5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Recruiter

Posted September 23rd, 2021 by Urban Legal Recruitment

September signals the end of summer and a time for new beginnings. Kids go back to school, work colleagues are back from vacations and a sense of rhythm returns. This year, in the grip of a worldwide pandemic, that cadence is more important than ever.

September is also a good time to consider a career move (if you are so inclined). Recruitment typically escalates in the fall in a mad dash to fill vacant roles before budgets run out and the December holidays kick in. Hiring managers are back at work, rested, reinvigorated and ready to roll as the year winds down. 

Working with a recruiter, and choosing the right one, is really no different than working with any other professional, whether in real estate, medical, financial, etc. And like other professionals, they are not all created equal. So before you entrust your career to a professional recruiter, here are some things you need to know.

5 things to consider when choosing a recruiter

Recruitment is so much more than just making a placement, it’s about building long term relationships with clients and candidates so that we can be a continuous resource throughout one's career/lifetime.  

The STARS model - Specialized, Track Record, Aligned, References and Strategic, is a framework to guide your decision making when choosing a recruiter. 


A specialized recruiter will have intimate knowledge of your industry, and solid working relationships and connections in your field. If you work in the legal field, find a recruiter that specializes in legal, if you’re in IT then find a specialized IT recruiter, etc. Specialized recruiters understand the language, the required skills and competences, industry trends, and will know about upcoming opportunities before they are published.

Track record

We’ve all heard the horror stories.The wrong recruiter can not only cost you your prized role, but also your reputation. Does a recruiter have the relevant expertise and are they respected in the industry? Do they have access to the leaders you’ll be reporting to or just the hiring managers?


What are your career goals and aspirations? What’s important to you in a workplace culture? What are your specific skills and level of experience? Does your CV reflect your skills and experience The closer your relationship with your recruitment specialist, the more likely you will land a role that reflects your own unique needs and wants, and aligns to your career trajectory


Find a recruiter who has a solid history and commitment to their profession as that is a tell tale sign that they have weathered some storms and remain dedicated (recruitment is typically a high turnover, high pressure industry).Your recruiter should be able and willing to connect you with recent candidates they’ve placed. You will want to ask the candidates about their experience with the recruiter. Was the recruiter responsive and proactive? Did you have to chase them or did they maintain effective lines of communication? Were they able to place you in a role/company that reflected your needs/wants or did they just submit your resume to any open role? Check a recruiters LinkedIn account and see if they have Industry recommendations.  


Rockstar recruiters create, evolve and maintain effective partnerships with both organizations and candidates. They work with organizations to determine short- and long-term needs, and with candidates to help them map out their careers and actively support them through every stage.  

“I work closely with my candidates to ensure I understand exactly what they are looking for, and that any roles I present to them are aligned with their career goals,” says Shona Tischner

Director of Executive Recruitment and Professional Support at Urban Legal Recruitment. “I never take it personally if a candidate turns down a role - the most important thing is finding, and not forcing, the right fit. That fit is only possible when you truly get to know your candidates and understand what’s important to them.”

The right legal recruiter will have strong partnerships with both candidates and clients and is able to identify suitable opportunities, provide sound advice and prepare you for every stage of the interview process. As importantly, they can ensure a good cultural fit. 

“Recruitment is about relationships and just like any other relationship, you want to align with a recruiter who is honest, trustworthy, a good listener and communicator, and one who is connected in your area of specialization,” says Stacy Cowan, founder and partner, Urban Legal Recruitment. “Just as you would use a certain amount of discernment in selecting a personal trainer, life coach or a realtor, the same goes for a recruiter. Our interest is in building and maintaining long term relationships with our clients and candidates.”

Ultimately, while your career progression is in your hands, working with the right recruitment specialist will make all the difference. 

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.