The Job Search

The Job Search

Job searches can be frustrating – for all parties.

Just when you think you have found the job that fits you, what you are looking looking for, the money you want to make and the opportunity you are looking for, someone else gets an offer.

Just when you think you have found the perfect candidate, the person that fits your firm, that fits what you are looking for in a candidate and will enhance the culture of your firm at the price you want to pay, the candidate gets and accepts an offer from someone else.

So what are the tips I have for candidates?

1. Please know that you are not the only candidate being interviewed for a position.

2. Search firms, while being there to help you find a job are really there to help their clients find the best possible candidate. In a sense, we are what would be transactional brokers in a real estate deal. So please know that you are not the only candidate we send for an interview with a firm. We want our client to have the best candidate. If that’s you, great. If not, you can’t take it personally if someone else gets an offer.

3. If you get an offer from a firm you want to work at and the money and benefits are in line with what you are looking for, take the offer. Any respectable firm will give you at least 48 hours to make a decision as a new job is always a big decision, especially if you are currently employed and are leaving a firm to move to another one. Even if you are not employed, it’s still a huge decision to make, as you don’t want to walk into what could be the wrong fit for you. The wrong fit can make you look like a jumpy employee when that is not the case.

4. At the same time, don’t feel like you have to take an offer. If it doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, reject the offer. It’s okay to reject an offer. People do it all the time. It’s normal that when you are interviewing that you are interviewing for multiple opportunities, not just one so if you don’t get the offer you want, whether you are employed or not employed, turn it down and move on to the next.

5. Don’t turn down an offer simply because of money. I know, it sounds so simple when you have bills to pay and you need a certain amount of money to maintain a certain lifestyle. We’ve all been there. If you have to cut back in some areas, then do so. Please remember, the opportunity at Firm A might actually be better at Firm B even though Firm B pays more than Firm A. What’s most important to you? Money? Quality of Life? Opportunity for Growth? You might be able to make a lot more money at Firm A in the long run. The immediate gratification may be at Firm B, but Firm A may provide the long term growth that most people seek, so always be open minded.

Don’t think I forgot about my clients. Here are some tips for clients when dealing with candidates and offers.

1. Don’t stall on candidates. I know some firms have longer processes than others in hiring candidates, but don’t stall. If you like a candidate, move the process along as quickly as possible. The longer it takes a candidate to get an offer, the more likely that candidate will either lose interest in your firm, find and accept another job first or reject your offer if it takes too long simply out of principal. There is no benefit whatsoever in stalling.

2. Offer max dollar for the candidate you like. Don’t lowball the candidate. Just because you have a range of 80 to 100K doesn’t mean you offer 80K because you want to get the candidate for as little as possible. I am not saying offer 100K either, but let’s say the candidate is coming from another firm making 75K. It’s highly unlikely that the person will leave his firm, if employed, for 80K. If a candidate takes a job with your firm for a 5K raise, that is a bad sign because that candidate will likely take the next job offer that comes along offering 85K. People with pride will generally turn down a 5K raise unless they are completely unhappy at their current firm. So offer that person 90K. Heck, as a recruiter, I want my candidate to be happy so the last thing I want is him to leave within three months and me lose out on a placement fee or have to give a free replacement. I also want my client to be happy with the candidate. So offer a reasonable max dollar. If the person is making 75K, offer 90K. Make it worth it for that person to move. If the person is making 60K, then you can get away with offering 80K because that would be a substantial increase, but please don’t give a search firm a range and the and go under the range. That makes everyone look bad. At the same time, by giving the person what amounts to a substantial increase in pay, they will feel appreciated, will more likely take the offer without a counter, will work much harder for you and will be less likely to look at other firms that may recruit them later on. And you certainly don’t want to get stuck paying a placement fee every year for the same position because the candidate leaves because you lowballed him when he started.

3. Don’t interview a large amount of candidates at once. Interview in batches. If you have three to five candidates, interview that as one batch. If one of them doesn’t appeal to you, move on to the next three to five. Don’t put together 10 or 20 resumes and start interviewing all of them. You will make your selection process that much longer and you will cause what I stated in number one to happen. The process becomes elongated the candidate loses interest. If you are using a search firm such as ours, allow us to present you with three to five candidates. For starters, we have already checked these individuals out and believe they would be good fits for your firm. We have a reputation to uphold as a reputable firm, so you should trust us in our evaluations prior to sending them to you. That’s what you are paying us for. We can’t predict personality differences even though we do believe your firm’s personality would match our candidates, but skills wise, we only send you people that can do the job and do it well. It’s no different than looking for a new home. If you look at more than 5 places at a time, you start to forget what you saw in the beginning of your day and the homes start blending together. The same happens with candidates. If you don’t like the first five, throw those resumes away and move on to the next group. However, if you like one a lot, you have one of two choices – immediately offer or interview one more candidate. If after one more candidate interview, the first person was still your favorite, make the offer.

If you follow these tips, both clients and candidates, you will see a difference during the job search/candidate search process.

SSG-legal recruiter