It’s the year 2008 and the war for “best talent” is on. So when one of your Legal Secretaries hands in their notice, a Senior Solicitor announces his retirement or one of your highest billing fee-earners is going on maternity leave – how do you find quality candidates to replace your best assets quickly and efficiently?Gone are the days when a lineage ad in a popular weekly legal publication will attract an abundance of keen legal candidates. Whilst law firms have become more selective over the legal staff they employ, talented legal job seekers have become lazier. Ever-developing technology now means that candidates can go to a search engine, type in the title of their dream legal job; and hey, presto – generate fifty matching legal vacancies that they can apply to with just the click of a button. Why should potential legal staff spend hours trawling through countless publications, when law jobs could come straight to them?So we’ve already established that a legal job seeker’s life is becoming easier by the day, but is this to the law firm’s detriment? With competition getting stiffer for law firms as Legal Recruitment moves predominantly to the user-focussed web, it is imperative that law firms have a strong internet presence in order for their legal jobs to be seen. This will involve setting up a variety of marketing campaigns including paying through the nose to advertise on a variety of legal job boards – which, lets be honest, will probably end up being swamped by millions of other similar vacancies. Advertising legal vacancies on a law firms own website may also be a pointless exercise as when a candidate Googles “Commercial Property Solicitor job” it is highly unlikely to be seen without the website having undergone a substantial amount Search Engine Optimization work focussing primarily on keywords such as “legal jobs” – which seems an expensive and utter waste of time seeing as the primary focus of a law firm’s website is to attract new clients. Now for just a few legal vacancies, going to all of this trouble may seem an expensive and timely exercise. Relax, there is another option – why not use a Legal Recruitment Agency?In the nineties when legal recruitment began to take off, legal recruitment agencies were seen as a waste of money – a middle man placing a one or two adverts (that lets face it, the law firm could have done themselves just as quickly) and charging a whopping great fee for the no more than adequate law staff that they attracted. Well, times have changed and the Legal Recruitment industry is working harder than ever before to earn their fee, and more often than not, using a good Legal Recruitment Agency is a far more cost and time efficient method of sourcing candidates than going it alone. Good Legal Recruitment Agencies will have more time and experience in devising marketing strategies that work, they will also have the resources to invest in a number of different advertising mediums, and a good team of consultants with a knowledge and experience of the legal profession.With so many Legal Recruitment Agencies emerging it may seem like a daunting task finding a good one. However, in actual fact a good Legal Recruitment Agency should be extremely easy to find – they will have a good, user-friendly Legal Recruitment website; a large presence on the most popular legal job boards; and they will have good brand awareness online as well as in traditional media. All of these attributes are easy to measure by simply going to a Search Engine and searching for “Legal Recruitment Agency” in the area that the law firm is based. The best will have a good search engine ranking and a simple and effective website. The second step would be to call them up, discuss you requirements and judge how well informed they are about the legal profession, the culture of the area that you are based, and how well they have grasped your requirements. It is also worth discussing their fees and seeing whether there are any discounts for using that particular Legal Recruitment Agency exclusively, and whether there are any rebate periods. A good Legal Recruitment Agency should not charge you unless a candidate has been successfully placed with you.Quite often, a Legal Recruitment Agency will already have a good matching candidate on their database that is readily available. Otherwise, or in addition, the Legal Recruitment Agency will place a number of adverts in different strategic locations. Depending on the nature of the job, the Legal Recruitment Agency may even look at targeting passive candidates. The candidates that the Legal Recruitment Agency sends through will be filtered and should be good matches to your initial requirements. Should you want to interview any of them, the Agency should liaise closely with you and the candidate to get this organised quickly. The Legal Recruitment Agency should also be liaising between the candidate and client until the contract of employment has been sent out by the law firm and returned by the candidate.All in all, using a Recruitment Agency could save your Human Resources department hours of time an effort. So when you next foresee a Legal Recruitment nightmare within your Human Resources team, don’t discount Legal Recruitment Agencies – you never know, the right one could actually be the answer to all of your prayers!