Category Archives: The Law of 3

The Law of 3 – offer negotiation

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Got an offer? Amazing! But it’s not over yet. Negotiation and acceptance can be the trickiest part of the recruitment process.

What are 3 common pitfalls that can happen during offer negotiation?

1- Pace. Often times the recruitment process can be slow and the time between interviews and updates feels like an eternity for you as the candidate. The irony is that when the offer is finally extended, the employer wants the process to suddenly expedite. Recruitment is like dating – they have told you they want to go steady. Not responding right away can really cool the relationship before it has even begun. You don’t need to say yes on the spot – that would not be wise. But be responsive. Let them know you are pleased to receive an offer and what amount of time you would like to review and come back with all of your questions. Most offers should be reviewed and negotiated (where applicable) within a few days, not weeks.

2- Over-negotiation. This is a pitfall that can befall anyone, but is particularly common with lawyers. We get it – you review contracts daily and you want to be sure that everything is included in the offer letter and employment contract. This is, after all, what you will do for your future employer! But over-negotiating minor points in an employment contract can be the kiss of death. Quibbling over wording or including small things you have been told takes the wind out of everyone’s sails. To some extent you must take a leap of faith and trust your future employer. Having a trusted recruiter can be very beneficial when navigating this delicate balance.

3- Good faith. You’ve decided to accept the offer and go in to see your employer only to, lo and behold, receive a better offer to stay! There are countless articles out there on why you should never accept a counteroffer. Presumably you have already addressed your concerns with your current job to your employer – the pay, the hours, the commute – and you were not able to work out a remedy. But be ready as the the situation can arise. An entirely different matter is using an offer to get a counter-offer. This game is unfair to the prospective employer. Negotiating in good faith is key to a successful future relationship – and your integrity.

Good luck!

This article is part of an ALT Recruitment Partners series entitled The Law of 3. For more information, please refer to the Team section of our website at www.altrecruit.ca/team. Any of our 3 Partners would be pleased to share insight and references.

The Law of 3 – behavioural interview questions and how to prepare

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Got an interview? Fantastic! Check our our own Rebecca Toth’s blog on what to do next, found here: http://www.altrecruit.ca/2016/04/30/so-youve-done-it-youve-got-an-interview-now-what/.

Often as we gain experience in our professional lives, we assume interviews are a ‘getting to know you session’ rather than screening for specific skills, but this is not always the case. Behavioural interviews are a way of gauging a potential new hire’s ability to handle pressure and determine whether you will be a good fit with the organization. These interviews tend to be more probing and specific than conversational-style interviews. Behavioural interview questions can be off-putting if you’re not prepared.

So how do you prepare for this more intense interview style?

1- Review a list of commonly asked behavioural interview questions like the list below. A simple Google search will pop up many different lists for you to use.

2- Brainstorm answers. Close the door to your home office and write bullet point answers to each question. They don’t have to be long answers but you need to have specific facts to back them up. Writing out the answers to each question helps focus your brain on answering this style of questioning.

3- Practice, practice, practice. Preparation is the key to interviewing well. Now that you have ideas for answers to each question, try answering them out loud without any notes in front of you. Some people like to walk through the conversation out loud in the car, others prefer to have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview with them. Either way, practice your answers out loud and pretend you are in the interview room. The more you practice, the more you will solidify your answers in your head.

Sample Behavioural Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time you had to make a quick decision.
  • Give an example of a time when you had a lot of work on your plate and were required to prioritize your tasks.
  • Tell me about a situation where you failed. Why did you fail and what did you learn from it.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client.
  • Tell me about an ethical work situation you had to deal with. How did it turn out?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to act in a leadership capacity.
  • What have you done in the workforce that shows initiative and creativity?
  • How would you handle a situation where you and your employer disagreed about an issue or course of action
  • Give me an example of how you have worked effectively under pressure.
  • Tell me about a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
  • Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
  • Tell me about a time when you went beyond the call of duty to ensure that a job got done.
  • Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
  • Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.

Good luck!

This article is part of an ALT Recruitment Partners series entitled The Law of 3. For more information, please refer to the Team section of our website at www.altrecruit.ca/team. Any of our 3 Partners would be pleased to share insight and references.

The Law of 3 – why use a legal recruiter (and specifically ALT Recruitment Partners)

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We have been recruiting lawyers for a very long time – nearly 35 years combined. Family and friends outside of the legal industry will often ask, “Why would a company or law firm use a legal recruiter when looking to add a lawyer their their organization? What value does ALT add?”

1. Law is a highly specialized profession. By the nature of the work, no two lawyers will have exactly the same practice experience. Aside from law firms and large institutions (who use us for a competitive edge), most companies do not hire a lawyer every year. At ALT, we have decades of experience differentiating between lawyers, their year of call, their education, their training and their experience. We understand the nuances of one lawyer’s practice over another.

2. Hiring a lawyer is both time-consuming and time sensitive. With ALT, all of the legwork is done for you – and more. You will benefit from our years of connections in the legal industry and our decades of experience researching and headhunting lawyers. We present in very short order a tailored list of recommendations – lawyers we have met and we know you should meet. But we don’t stop there – we don’t just throw the proverbial spaghetti at wall to see what sticks. We partner with you until the right person has accepted your offer and is successfully on-boarded with your organization. And we follow-up regularly to ensure everyone remains happy.

3. Access to information is key. When hiring, you need a wide range of information at your fingertips, including trends in the legal market, salary information, what bonuses are being paid, how long notice periods are and whether they are being adhered to. You need to be informed on the candidates who are available, why they are available, and whether they are interested in an organization like yours. You need to be informed on the current trends in the profession to assess the likelihood your offer will be accepted and whether that lawyer will be a long-term hire or is a flight risk. You need information on the candidates themselves – what drives them, what is motivating them to make a change and what their previous employers have to say about them. Using ALT guarantees you receive all of the information you want and need.

This article is part of an ALT Recruitment Partners series entitled The Law of 3. For more information, please refer to the Team section of our website at www.altrecruit.ca/team. Any of our 3 Partners would be pleased to share insight and references.

The Law of 3 – a new blog series

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At ALT, we like the number 3. We have 3 Partners – Salima Alibhai (she’s the “A”), Emily Lee (the “L”) and Rebecca Toth (our “T”). We were fortunate that our 3 initials also spell something that makes sense for what we are doing at ALT – we are an alternative. Our approach is based on teamwork, clarity and integrity – 3 qualities we strongly believe your legal recruiter should have.

So this begins our blog series entitled The Law of 3.