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A needle in a haystack
Keeping on top of the changes in the interim legal market

A needle in a haystackb.

The one common thread between these various platforms and traditional legal recruitment agencies such as EJ Legal is that we all work towards meeting our client's interim needs. After this we depart and have our own business model and a different way of operating. Keeping on top of all these changes and how it impacts you is difficult particularly with all the other changes going on around you. However understanding this is very important to ensure that you are making an informed decision when considering an interim hire.

How are we different?

The pool of candidates that I work with in the interim market is significantly larger which naturally meets a broader range of our clients' needs and enables us to work with different budgets.

Permanent candidates open to the contract market

As well as working with freelance lawyers who have made a conscious decision to work in the contract world, I work very closely with our private practice team here at EJ Legal who has a relationship with lawyers in permanent roles who may be considering interim positions. Some are more comfortable with this than others depending on their situation but I help them to understand how it works, the risks involved, the interim market more generally and how the interim market can help them. Over the past 11 years', I have worked with a number of private practice lawyers who have been keen to make a move in-house but face a number of difficulties due to their lack of in-house experience. Given the shortage of candidates in specific areas, clients are more flexible with their requirements including recruiting someone from a private practice background which helps these candidates make that move in-house. For some of these candidates this is not always possible due to a three month notice period but for those with a one month notice period this is often manageable.

Foreign Qualified Lawyers

Unlike many of the other platforms, I also work closely with lawyers that have qualified in other jurisdictions such as other European countries, Australia and New Zealand. Many of these do not have any UK experience but our clients have been very receptive to these candidates depending on their skill set, particularly in areas such as commercial contracts where we see a high demand across all sectors in the interim market and a limited pool of candidates available. These candidates form a significant portion of the pool of interim candidates available immediately or at short notice.

NQ/Junior Market

Most of the recently created platforms focus on mid to senior level lawyers whilst we work with lawyers at all levels from newly qualified to 20 years' +. What I have noticed is that most of our clients' demands on the NQ to 3 PQE mark are for long term fixed term contracts and temporary to permanent opportunities. Many of these candidates we would have started forming a relationship with during their training contract and sometimes as far back as when they were working as a paralegal.

Network

Having worked in the interim market for many years, I have built relationships with contractors that have led to referrals of others within their network. The interim market is fast paced and therefore this is invaluable in ensuring a pipeline of good quality candidates.

A word about costs

Different platforms will charge you in different ways. Many consultants work on a daily rate basis, often through a limited company, and clients will pay a fee on top of this. We also work with our clients on fixed term contracts which mean that our candidates are paid a salary rather than a daily rate which costs our client significantly less. The different ways in which we can structure the contract, which not all the other platforms are able to offer, can offer you something which is more cost effective for you as a business.

Hopefully the message that you have taken is that that each platform offers something different and has its own place in the interim market. If you would like to know more about hiring on the interim side, I'd be happy to have a discussion and answer any questions that you may have including the cost implications of the various options. Please do not hesitate to call me on 020 7400 2027 or email me at asham@ejgroup.co.uk.

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