City firms should slash NQ salaries to £50,000, say recruiters

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  • @1.38 a bit harsh surely to say an NQ knows precisely zero. Also, and more to the point, they do earn £35K when they 'know precisely zero' as a first seat trainee.

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  • Re anon @ 5:15pm;
    Given that most people take recruiters' tip-offs and apply direct and following the rise in mediums such as LinkedIn (where jobs can be better promoted for free), I'd be a bit more concerned with how to survive long-term rather than gloating about your alleged significant earnings.

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  • Re I'd rather be... @5.34
    I feel terrible for writing my comment; I don't know what came over me! Perhaps it was the liquid lunch and a feeling that the agency was getting a bit too much stick for what was not an unreasonable opinion (I don't agree with it but I see their point).
    I have been hearing about the end of recruitment since 1995 whilst watching our turnover and profit rise every year. I agree that the current recruiters days are numbered but the reasons you give are wrong. Every 10 years or so firms install internal recruitment teams headed by someone from outside of the industry who can’t comprehend the difference between recruiting an ep and a secretary and whose only goal is cutting costs. This means the skilled recruiters move away from these firms which paves the way for the CV factories to fill the void. This type of recruitment is a sordid affair for all involved (candidate, client and agent) and doesn’t really work. Once they have trampled all over the market and failed the firms come back to us to conduct a search at a higher percentage and pay us up front. Eventually the in-house teams will be made redundant again and we go back to working with partners and regain control.
    Linkedin won’t help as that relies on people looking for a job and the majority of people we move are not. If people back door us we couldn’t care less, the firm has paid us to manage the process so they will be sent straight back to us with egg on their face.
    A frustration that lawyers have is that your clients don’t understand what you do, the same applies to us. What we do is a skill and helps firms grow, saves jobs and furthers the market as a whole. Deals (including some of the largest mergers you see) will not happen without us. The reasons for this are numerous. The main one being that it is the won't of Lawyers to be stubborn, non-committal and very guarded. When you have two parties behaving in this way this with no guidance deals won’t happen.
    The level of patience and diplomacy required to succeed is difficult to comprehend and is a rare trait. This is why our mobile numbers are in the Managing Partnerr’s phones and why they sign off invoices of 500k. We are remunerated according to our contribution to the firm; I would argue that our contribution is as great as the majority of partners which is why we earn what we do.

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  • I think people are mistaking the "exodus" as referring to people (NQs) whereas it surely really refers to the work. The high cost of relatively low level work being undertaken by relatively inexperienced people (which is partly salary, but partly other factors such as real estate) is driving law firms' clients to look to alternatives where they can. And with regional firms grasping for work, lower cost centres in Bristol and Belfast, and new providers entering the market there are plenty of easy pickings.
    Retention is less the problem these days - there is now an oversupply of lawyers, not a shortage.

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  • This thread just serves to demonstrate the profile of people who blog on the lawyer's website. The market is about to change hugely as a result of LPOs and the advent of the ABS. For the doubters among you have a read of Susskind's observations on this topic. In Law Firms, wages account for circa 40 - 50% of the cost base, followed by premises. The observations of the recruitment firm are well placed (albeit that they focus solely on one aspect of the challenges facing firms). To stay competitive firms will have to reduce costs. Wages is the first place you'd expect them to look and the NQ rate is an easy target as it is difficult to justify the charge out rate for someone just out of nappies. Change is coming....

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  • This guy also seems to assume that clients are well aware of the charge-out AND/OR salary increase that comes with qualification.
    I didn't qualify into my final seat, so I never saw those clients again (except for some of the bigger ones, dealing with a different team anyway). I would say the majority of trainees don't qualify into their final seat either. These client's won't get a chance to comb through the invoices to look for a change in job title and a corresponding hike in price. I'll just be gone. And a new trainee will join! Simple.
    And nobody seems to understand that the author isn't really suggesting that NQ's as PEOPLE will move to the Regions, but that an increase in demand for lower-cost Regional legal services of comparable quality to those in the City will lead to a rise in demand for NQs in the Regions.
    And nobody picks up on the qualification: " in non-premium areas". I for one would be glad to know that Mr. Employment-gets-out-the-door-at-5:30-and-bills-half-as-much doesn't earn the same wedge as the sleep-deprived, caffeine-ravaged lawyers in corporate. Earnings HAVE to start reflecting recordings.

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  • As a legal recruiter I am ashamed to be associated with the likes of Mr "I earn as much as the Partners". It is ridiculous to suggest that smarter in-house teams and the rise of social media have not majorely impacted the need for external recruitment assistance.
    The vast majority of professionals are now listed on Linkedin making it far easier to source candidates and make approaches. This month Amazon announced that they have cut their use of external recruiters down to just 9% of hires. As the larger organisation improve their internal recruiting systems it follows suit that so will the smaller organisation such as law firms.
    It is worth noting that social media did not exist in 1995 so the comparison between then and now is void. Social media has dramatically altered the way in which businesses are able to interact with potential employees.
    We have good salaries because we do a job which not many people are comfortable doing. It is the same with all sales jobs and recruiters should not forget that they are sales people. The difference being that our products are people who are changeable and have free will. Our work ethic may be comparable with that of a lawyer but our job is not skilled in the way a lawyer's is.
    Good recruiters do have value in that they know the candidate market, understand client needs and can quickly and efficiently source talent for a business, there is no reason other than cost savings that these skills can not be incorporated into an in-house setting. It is just that currently in-house recruiters are not paid enough for them to work in the sales orientated way that external recruiters do.
    The article produced by Edwards Gibson is more akin to something produced by a consultancy firm and perhaps Edwards Gibson are lining themselves up for a change in business direction in the wake of the social media revolution.
    Recruiters such as yourself should think about how you can be more commercial rather than burying your head in the sand and pretending that things aren't changing.

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