The Essence of Recruitment

Recruiters sometimes get a bad rap, and recruitment horror stories abound (check it out, there are over 4,000,000 results when you Google ‘recruitment horror stories’).

A job seeker’s goal is to find rewarding work that’s a good fit for their skills and experience, ideally in an organization that honours who they are (and who they want to become). An employer’s goal is to find the right person with the right skills and background, who will add to and enhance the company culture. 

The recruiter’s goal is to perfectly match the two up. Seems pretty straightforward, right? It’s not. Turnover rates in the recruitment industry are high for a reason.

Agency recruiters typically have heavy caseloads. In some agencies, recruiters manage an average of 20-30 positions at any given time. As commissioned recruiters, they are often under tremendous pressure to process candidates as quickly as possible (if they want to make any money). Corporate HR departments sometimes consider recruitment an entry-level role so an in-house recruiter may not always have the depth of experience required.  

Then there’s the actual work. Sourcing, contacting, interviewing and coaching candidates; understanding the culture and job requirements of the client; writing job descriptions; setting up meetings; negotiating terms; facilitating feedback sessions; reviewing new (sometimes unsolicited) resumes - these are just some of the tasks involved. Recruiters also need to be knowledgeable about all related legislation and stay up to date on technology, recruitment trends and industry news. 

Beyond the caseloads, workloads and tasks, however, is the core of recruitment - relationships. Developing and sustaining trust-based relationships is the very essence of what recruitment is (or should be) about. This is the real work.

Urban Legal Recruitment is a Calgary-based recruitment agency specializing in placing legal professionals - from senior partners and associates to legal assistants and in-house professionals, both nationally and internationally. 

“One of the things I am proudest of is that many of the people we started working with over 15 years ago are still our clients,” according to Stacy Cowan, ULR founder and recruiter for partner, associate, and in-house legal counsel. “And though we work in the legal recruitment industry, we are a people business, not a legal business. Our work is not about corporations or legal professionals, but about human beings with emotions, responsibilities, and aspirations. Our success is based on building long-term, trust-based relationships.”

ULR handles candidate and client data with the utmost discretion. Candidate information is never sent without specific consent for each and every opportunity. The legal market is an incredibly small community and as recruiters, confidentiality is always top of mind.

One of the common questions ULR fields from potential new candidates is "how much does it cost to hire a recruiter?". In Canada, recruitment services are free for the candidate. Recruiters are paid by the client who has engaged the recruiter on a contingency or a retainer-based search.

Shona Tischner joined ULR as their legal, administrative and professional support recruiter after 30 years of working for the world’s largest legal firm - ultimately as an HR Director. “I’ve been both a client and a recruiter, and know the only way to stay in this business is to develop relationships based on mutual respect, empathy, and integrity. You are never just a job description or a resume to us.”

Life. Career. Opportunity Awaits. If you have any questions, are considering a change, or just want to chat, we would love to hear from you.
At Urban Legal Recruitment, we have experienced, along with our clients, the impacts of COVID-19.  We’ve made the necessary adjustments to ensure the safety of our team members and our clients.