We have been talking to a lot of candidates recently which is exactly what we want as recruiters. Not only does it mean that we are more likely to able to find the right people for the right jobs, it gives us a great insight into the market and how people are feeling and it keeps us busy and off the streets!
There is little doubt that the market seems to be improving and the flow of new jobs coming through is increasing (sorry Wellingtonians, that is probably not true for you guys though). Yet despite that we have had several conversations about how frustrating people are finding their job search because of the narrow criteria that attach to pretty much all legal roles. Unfortunately, almost as soon as you qualify your options begin to rapidly narrow and your admission date and academic achievements can set the tone for many years to come.
Typical frustrations include mediocre academics coming back to haunt otherwise very well qualified lawyers many years later, an unwillingness by firms to consider a more senior lawyer for a more junior role and an absolute inability to change disciplines after the dye is cast in those crucial first two years.
I would love to be going on to tell you that we have a clever strategy for mitigating the inflexibility we so often encounter and that seems ingrained in the profession, but sadly I can’t. What I can say is that we share your frustrations and we do our best to persuade and convince when you are the not quite the square peg for the square hole. After all we earn our living by placing people into the right role and so it is our interest to help you make that leap regardless of the barriers.
Perhaps the strategy is simply to make sure we work together with honesty, patience and a bit of creative thinking and make sure we are heading in the right direction. That way even if you can’t make the change in one leap we’ve identified the right stepping stones.