So how do you get the most out of your relationship with a search consultant once you have decided to engage with them:

1) Firstly make sure that you are dealing with the right one.  If the consultant purports to be a generalist, act for all levels of lawyers or doesn’t understand partner remuneration models or common partner centric issues – then they are not specialised enough for you.  The more niche your recruiter the better their contacts, specialist knowledge of your niche and the less time wasted for you as they will be more targeted in their approach;

2) Open up and be straight.

“The timing is off right now but I will have time to think about this in January.”  “I am not ready to move but I know somebody who might be”.

You don’t need to be cagey about timing, remuneration, practice size, charge out rates or issues within your firm.  Chances are we had coffee with one of your colleagues last month and already know most things you are about to tell us but we want to hear your version of what’s going on.  We gather a great deal of intelligence about each firm and also individuals within a firm.  We are careful about confidentiality as we often hear sensitive information and have to carefully navigate some complex dynamics at times.  We also know and appreciate your time is precious and we don’t want to waste it.

3)We are your ally not your enemy.  If we do our job well we will have a happy client and a happy partner/s and team.  It is a win/win and one of the reasons I left the law to become a recruiter – I get to help people achieve their financial and career goals!  So when we ask you about you, we are arming ourselves with the best and most accurate picture of who you are, your business case and your motivators so that we can best match you to the right firm opportunity.  We have seen and heard it all from the smallest remuneration package to the largest (many millions).  We are a cross between your counsellor, business broker, career advisor and overall sounding board for anything to do with your career so utilise us.  Think Jerry Maguire!

4) Keep us updated when anything changes.  You may have told us you are not ready to move just yet but then, after we last spoke your happiness has gone from a 4 out of 5 to a 1 out of 5 (“I am a miserable partner – get me out of here”) or your business case has gone from ok to great, or your team has grown or shrunk or your motivators have shifted due to personal circumstances “I would look at a global/domestic/large/boutique/top tier firm now”.  Just as your position keeps evolving so does the potential match to our existing opportunities and also so does our list of opportunities as we keep uncovering more potential matches for you.

5) We are here to add value to you and the law firm.  Sometimes that means facilitating meetings, assisting with negotiations, reference checking and keeping the overall process moving along.  Sometimes adding value is stepping away and letting you work directly with each other.  We are not precious – our role is to assist in whichever way we can.

I have a passion for helping my clients grow their businesses and my partner candidates to get a better match through careful analysis of their position and motivators.  I get a kick out of helping anybody I work with have a breakthrough of any kind.  So make the most out of our relationship – Help Me Help You!