1. Why should we use a recruiter?

Not all recruiters are the same. But ones that prioritise relationship building, working in partnership and long-term success can become key allies to your business. We strive to be just that at Totum, listening, communicating and working with you far beyond the remit of any one placement.


Good recruiters never send out CVs without careful thought, they make a point of understanding the firms they work with, and they only recommend candidates who they genuinely believe will make a good match. Their strong networks and practical experience make them able to source the best and the right talent quickly.


They also have the administrative resources and ability to manage all aspects of the recruitment in a way that ensures that all parties leave the process with a positive view of your firm. Reputation matters: the best recruiters will safeguard yours.


2. We know we have a skills/capability gap but we’re not sure what kind of person we need to recruit or what their title/salary, etc, should be. What next?


As firms have developed their business capabilities quickly, so have requirements evolved rapidly too. We are working with many firms on new and emerging business services roles – often supporting them on the job scope and specification based on our experience of the broader market.

If you have any concerns about a role or are unsure how to attract the right talent for the management growth or change you need, let us know and we will do our best to provide constructive advice and on-going support.


3. We’ve had a few roles open for a long time. But we just can’t seem to attract the right candidates. How can we improve our search?


Some jobs are trickier to source than others, especially in this fast-evolving sector where new roles are emerging all the time – requiring new business skills and capabilities that are not already common in the profession.


But we also think some firms could review their processes to attract more of the right talent. Firms that think through the role carefully, know exactly the kind of person they are seeking, and reflect it accurately in a clear and detailed job description tend to enjoy a high degree of success. Those who rush into a job search, have little sense of the desired outcome, and consequently struggle to write anything but a vague, bland or inaccurate job specification, often come away empty handed.


We also recommend firms take an open-minded approach to recruiting great business talent. We have helped some truly talented candidates join the legal sector from outside industry – people who are now making a huge contribution to the development of legal business. More firms are seeking talent beyond law and they are reaping the rewards of taking a broader view.


4. We’ve struggled to close the deal on some great talent – often losing good candidates to other job offers. What are we doing wrong?

There are, of course, many reasons why a great candidate will choose one law firm over another. Some will go beyond any one firm’s control. But we often find that problems arise in the recruitment process – some interview and selection procedures take too long, involve too many people (who struggle to find a consensus on a candidate) or there’s a lack of clarity in terms of the job that the candidate will ultimately undertake.

We have worked with many firms across a variety of processes. We have experience of what works well and what doesn’t – and we are happy to share our thoughts on all aspects of effective recruitment. Just let us know your concerns.

5. We’ve heard on the grapevine that we haven’t got the best reputation as a potential employer. How can we fix that?

Employer brand has become a serious issue in recent years. With employer league tables and more employer review websites offering employees the opportunity to vent spleen, developing and safeguarding your reputation as a great employer is vital.

Many firms are working hard to implement processes that make their workplaces more attractive. From flexible and home-working initiatives to office perks, including restaurants and gyms, law firms can often boast impressive packages. But they can be slow to ‘sell’ those benefits, failing to describe their culture accurately (or at all) in job specs and interviews – which risks leaving others to negatively fill in the gaps.

We would also impress upon law firms the importance of the little things – for example, delivering constructive feedback to all job candidates. Unsuccessful interviewees can become vocal critics if you don’t respect the time and effort they have put into your recruitment process. Give them the feedback they deserve.


6. What about…?

The Totum team is always on hand to help with advice and to share insights. If you haven’t found what you were looking for, just give us a call or drop us a line. We’d be delighted to hear from you.