Q: How many locum legal recruitment agencies should I register my CV with?
A: As many as you like, but we recommend giving one agency priority over others. This will be the agency you have your primary relationship with and you can become a ‘trusted’ locum. We tend to know before sending out an assignment which of our locums is likely to respond, how long it will take them to respond, and also which one we are likely to go with once they have responded.
We also know that there will be certain locums who will only respond to us if they have already checked with their primary agency to make sure they do not have the same vacancy on their books as well.
This is good practice because your relationship with the locum recruitment consultant is extremely important for ensuring you get continued assignments flowing your way.
Obviously, for assignments in far-flung places where there are fewer locums, you will get more offerings if you are flexible on travel and this will open doors for you, but for assignments in central London for example we get a very healthy response usually for every assignment coming our way.
Q: How many locum agencies should I register our firm’s assignment with?
A: We rarely get asked this question, but we know that quite a few practice managers or junior partners at medium-sized law firms will get asked to secure the services of a locum or provisionally find out what is available out there in case of need. The practice manager will call around 6 or 7 agencies and ask for a locum.
We know that the practice manager has called round 6-7 recruitment agencies to ask for a locum because our locums email us and let us know!
Professional locums tend to register with a good number of agencies to make sure they have been considered for every locum assignment available on the market. The problem with blanket calling a load of agencies is that firstly you will be inundated with phone calls from very excited agents all thinking they have the assignment wrapped up and pushing you for a response, and secondly you will be wasting your time on the whole because a good number of employment agencies have very similar locum lists.
It is certainly true that we all have certain locums we use regularly, and that these locums will favour one particular agency over another, but it still means you will have caused each locum to get 6-7 different telephone calls from agencies, which can be very annoying for the locums concerned!
Our advice is to call one agency, give them a deadline of when you expect to see CVs, and if none are forthcoming or not suitable, move onto the next legal recruitment agency.