A leading legal recruitment firm has warned professionals about the dangers of ‘shoddy’ agencies – that could be damaging the careers of thousands of lawyers and solicitors.
Toby Williamson, founder of QED Legal Recruitment LLP, said they hear ‘horror stories’ every week from legal-job seekers who have had bad experiences with recruitment consultants.
They include firms sending sending CVs out without the candidate’s permission, spamming companies who don’t even have vacancies and even stealing CVs from jobs boards to mail to companies having never even spoken to the job-seeker.
Toby said that other common problems include arrogant and aggressive consultants not listening to what candidates want from a career move, never taking your call or calling candidates back after the first conversation or deliberately sending out a candidate’s CV to a firm they know the person has already been put forward to.
He is now urging legal professionals who are moving jobs or considering a change to research agencies first before signing up with them.
‘Like everything in life there are some excellent legal recruiters out there, some decidedly average and some downright awful,’ he said.
‘The problem that you have as a candidate is trying to decide which one is which, when choosing one to help you with your next career move. It is difficult to tell from just from looking at an advert or website.
‘You really need to speak to or meet with your recruiter to try and establish if it is someone you think you can work with and trust your personal details and career to. Rather than deal with lots of different agencies you are better placed (literally!) selecting one or two agencies you like to work with and have a rapport with.’
Toby qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and set up QED legal in 2012. Based in Manchester, his company has formed an impressive reputation for its extensive network and contacts and influence – while retaining the personal touch. Their website has an impressive list of testimonials.
He said that lawyers have to tread a very careful career path – move too often you become unemployable, never move and you stunt your career opportunities.
‘It has never been more important when considering a career move to speak to a good recruiter who can help and advise you throughout the process,’ he added.
‘A good legal recruitment consultant should listen to what you are looking for and tell you about actual vacancies you are suitable for. They should work pro-actively for you exploring the market, not just acting as a post-box. They should not duplicate your CV if another agency has already put you forward for the role.
‘They should not send your CV out without your permission and they should not ignore you. Go with your gut feeling. If you warm to the person you are speaking to and they are pleasant and knowledgeable, listen to you and make sensible suggestions as to how to move your career forward then work with them. If not then use another agency.
‘QED Legal prides itself on the quality of service it provides. The testimonials page on our website is populated only by genuine testimonials from people we have actually placed in a new role.’