From solicitor to recruitment consultant
Laura Gripton worked as a real estate solicitor for a leading law firm before joining Robert Walters as a legal recruitment consultant in 2016. We asked Laura why she made the switch, how her skills were transferable and what it takes to succeed at Robert Walters.
Why did you switch to recruitment?
After six successful years working in law, I started to feel frustrated and had lost my passion for practising. I was looking for alternative career options that would deliver greater job satisfaction when a friend who worked at Robert Walters introduced the idea of working in legal recruitment. When I reflected on my strengths and career aspirations, I realised that legal recruitment would be a great fit as it meant I’d be able to leverage my knowledge of the local market to add value and develop closer working relationships with my clients.
Career transitioning made easy
It was important for me to move to a company with strong values and I knew this was the case at Robert Walters. Once I engaged in the interview process, it became clear that I shared the same values as the company and it would be a good fit for me.
Robert Walters’ reputation for offering great training was a major attraction for me. The world of recruitment was completely new, so receiving training that would help me adjust my skill set to suit a recruitment environment was really important. Since joining the company, I have been impressed by the detailed and tailored induction process, which clearly outlined my remit and helped me to establish good working practices. In addition, I have felt well supported by both my line manager and other senior people from around the business.
While good communication skills are very important in law, face-to-face client contact is quite minimal. I wanted a career where I’d be constantly meeting new people and building strong, long-term relationships, which is why a career in recruitment really appealed to me.
Within six weeks of joining Robert Walters, I placed my first candidate and achieved two more placements shortly after. I really enjoy helping my candidates secure their dream roles. For me, placing a newly qualified solicitor into an international firm in Birmingham provided more of a buzz than completing a multi-million-pound real estate deal ever did. The skills and experience I’d gained in my legal career made it very easy for me to transition into a recruitment role.
Persistence, determination and a real passion for wanting to help people in their careers are essential for succeeding at Robert Walters. It takes time to build relationships with firms and fully understand the market. In such a highly competitive and challenging environment, face-to-face networking is a key strategy to building invaluable relationships. At Robert Walters, our senior management team actively encourage consultants to spend a significant amount of our budget on networking. This includes a range of activities, from meeting candidates for coffee to hosting client lunches and attending industry events. It’s certainly not a job where you could get bored as there is always plenty to keep you busy.
One of the best things about Robert Walters is the company’s meritocratic culture. Unlike in law, length of service or number of years’ experience have no bearing on your position, your results do. This means that you are the master of your own success and have plenty of scope to progress your career at a rapid rate.