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It really is OK to use the same recruiter more than once in your career

No honestly, we really don’t mind if you’ve decided to move from the position we placed you in. The main thing is that we did our job well enough the first time around that you feel comfortable to come back to us when the time is right to move again. Whether it’s after realising the fit isn’t just right after only a couple of months, or years down the line when you’ve developed from a bright eyed, bushy tailed part qualified attorney to a senior associate teetering on Partnership.

It happens. And although we don’t hold it against you, we do sometimes wonder the reasons behind your decision not to drop us a line the second (or third) time around.

Guilt.

Yes, time was invested when we advised you on your CV; discussed your wants and interests, and suggested firms that could potentially deliver on these; liaised with you throughout the interview process; and ultimately negotiated on your behalf when the offer was made. But this is our job and we’d happily do it all again if you decided it’s time to move on. In the short term, if you’re not happy then we’d like to know. It benefits us (and future candidates) if you let us know that the environment wasn’t right for you, or you’re stuck working with one major client when promised a bucketful of variety, or you just realise you miss the one thing you thought you were sick of at your old firm. We understand things can change and what felt like a great move on paper can turn out to be quite the opposite in reality. It also really helps us to know the firms from an insider’s perspective, because what didn’t work for you may well be the perfect fit for someone else.

Conflict of interest.

You might think you’re putting us in an awkward position by asking us to find you alternative options to the firm we introduced you to. We do of course have an obligation to the firms we work with, and would never actively target/headhunt their employees (especially those we have placed there). However, in an ever-increasing candidate led market, we regard our relationship with you and the part we play in your career to be just as important as those we have with our clients.  If you approach us our conscience and obligations to our clients are clear.

Lack of options.

You’ve realised that the open plan, highly autonomous working environment is not for you, and you’d prefer to move back to a firm where there’s a little more structure. Just because we only suggested these types of options to you first time around doesn’t mean we won’t be able to provide options based on your newly updated wants and needs. You want more exposure to local direct clients? There’s a firm for that. Looking to gain experience in oppositions and maybe gain a qualification in litigation? There’s a firm for that too. Saturating the market with your CV can be a risky move and we always try to steer clear of speculatively sending you to every firm out there. We will tailor our suggestions based on our conversations with you and on our knowledge of the firms we work with, but that’s not to say we’re showing you all our cards at once. Chances are we have plenty more up our sleeve.

Grand departures.

This is very much in the same vein as the above point but worth rehashing to an extent. We’re not referring to the more micro moves but rather the major life changing leaps, such as going in-house or relocating to another part of the UK, Europe (or Australia for that matter). We’ll have you know that there is life in the IP community outside of London. A busy, lucrative life filled with the same salaries and clients for that matter. We work with firms across the UK, not just the larger firms with regional offices, but the smaller more boutique offerings as well, and it’s no secret that most would welcome candidates at any level across any discipline (although we’re not sure if you’re aware, there is a slight bias towards electronics and engineering at the moment). We also have contacts across Europe, the US and Australasia, so if a grand departure is on your mind by all means still use the contact your colleague gave you at that networking event, or speak with a local recruiter in Belgium. But why not give us a call as well? We might be able to offer a little insight and some alternative options you haven’t already considered.

You just wanted a change.

We like to think we’re lovely people who are great to have a chat with and maybe even discuss a potential new career opportunity or two. We understand our approach isn’t for everyone, but would like to think it’s something we can improve upon. Moving positions is a major decision and you need to feel at ease from the initial conversation all the way through to when you send off your signed contract of employment. If you’re thinking about setting the wheel in motion but not with us by your side, then your feedback on the reasons why would be greatly appreciated!

You were headhunted.

This one we can’t really argue with. But what we can say is that the arrangement between headhunters and clients can sometimes be a loose one. Just because someone has called you about a role, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are that firm’s sole representative.  If you would prefer to speak to us, then politely decline and give us a call.  We’ll be honest about whether or not we can help you, and in the unlikely event we can’t, you can go back to the original recruiter.

 

These have been the musings of Principal Consultant Phillipa Holland. Phillipa is normally right about everything, mostly when it comes to cats. But if you think she could be wrong about any of the points above then let us know! We promise she’ll listen, maybe. Probably not. 

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