The recruitment market for associate lawyers, whether in private practice or in-house, has been of the opinion that there is a significant gap in its capacity to properly service both candidates and client firms. For many years, recruitment firms could only prefer to help one side of the equation or the other, whilst in reality only helping themselves. This gap – the inability to deliver qualitative consultant led career advice and guidance to candidates as well as satisfy the speed of response demands of clients wrestling with real time commercial needs – has become ever more critical. Thus far, this dichotomy has simply been tolerated. There was no alternative available. That has now changed.
Helix Associates, part of the Helix Capital group of companies, has been established to directly fill this gap. The business was formed to be the first choice for both associate lawyers who required specialist knowledge and professional representation, and client law firms (and in-house legal departments) that required deep market coverage and an ability to act with the speed of a contingent agency, free from the constraints of retained search ties.
Helix Associates is uniquely placed to deliver specialist legal recruitment services to clients and candidates in a manner that has long been sought after. It does not accept retained assignments, leaving it free to act flexibly and decisively to a client’s needs. Speed and quality of response are the two key factors that underpin Helix Associate’s approach. But further than this, Helix Associates seeks to provide a level of professional intermediation on a client’s behalf that is the equivalent of top executive search services. For candidates, the ability of Helix Associate’s consultants to be their trusted advisor regarding career development, in-depth knowledge of law firms and, crucially, knowing that they are always driving the process, will be a welcome relief for many.
Helix Associates is the first port of call for any aspirational lawyer seeking qualitative advice and any client firm requiring speed, dexterity, market knowledge and delivery.
See the following sections for more in-depth descriptions of Helix Associate’s services.
Whilst the nature of contingent associate recruitment is speed, Helix Associates makes it its business to work closely with all stakeholders within a firm to be able to react to current needs, but also the better to understand potential “squeeze points” in the future, and act accordingly on a client firm’s behalf. The consultative approach, espoused and practiced by all of the Helix Associates consultants, brings the best of executive search methodology and ethics, with the natural speed of contingent recruiters. Just because we need to be fast – the fastest – it does not mean we have to sacrifice quality and consultation.
Natural turnover alone within law firms, regardless of the need to recruit trainees in a hugely competitive market and the need to be able to react quickly to commercial imperatives, has led to the growth of sophisticated HR functions. Together with partners responsible for recruitment, firms must now adapt, with real commercial agility, to the demands of an increasingly aware client base in an incredibly competitive market. This is precisely where Helix Associates places itself and its consultants – at the heart of the decision making process.
The clear message coming from the associate legal fraternity is that what associate level lawyers want is a forum to engage with their advisors where they can air their views, have questions answered on topical recruitment and career issues and get good honest advice. Further, and most importantly, there needs to be a quid pro quo from the consultants in the form of information, research or news which is relevant to the person they are dealing with and who is engaging them for their service.
It should be the standard and the norm that your specialist career advisor will offer impartial, honest and individual advice to individuals on every aspect of the market in which they work as well as the potential to explore opportunities, whether they are current or speculative.
The formula seems simple and it is; Helix Associates has been designed to take advantage of a perceived gap in the market to deliver top level candidates on a contingent basis into law firms in London. Our focus is on the candidate and this means knowing our candidates inside and out. Knowing what they do and for whom and making sure that they are being properly advised on opportunities as and when they come to market and also on a speculative basis. We offer something unique to all candidates in the form of our Career Watch service whereby our specialist career advisors will work with individual candidates to make sure they are where they want to be at the time in their careers and keeping them advised of jobs in their chosen speciality that may be suitable and appropriate to apply for. We do this by leveraging off existing relationships within law firms and the wider business community and by making use of technology to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Helix Associates uses a consultative approach to deliver the highest service levels to our clients and candidates alike. Candidates can expect honest straightforward advice as well as a resource for market knowledge and networking contacts. Clients can expect in-depth knowledge of the market, candidates and business.