Recruiters – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

Due diligence for your career

Like everything in life there are some excellent recruiters out there, some decidedly average and some downright awful. The problem that you have as a candidate trying to decide which one’s which when choosing one to help you with your next career move. It is difficult to tell from just from looking at an advert or website.

Looking before you leap is fundamental to your training as a lawyer. Do you check the credentials and background of the recruitment consultants you are engaging with and entrusting your next career move to? Maybe you should. Would you want an ex estate agent, former waiter or furniture salesperson advising you or someone with a legal background and/or significant legal recruitment experience? At QED Legal of our 8 consultants, 4 are qualified solicitors, 6 have worked for Legal 500 law firms and we have 20 years of legal recruitment experience between us. Our biographies are on our website so you can see who you are dealing with. We think it is important and trust that you do to.

You really need to speak to or meet with your recruiter to try and establish if it is someone you think you can work with and trust with your personal details and career to. Rather than deal with lots of different agencies you are better placed (literally!) selecting one or two agencies you like to work with and have a rapport with.

We hear horror stories from candidates about awful agency experiences they have endured from large multinationals right down to one man bands. A recruitment agent is someone you should be able to work with, not someone who arrogantly dictates what they think should happen with your career.

Common issues we hear about with bad agencies are:

  • Sending CVs out without the candidate’s express permission
  • Sending CVs out speculatively to lots of firms where there are no actual vacancies (and nothing on the horizon)
  • Finding CVs on a job board and sending them out having never spoken to the candidate
  • Sending candidates over for jobs they clearly are not suitable for
  • Arrogant and aggressive consultants not listening to what candidates want from a career move
  • Never taking your call or calling candidates back after the first conversation
  • Deliberately sending out a candidate’s CV to a firm they know the candidate has already been put forward to
  • Having deliberately duplicated the candidate’s CV (or mailshotted it) and caused a duplication they then contact the candidate telling (lying to) them that if they don’t go through them they won’t be considered for the job and asking for an email confirming they are the sole agency instructed to deal with the application
  • Saying “I will speak to some firms in the area” and then mailshotting the candidate’s CV

A good recruitment consultant should listen to what you are looking for and tell you about actual vacancies you are suitable for. They should not duplicate your CV if another agency has already put you forward for the role. They should not send your CV out without your permission and they should not ignore you. Go with your gut feeling. If you warm to the person you are speaking to and they are pleasant and knowledgeable, listen to you and make sensible suggestions as to how to move your career forward then work with them. If not then use another agency.

QED Legal prides itself on the quality of service it provides. The testimonials page on our website is populated only by genuine testimonials from people we have actually placed in a new role. Visit it now at and see what lawyers think about their dealings with QED Legal.

Scroll to Top