FAQs

Posted on: March 25th, 2012 by admin3 No Comments

 

1. I am seeking a new opportunity but don’t want my name “put out on the street.” If I do business with your company, what assurance do I have that my need for confidentiality will be respected?
2. I am an unemployed attorney (or upcoming J.D. graduate) who is looking for maximum exposure in the job market. I am not concerned about confidentiality, and would like to utilize the services of a recruiter who will send my résumé to as many potential employers as possible. Can Riverbend Group help me?
3. Who pays your fees?
4. What qualities do you look for in the candidates you represent?
5. When placing a candidate with an employer, which one is your true “client”?
6. Is it necessary to have a law degree or legal training to be a good legal recruiter?
7. What is the difference between contingency and retainer executive search?
8. Why do you always insist on using the term “candidate” instead of “applicant”?

1. I am seeking a new opportunity but don’t want my name “put out on the street.” If I do business with your company, what assurance do I have that my need for confidentiality will be respected?
As mentioned elsewhere on this site, Riverbend Group’s methodology is the antithesis of a “résumé mill’s” or employment agency’s mode of operation. We are very proud of the fact that we have never been responsible for any candidate’s “cover being blown,” or for the violation of any employer’s desire for confidentiality, either since forming Riverbend Group, LLC or during our two decades of prior executive search consulting experience. If you are a highly qualified potential candidate who is seeking confidential, exclusive representation by a top executive search firm, Riverbend Group would be glad to provide referrals from past candidates we have represented in their job moves. Likewise, if you are an employer with a key attorney or executive need (or a need for other consulting services that Riverbend Group provides), we would be happy to provide you with references from clients for whom we have provided services in the recent past.
2. I am an unemployed attorney (or upcoming J.D. graduate) who is looking for maximum exposure in the job market. I am not concerned about confidentiality, and would like to utilize the services of a recruiter who will send my résumé to as many potential employers as possible. Can Riverbend Group help me?
No – at least not directly. Riverbend Group is an executive search and consulting firm, not an employment agency. Broadcasting résumés to a large number of potential employers is not one of the services we provide (or would recommend that you seek from a recruiter). Your interests are not likely to be best served in your current situation by relying upon an executive recruiter, since recruiters charge substantial fees to hiring employers to bring them currently employed candidates who they simply cannot get by running help-wanted ads, etc. If you need help with ideas regarding how best to conduct your job search on your own, we would be glad to assist you in any reasonable way we can at no charge. If you have even the most basic research, writing and people skills, you should be able to land a suitable position by using our proven networking and other job search methods.
3. Who pays your fees?
As indicated above, we are an executive search firm as opposed to an employment agency or other type of organization whose goal is to find jobs for unemployed or marginally-employed people. As such, our fees are always paid by the hiring employer. We do not charge fees of any kind to candidates we represent. However, since employers pay a fee to hire our candidates, we must necessarily work with candidates who are among the very best at what they do (see next question and answer below).With regard to merger-related projects, it is typically the larger of the two merging entities that pays our fees. However, this decision is made on a case-by-case basis. In certain situations we may be retained by a smaller law firm or other entity to consult with the organization regarding its various options for growth. In these circumstances, that organization may agree to pay our fees resulting from any merger which may occur as a result of our consulting and other efforts.
4. What qualities do you look for in the candidates you represent?
Some of the many factors we consider in determining which candidates we will represent to potential employers are academic achievement, technical skills, bar memberships and other professional licenses, history of accomplishments, career focus, reputation and references, work ethic, public speaking and writing, participation in professional organizations, interpersonal and leadership skills, business development ability, cooperativeness and motivation, diversity goals of employers, honesty and good character, personal presentation and demeanor, foreign language skills and knowledge of other cultures, and employment history (including stability). The relative importance of these and other factors may vary significantly depending on the type and level of position involved.
5. When placing a candidate with an employer, which one is your true “client”?
We feel very strongly that, regardless of whether the placement is the result of a search assignment or our confidential marketing efforts on behalf of a highly-qualified candidate, both the hiring employer and the candidate are our clients. Although it is the hiring employer and not the candidate who pays our placement fee (as mentioned above), the candidates we recruit and place are giving up something of arguably greater value – an existing position which, although they may have determined that it does not provide the same long-term career and other benefits as their new position, is normally a stable position in which they are performing extremely well and usually being compensated accordingly. Since the best-qualified candidates invariably have many options available to them, there is also an “opportunity cost” involved in forgoing those other options in favor of accepting a particular position. (That same point applies to employers who turn down other interested and qualified individuals to focus on a favored candidate who they believe to be sincere, of course.)
6. Is it necessary to have a law degree or legal training to be a good legal recruiter?
No. Many very good legal recruiters do not have formal legal training, and there are many qualities other than technical legal knowledge that factor into being a good legal search consultant. Some of these traits include strong communications and people skills; honesty and trustworthiness; well-developed computer and other research capabilities; very good organizational and time management skills; a high energy level and tireless work ethic; a persuasive personality; the ability to juggle numerous projects and meet deadlines in a fast-paced, often pressure-filled environment; and — perhaps most important of all — the ability to achieve a true sense of personal satisfaction from matching great candidates with great employers.Nevertheless, all other factors being equal, there are certain distinct advantages to a legal recruiter (and to his or her clients and candidates) which result from formal legal training. Naturally, someone who is an attorney or who has been trained in legal matters at some level will have a greater understanding of individual practice areas and key issues of importance in each such area; of the respective “cultures” of law firms, corporate legal departments, governmental agencies, and other employers of attorneys; of the relative rankings and reputations of the various law schools, law firms, corporations, etc.; and of the numerous personal and professional qualities that serve to separate the very top lawyers in particular specialty areas from the numerous other practitioners in those areas. In addition, a legal search consultant who is also an attorney may be able to communicate more easily and effectively with both the employer representatives and the candidates with whom he/she interacts, since those key business contacts will likely have educational and employment backgrounds very similar to those of the search consultant. Finally, a legally-trained attorney recruiter may also have a substantial list of contacts developed over many years through various law school relationships, former legal positions, bar association memberships, political activities, etc., which may prove quite helpful in the legal executive search business.
7. What is the difference between contingency and retainer executive search?
In a contingency search arrangement, the hiring employer pays a fee (typically based upon a percentage of the candidate’s projected first-year compensation) only if a candidate provided by the search firm is hired. This form of agreement allows an employer seeking to fill a key position to compare a number of candidates – often through more than one source – without incurring any financial obligation unless and until the employer determines that a particular candidate introduced by the recruiter represents the best overall choice, and is able to successfully hire the candidate (normally with help from the recruiter).Under the retainer model of executive search, recruiting-related services are almost always performed under an exclusive agreement in which the employer essentially “pre-pays” a portion or portions of the anticipated placement fee at various stages of the process. This contractual arrangement guarantees the search firm that it will receive a reasonable level of compensation for its efforts to fill the subject position, even if it is ultimately unable to do so. This form of agreement also helps assure the employer that the search firm will expend significant time and resources toward identifying and recruiting qualified candidates for the position, no matter how difficult the search may be. Riverbend Group provides both contingency and retainer (as well as hybrid) executive search services, depending upon the preference of the employer and other circumstances surrounding the specific hiring need involved. Please feel free to contact us to discuss the various contractual and payment options available to you.
8. Why do you always insist on using the term “candidate” instead of “applicant”?
“Applicant” has a negative connotation to many people. It tends to conjure up images of an unemployed person, hat (or résumé) in hand, desperately seeking a job. The word “candidate” is more appropriate to describe a recruited professional person, since it tends to imply a two-way process in which the prospective employer is at least as interested in convincing the professional to join his or her company as the person is in pursuing the opportunity that the employer has available. For similar reasons, it is never a good idea to hand a recruited candidate an application form when he or she arrives at a first interview. However, once a mutual interest has been established and the process has moved beyond one or two interviews, it is generally appropriate to request that the candidate provide names of references and other information required by the employer to conduct its normal pre-employment due diligence. The determination of when to request this sort of information is in large part a factor of the candidate’s seniority, his or her reputation within the industry, etc.