A legal recruiting blog? eXactly.
Hi there. We’re eXacta Global, a team of legal recruiters who work with attorneys around the world, and I’m Julia, one of eXacta’s recruiting directors. Nice to meet you (if we haven’t already worked together) and welcome to our brand new blog!
Did you know: the term “blog” originates from Jorn Barger, a clever chap who built a site to track and log his adventures in web browsing (it was 1997, give him a break) and named this personal site his “web log”? “Web log” became “weblog,” until the first dedicated web hosting platform shortened it to “blog.” Why did I tell you that? Because a day without learning is a day wasted!
The genesis of this blog was our realization that way too many attorneys don’t actually understand how to work with a legal recruiter. Problematically, most of them think they do, which results in a lot of missed opportunities to move your career in the direction you want.
A good recruiter can be a career coach, a facilitator, an advocate, and a valuable networking contact down the road. A good recruiter can be a game changer.
The operative word here is GOOD.
Alas, do you fall into the tragically misguided group of people who misunderstand the true function of a recruiter? If you do, don’t feel bad--it’s probably not your fault. Most likely, no one has ever actually explained it to you, which is why we're writing this.
The mission of the eXacta blog is to give honest, insightful, transparent peeks behind the recruiting curtain.
Why? Because we’re good recruiters who care about what we do. Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to just take my word for it. We’re hoping that our blog posts speak for themselves.
Today's first goal: Identify the problem(s).
When you think of a legal recruiter, is your impression/expectation that you’ll be dealing with the equivalent of a pushy, slimy, manipulative used car salesperson? Do you see recruiter emails hit your inbox, roll your eyes, and delete without reading? Or do you think of recruiters as basically fungible goods, interchangeable, use and discard? (Like how my six-year-old eats french fries, purely as individual vessels for ketchup. Seriously. She has a fry discard pile.)
I won’t dispute that there are good reasons for you to think any or all of these things. The fact is, a lot of recruiters ARE pushy, vaguely (or really) slimy, and a bit (or very) manipulative. These recruiters use icky tactics because a) they want to make quick money, and/or b) they don’t actually understand the legal industry, or really any professional industry.
The reason item b) is so prevalent, BTW, is that there are ZERO bars to entry into the legal recruiting field. A law degree is not required, nor is any familiarity with the legal industry or profession. This is not at all to suggest that only recruiters with law degrees are good. Not at all! But if you don't have any kind of legal background and you care about becoming a good recruiter, you have to put in the time and effort to LEARN the industry. Guess what--more people than not are just lazy and don't bother.
There are also a lot of tricky incentives in the recruiting business (which I’ll explore in greater detail down the road). In a nutshell, recruiters get paid by law firms for placements--prompting the ( reasonable) concern that they don’t have a candidate’s best interests first and foremost in their minds. It's hard to build the trust required for a really effective recruiting relationship if there's a baseline of suspicion about motives, am I right?
Today's second goal: Offer the first olive branch of trust.
Trust is really the key to working effectively with a recruiter, so how can we build it? This brings us full circle to the eXacta blog mission: full transparency. A good recruiter has no reason to be anything but honest with you, because a good recruiter knows how to play the long game and become a successful recruiter as well.
A recruiter achieves true success when EVERYBODY WINS. That includes you.
I'm hoping that through this blog, we can not only build some trust, but possibly even fan the flame of change in the industry. Will you take the first baby step with us and read along?