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Where's the Value?

, Legal Career Doctor | Comments disabled

A World of Deals and Two Steps from Hell are worlds apart from a good recruiter.

By Sophie Waters, National Marketing Manager, Mahlab 

I came across an article from 2010 about a new recruitment website that sought to do away with recruitment agencies.  It said, ‘The major cost associated with recruitment  ... is fees. ..When you compare that to the $195 it costs to post a single job advert on a job board then the savings are immediately evident.”There is no doubt that the Australian legal recruitment market is undergoing significant changes.  The pressures of cost, immediacy, value and the impact of social and professional networking sites are changing the way we do business.

What was most poignant about this article was that the company has disappeared into the ether of cyberspace.   A Google search for the website produced interesting results.  The top listing redirected me to a site called “the world of deals” and the second listing was a YouTube video for a band called “Two Steps from Hell”.

Yet, Mahlab and other top recruitment agencies remain.  Our relevance hasn’t diminished in this very cost conscious, networking market.  And the article clearly stated why good recruitment agencies will continue “Law firms and corporations will no doubt continue to employ the use of recruiters as more human feedback is necessary”.  This person thought it was only for the most senior roles that recruiters would be engaged.  However, employers are acutely aware that their staff is their competitive advantage and every new employee must be a successful hire – from the graduate to a lateral partner or General Counsel.   There is no room for error.

Recruitment agencies will continue to be part of most businesses’ recruitment strategy because of the power of their personal networks and knowledge of people, developed by consultants throughout their careers.   The ability of a high performing agency to access the best employee for their clients is unrivalled by any job board or social networking site.  Good agencies invest in relationships, through meeting, assessing and counseling 1000’s of candidates each year.  They maintain regular contact with these candidates as they move through their careers acting as a manager and trusted adviser.

This means the consultants know far more than what is on a candidate’s CV or LinkedIn profile.  We know who the candidate really is and what they have to offer. We know the candidate’s career goals, the work they have undertaken throughout their careers, the level of responsibility, the real reasons behind their career moves and their career motivations.  We know the candidate’s cultural preferences and their personality drivers.  But more importantly we know their potential.  We know who will succeed long term and add genuine value for our clients.


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