I bet the answer to that question for most of us is “no, of course not – how dare you suggest otherwise!”.
I have been in legal recruitment now for over 16 years. The way we recruit and indeed communicate with each other has changed beyond recognition in that time. I started life as a Trainee Solicitor with no computer on my desk at a Legal 500 listed firm (it was not that long ago!) in 1995.
Since then we have had mobile phones, text messages, smart phones, emails on mobile devices and smart watches. It is almost impossible not to be contacted or contactable at any time.
As a recruiter in this modern technological age (and I am sure this is a widespread issue across wider society) we get ignored deliberately on an increasing basis.
People don’t turn up to interviews and don’t email or text (let alone call) to let us or the law firm know. We receive an interview request from people whose CV we have sent with their permission to a firm they expressed an interest in joining – and contact them by email, telephone and text – and they never call back. We have received job offers for people and they don’t call back. People have not turned up for their first day in a new role and not contacted their new firm or us to explain that they are now no longer joining.
I can fully understand in this technological age that people might choose to hide behind an impersonal form of communication like text or email for those difficult situations where you are letting someone down but don’t have the courage to call them. But to not even send a text or an email – what is that? Well unprofessional at best – but deeper than that is it forgetfulness, laziness or just plain ‘could not care less’ ignorance.
Law firms are busy professional businesses that can ill afford wasting time arranging interviews and making offers and preparing for new starters who simply let them down. Legal Recruitment agencies offer their services completely free of charge for candidates looking for a career move. It is a sad world we are moving towards if we are now at a point where people cannot even be bothered to send a one line email politely declining the interview / offer / job.
As a legal professional you will no doubt cross paths with recruiters several times in your career. Legal recruitment agencies and law firms respect candidates who pick up the phone and are mature enough to speak to them, even when it is to decline an opportunity. Being seen as a time waster by firms and recruiters may well harm your career further down the line – there is no excuse these days to not be gracious enough to send a simple message.