2. Drill Down on Their Market Knowledge.
Anyone with a phone and internet connection can be a recruiter. The low barriers to entry mean that the market is saturated with smile-and-dial
Don’t be afraid to ask your recruiter how long they have been recruiting in Asia, or for (anonymous) examples of their agency’s recent placements. Being able to recite information off a law firm’s or company’s website is one thing, but how much “beyond the website” intel can a recruiter share about a law firm, practice group, or in-house team? Does your recruiter have up-to-date knowledge on COLA numbers, group personalities, marquee clients and deals, and team culture? Has your recruiter ever worked as a lawyer in Asia?
3. Is Your Recruiter Dealing with Decision-Makers? Along with market knowledge, you want to make sure that your recruiter’s emails will be taken seriously by the other side. Many recruiters will do no better than to chuck your resume into a “black hole” – this is especially true for recruiters who have never even had a telephone conversation with the person they’re submitting you to! Make sure your recruiter has real connections that hold hiring clout. Ask how many placements your recruiter has made at that client, or how many searches your recruiter has advised on. Ideally, your recruiter will have a long-standing relationship with the relevant hiring managers – maybe they worked at the same law firm together as associates, or maybe your recruiter placed them into their current role. Try to gauge the strength of a recruiter’s relationships before trusting that recruiter with your resume. This is especially critical for in-house searches.