How to Be a Successful Recruiter

What does it take to be a successful legal recruiter? What attributes/skills/experiences are necessary? Here is what some very successful recruiters in the field from top nationwide law firms have highlighted as keys to success. The top three attributes of a successful recruiter were flexibility, organizational skills and a client-service orientation. Here’s why…

A successful recruiter is one who can earn the attorneys respect. You must come across as someone who is positive and comfortable within his/her own skin. You are working with very strong-willed individuals, most of whom are attorneys. You must have conviction and purpose in your actions and gain the associates, partners and firm management’s respect and credibility by listening to others and being willing to then recruit and retain the best talent. Part of your role is to be able to persuade the attorneys into assisting you, which in turn will help to make your job more efficient as a recruiter. Never say, “that’s not my job.” Protect yourself by earning a reputation for being a problem solver and multi-talented. You should strive to make yourself invaluable whenever possible. A good recruiter is above everything else, flexible. You must be able to deal with last minute changes, for example a lawyer canceling on you to go out of town for on-campus interviewing. You will also be flexible by having back-up plans.

A successful recruiter is one that also has exceptional organizational skills. You can achieve this by establishing an internal strategic plan for each day. This involves pinpointing what has to be done that day and prioritizing so that distractions do not throw you off track. Effectively communicating and being flexible and responding to applicants, attorneys and vendors is also key. You want to make sure that your voicemails and emails are returned and not overwhelming. Your goal is to be as organized as possible so that you and your department are ready for the challenges of the day. By spending a few minutes each day getting organized, you will be on top of your work and be able to establish credibility and trust with your colleagues. Projects you need to stay on top of may include: overseeing all work reports/projects and making sure summer associates have returned all necessary paperwork to you; seeing that attorneys are completing their evaluations on the summer associates; responding to summer associate needs/questions/concerns; and working on the next upcoming event which includes, taking care of details such as: creating/ordering the invitations; encouraging attendance through reminder emails throughout the firm; walking the halls and meeting/greeting attorneys; confirming details with the event site are all examples of actions that a successful recruiter embodies.

A successful recruiter has a client-service orientation and has, ideally a good sense of humor. Seasoned recruiters stress the importance of establishing relationships with everyone at the firm from the receptionist to the senior partners. A successful recruiter is a trusted source of advice. You should be seen as someone that attorneys can come to and share their concerns with and their confidentiality will be maintained. In addition, a good recruiter is not afraid to bring his/her own ideas and contributions to the table, but knows how to introduce these new ideas appropriately and see them through to implementation.

In conclusion, the most important traits of a successful recruiter include: possessing good judgment, being well-organized, flexible, client-focused and results-oriented. Having a good sense of humor, enthusiasm and ability to get along well with a wide variety of personalities is very helpful too!

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