When considering the hiring of new lawyer headhunters, it’s a smart move to fix the criteria by finding the questions you’d need to answer, after you have selected the recruiters. Here’s a small sample of questions you may face once you finish making your choice of law recruiters:
- Why did you select this particular attorney search firm?
- How much time did the firm ask to complete their search and how many candidates did they promise?
- What kind of attorneys did the firm provide others – what was the success rate?
- What is the quality of the documentation provided by the firm including assessment reports and reference checks?
- If 10 were your best score, how would you rate the firm you hired on a scale of 1-10?
- How would the legal staffing firm participate in final negotiations?
- Are there any other attorney search firms you considered but rejected? Why?
- Did you feel uncomfortable about anything while dealing with the attorney search firm?
These are only some of the questions you might have to face afterwards selecting legal headhunters. From these, you can work out the priority of different criteria for selecting an attorney search firm.
Top lawyer headhunters don’t come cheap; they also rarely do contingency-fee based work. The best legal recruiting firms have fixed charges and usually calculate fees based on the annual salary of the candidate they are looking for. Professional search firms would also add other charges like phone, travel, meals with sources and candidates. You are lucky if you can get top legal recruiters who agree to work on a flat fee after discussing the assignment.
Actual billing methods vary widely between search firms, so be sure to compare billing and payment structures before making your choice.
Be very careful of rushing through things, because it is quite common to assume or take things for granted, and then be billed for things you forgot to mention during the initial discussions.
Top legal staffing companies or attorney search firms are the most expensive types of legal headhunters as they work on retainers. Payment is made in stages, and payments do not depend upon the success in finding a candidate. The law firm concept of billable hours also works for legal recruiters, and if they work on your assignment, regardless of the results you are going to be billed.
With the best lawyer search firms you are compelled to take risks and trust them because you have to pay fees from initial stages of the assignment without any guarantees that you will find the candidate you need. However, it’s understood that people, who earn without delivering guarantees, can afford to do so only by delivering service.
However, because of the high non-refundable fees involved in hiring top legal recruiters, you too need to act professional and thoroughly research the deal.
Ask whether you can get discounts for hiring multiple candidates for similar positions. Don’t forget to ask what will happen if you cancel the assignment, or the search takes too long. Ask how the legal recruiters would help if the candidate hired through them leaves within a short time. And also ask how the deal would change if the requirements for the candidate change substantially after the recruiters start working.