Some people love cars. My grandfather, it seems, loves tires. Every time I see him, he asks about my tires. How is the tread? What brand are they? How are they in the snow? He is sure that tires are the single most important part on the car.
My wife is an excellent cook. She meticulously scours the grocery stores and co-ops in town for the freshest organic ingredients. She makes her own spice blends. She rarely uses anything from a can and avoids all shortcuts when preparing a meal.
I love coffee. Whenever possible, I track down the best beans from the local roaster and to take home and make a great pot of coffee. Pre-bagged coffee that has been on the shelf for who-knows-how-long is something I try not to buy.
And yet, people spend money and focus on the wrong things all of the time. They demand nicer floor mats instead of better tires. They want processed food for convenience rather than cooking form scratch. They want quick pre-loaded coffee pods and fancy coffee machines rather than focusing on the only ingredients that affect the taste of coffee (beans and water). Why? Because sometimes it is easier.
Easier is fine, but what happens when we focus on what is easier/cheaper/faster for your law firm or legal department? Is ‘easier’ and ‘good enough’ what you are looking for? Probably not.
The most important parts of a law firm are the lawyers you begin with. Not the clients or the systems or the policies or even the office. Great people make everything easier. Settling for less than a targeted candidate search may be easier, but it won’t likely lead to the best candidates. Those that aren’t actively looking (“passive candidates”) will never respond to an ad. Using a recruiter is the only way to reach these candidates and make sure that you are finding the most important thing for your firm: the right attorney.