Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Do you really want to refer your friend?

The truth is that people don’t make recommendations any more.  When was the last time you ever made a recommendation for a good hair dresser, a restaurant or a doctor?  Or anything, for that matter? 

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter TM .001

If you want to do a good deed, refer your friend to a trusted recruiter. A recruiter has as much at stake as you do. The recruiter’s reputation is on the line, every time they present a candidate. Work with a legal recruiter who is highly regarded with a track record of successfully placing candidates in firms where all parties are served.

“Your friend may not be the ‘best fit’ for the position. Think about what could go wrong? Don’t do it. It’s not worth it.”— Shari Davidson President On Balance Search legal recruit services.

Do you really know why your friend wants to make a move? Why are they looking in the first place?  Is your friend’s motivation because their current firm has a toxic work environment? Are they being asked to leave by their current firm? Do you know what your friend’s track record is at work? Do you have and know all the facts?  Believe me, I doubt it.

Referring a friend may present a potential conflict of interest at the firm. “Referrals can get messy, it’s not the best way to help your current firm.” — Shari Davidson. What if it all backfires and things go terribly wrong? A poor referral could leave others to begin questioning your judgment. Or commitment to the firm.

Think before you refer your friend where you work:

  1. Don’t take unnecessary risks with your career. Your reputation is everything. It’s all you got.
  2. Why would you gamble on anyone other than yourself? Even the best, don’t always measure up!
  3. What if they wind up out performing you? Did you see that coming? Do they have your back?
  4. Are you part of the strategic planning process of the firm? Do you really know what is going on? Could the partners be downsizing, is your job on the line? Simply, there is no upside to this.
  5. Last but not least, do you want to jeopardize your friendship?

You are taking on unnecessary risk when you refer someone?  You cannot afford to put ‘your reputation’ on the line. It’s complicated. See things from your friend’s point of view. It’s who you know and how you work it.

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About On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence.  Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm.

Contact us today.  Call 516.731.3400 or visit our website at

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

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