted? The only postings I've ever seen are from recruiter emails.


LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and gobiglaw.com are your best bets.


Nearly every law firm has a career portal with attorney and non-attorney job postings that you can get to from their website...

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:31 pm

I think a lot of it depends on your personal circumstances. Are you well connected in your current/target market? Are there a lot of alums from your undergrad or law school nearby? Can you get an "in" at the firms you want without a recruiter? If the answer is yes, then I'd avoid the recruiter. However, if you're newer to the market or don't have a lot of connections nearby, a recruiter is likely the best bet. That said, be picky about who you work with & keep track of where the recruiter sent your stuff. The first recruiter I worked with (as a junior) turned out to be a dud - fortunately, I figured that out early & was able to tell my new recruiter the 2-3 roles I had already "applied" for.

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NotASpecialSnowflake

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby NotASpecialSnowflake » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:18 pm

Really dumb question but I searched a bit here and I didn’t find an answer: is it ok to use your work email to respond to recruiters? I thought it was but an ATL article I just read said it isn’t a good idea.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:43 pm

Realistically nobody is going to go through your emails to see you emailed a recruiter. I usually just respond on the work email and refer them to my personal email.

FND

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby FND » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:46 pm

Personally, I found a recruiter to be useful beyond just knowing about openings that aren't advertised.

A good recruiter is able to polish your application and gear it more to the position at hand. A recruiter is particularly useful when practice areas or geography don't match up perfectly. I've also worked with a recruiter that did a mock interview with me and advised on attire.

But it's kind of like house flippers - some just throw a lick of paint on the place and expect to make a big profit, while others will totally gut-renovate the place, because they know that's what earns the big bucks. Plenty of recruiters are just collecting resumes and throwing them at employers in the hopes something sticks.

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:06 pm

I am currently in the process of lateraling and actually just got an offer through an application submitted through a recruiter. Aside from adding value beyond unposted positions, my recruiter told me about the group and what they were looking for in a candidate. This allowed me to play up certain resume experiences and I think really helped me land the job. Having said that, I am sure there are firms who would rather not pay the fee for someone who is largely fungible.

I am applied a few places without a recruiter and got some bites too, but it can be really taxing going through the process. You have to apply, follow up in some cases, go on screening interviews (or go to a quiet office to do phone interviews) then go to the callbacks where you’re out of the office for a couple of hours at a time. I really found the process to be exhausting and I am happy it’s over.

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Re: Should Junior Associates use recruiters?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:09 pm

FND wrote:Personally, I found a recruiter to be useful beyond just knowing about openings that aren't advertised.

A good recruiter is able to polish your application and gear it more to the position at hand. A recruiter is particularly useful when practice areas or geography don't match up perfectly. I've also worked with a recruiter that did a mock interview with me and advised on attire.

But it's kind of like house flippers - some just throw a lick of paint on the place and expect to make a big profit, while others will totally gut-renovate the place, because they know that's what earns the big bucks. Plenty of recruiters are just collecting resumes and throwing them at employers in the hopes something sticks.


I agree with the above if you’re not in a specialty field. I work in a very specialty field so the experience I have is going to be geared towards most jobs. My recruiters usually have no idea what any of the stuff in my resume is. But if you’re in corporate or lit, it would be extremely helpful for getting into more specific fields.

I have a very good recruiter, and I trust him completely, but a lot of the time, the firms looking for junior associates message him saying the firm is not interested when I feel like I would be an extremely competitive candidate.

At the end of the day, juniors are mostly fungible, so firms are not as willing to pay the fees unless they are desperate. That’s been my experience. Using friends or applying myself has been far more successful.

Yes, it’s exhausting to set up callbacks myself, but it’s a necessary evil.



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