“Its not you, it’s me”
The reasons behind the delays in Industry appointments
In the current climate, the desire to move from Practice to Industry has never been greater. Frustratingly, neither has the length of time these campaigns seem to take to conclude/offer.
Often a candidate can be left questioning his or her motivation to either join a new business or leave their current employer, on account of their perceived opinion of an arduous campaign. Is this fair?
Candidates and legal recruiters alike are obviously in sync when it comes to arguing the benefits of appointing a high calibre, commercially minded legal professional to a business. So what’s the delay?
It’s not personal. In-house Lawyers bring savings as opposed to generate fees. In a market where costs are under significant scrutiny, executive appointments (whist sensible in the longer term) sometimes take a bit more convincing at board level. We have seen an upturn in pro-active General Counsels’ enthusiastically exploring the market in anticipation of sign-off, only to find the process delayed at this crucial point.
Certainly “newly created” appointments can sometimes prove to be an evolutionary process and often require a period of exploratory communication before an agreement can be reached in relation the exact level or skill set required.
Whilst there is still a great deal of apprehension in the market place at the moment, things are starting to move and signs are positive. Moreover, is it fair to suggest that recruiting in haste may represent false economy and any incompatibility can present problems further down the line? Perversely a longer campaign may help eliminate any uncertainties, resulting in a definitive appointment.
Recruitment into industry has traditionally moved at a slightly more sedate pace than campaigns in Practice. As In-house counsel, your priority is to ensure the operational side of the business functions correctly, is safe-guarded against risk and is compliant with the regulatory bodies. Sometimes, the crucial (however time consuming) appointment of an assistant has to fall down the pecking order – regardless as to how good they are! And if that happens to be you who is waiting, it’s not personal!