RedLaw were proud winners of the Best Professional Services Recruitment Company to Work For in 2017, finalists in 2018 and, more recently, Amy Hambleton, has achieved finalist status for the Global Recruiter Awards for Best Permanent Consultant category. We recently interviewed Amy about why she took the leap moving from law into recruitment, the best traits needed to be a successful recruiter and the reasons behind why RedLaw is the best legal agency to work for.
What were you doing before you became a legal headhunter?
I was a Senior Associate at Allen & Overy, practising employment law.
Was there a specific moment which made you decide to leave the law?
Waking up with ‘Sunday Night Dread’ every day – and walking up to the office one day and having to will myself to go in. It wasn’t so much a very conscious decision to leave the law, but more that I couldn’t continue dreading going to work, when I had a long career ahead of me. I enjoyed employment law, but had found the constant law changes and long hours had ground me down. I decided to do something different – not even thinking that it would be a long term career choice – in an area where I could still have a connection with the law, but was focused on meeting people, being commercial and not getting bogged down in huge letters of advice! I was approached with job offers to go back into the law consistently for a good couple of years after having made the transition, but have never looked back.
Did you consider any other alternatives to headhunting?
I sat down with a book about 365 alternatives a lawyer could do, which ultimately meant looking at activities I enjoyed – all of which pointed to the area of recruitment in being connected to people, giving advice and being commercial.
What was it about headhunting that appealed to you?
I wasn’t aware of the differences between headhunting and other recruitment methodologies so I went to speak to people already doing the role as well as different types of recruitment firms: pure executive search (which didn’t appeal due to the long, project based nature and my shorter attention span), contingent recruitment and also those doing a mixture. The idea of cold calling people did not appeal to me at all, but the legal market has changed and we at RedLaw headhunt on specific briefs. Headhunting is now an expected and often welcomed methodology to fill a client’s brief and to have sensible conversations about the market and opportunities within it.
You were a finalist in last year’s REC (Recruitment & Employment Confederation) IRP awards for Best Business Leader and, more recently, nominated as a finalist in the Global Recruiter awards taking place at the end of May for Best Permanent Consultant. What are the 3 most essential qualities a person needs to have if they are considering a career in recruitment?
- The ability to listen and make considered judgements
- An interest in people and consequently the ability to build relationships
What traits do you think make you stand out from the crowd and how does your approach at RedLaw differ from other headhunters working in the legal sector? What factors would you attribute to your success?
We focus on providing honest, positive and knowledgeable career advice, to assist lawyers in making the right career choices. We focus on the service that we provide and not on the short term fee. I work tirelessly on behalf of lawyers I work with and law firms I represent. I often hear that we are different as we aren’t seen to be ‘selling’ but partnering and are passionate about giving the proper advice for lawyers and law firms alike.
In 2017, RedLaw won the Recruiter’s ‘Best Professional Services Company to Work For’ award. How would you describe the RedLaw culture in 3 word?
Supportive, collaborative and energetic
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no typical day, which was a big change from my career as a lawyer. I can meet a lawyer or law firm for breakfast or coffee, have various conversations on the phone with lawyers, go in to law firms to discuss their recruitment needs, advise on business plans and processes, prepare partners for meetings, negotiate offers, present internal training sessions, prepare pitches, amongst other things.
What advice would you give to someone looking to move into headhunting/recruitment?
It’s a fantastic profession for someone who is seeking a merit-based career – with no limit on earnings, a chance to have a real impact on someone’s career and the opportunity to meet a huge array of people. It is a career where you need to be self-driven and able to motivate yourself too.
What’s the best piece of advice ever given to you and who gave it to you?
“Do the right thing and the rewards will follow” – too many recruitment professionals focus on short term fees and I truly believe that if I give the right advice for lawyers and for law firms, then this will pay off in the long run –as now proven by being nearly 10 years in business.
What is your greatest personal or professional achievement to date?
I’ve helped to make some career changing opportunities for lawyers which gives a great deal of personal satisfaction seeing how careers have developed. Equally, spearheading the growth of RedLaw and our rise to become a prominent legal recruiter with a brilliant and supportive team makes me hugely proud.