1. Recruit a consultant
Use a recruitment consultant. Yes ‘we would say that’, but unless you know the target market well, have a grasp of firm cultures, enjoy organising multiple interviews/trips across different time zones and get a buzz out of negotiating the salary blind, why not leave it to an expert?
2. Ask the experts
Look for a specialist – many legal recruiters dabble in international work but few really know the lay of the land. It’s a big move – it pays to work with someone who knows what they are doing and who has the necessary experience and contacts across the market.
3. Choose an agency... and stick with it
Avoid instructing multiple agencies. We would recommend finding a specialist and working with them exclusively. With a couple of exceptions, most international markets are small enough that any two or more recruiters will be recommending/approaching the same firms as each other.
4. Fine-tune your application
Use your consultant’s expertise to assist with the preparation of your CV and the drafting of a profile that gives a compelling reason for you considering an international move. In a small market there might be limited options, so you need to get the application right first time.
5. Develop your strategy
Your recruiter should work with you to come up with a strategy for approaching your search. How many firms you target at once, which ones you choose, and the method of approach should all be agreed in advance so that you both agree on the ‘plan of attack’.
6. Establish your boundaries
Following on from point 5, insist that any consultant you work with has your specific permission in advance before approaching any firms. A recruiter sending your CV ‘on mass’ to multiple firms in a small market can have an extremely negative impact on your search in that location.
7. Keep a record
Keep a detailed list of where your CV has gone, when it was submitted, and any feedback received. This enables you to avoid any duplicate applications and will also prove invaluable if you don’t move now and you need to revisit your search some months/years down the track.
8. Hone your interview technique
Ask for interview advice from your consultant. Part of the process will be just like an interview at home, but part of it will be entirely different. A firm will quickly decide whether you can do the job, then it comes down to whether you will go through with the move and how you’ll settle in.
9. Keep in contact
Keep a clear line of communication with your consultant. If you have reservations, doubts or even just some simple questions, just ask. A good recruiter won’t try to twist your arm, they will aim to give you all of the information you need to make what is, in anyone’s book, a big decision.
10. Remember... you call the shots!
Take your recruiter’s advice but make your own decision. A good recruiter will work with you at offer stage. Listen to their advice on timing and process (since the firm will have communicated to them), but don’t be pressurised into making any decisions that you are not comfortable with.
The international team at Origin Legal have 20 years’ experience during which time we have helped a great many lawyers to make life-changing and career-defining moves worldwide. To find out more about how we work and how we can help with your search, please contact: