Masters of your Success

This week I’m sure many Lawyers will now be dusting off their clubs.

Trying to recreate the feats of Masters Legends at their local golf club, some perhaps even whilst trying to network.

Also there will be thousands of Lawyers worldwide negotiating a new move.

Whilst watching the Masters last night it really got me thinking about a strange correlation between golf and my job as a legal recruitment consultant. The cohesion between Danny Willet (Masters Winner 2016) and Jonathan Smart, his caddy, really stood out to me

Now, you may ask, what on earth does the Masters have to do with Senior Legal Recruitment?  The characteristics of a successful senior move and being victorious at the Masters are actually quite comparable.

Before you should even contemplate a senior move, you should dedicate a degree of time in sourcing an excellent recruiter, who you feel will add degree of synergy to the whole process.

Would a player with genuine intentions of winning the Masters, seriously contemplate rocking up to Augusta National without a gifted caddy? Likewise, going it alone on a senior hire could be considered a shot into the bunker. I certainly can’t recall the last person to win the famous green jacket without a good caddy and I’m not too aware of many great senior hires which haven’t involved a respectable recruiter.

Now let’s fade and draw back to the theme of this blog. In golfing terms going it alone might appear easy for the first few holes on a sunny, tranquil, Augusta Thursday. Equally, when going it alone on a senior hire, you may find it comfortable securing a first interview/meeting and you may feel you are on course to victory. However, is this really the best method of approach and will it be plain sailing from here?

In golfing terms you might be in for a shock when you reach the renowned “Amen corner.” The term was coined by writer Herbert Warren Wind in 1958 in an article in Sports Illustrated.  Amen corner refers to the middle stage of the course which incorporates the 11th, 12th and 13th holes. Experts are synonymous with their opinion of this area of the course and share the view that this is the stage where things are often won and lost.

This is believed to be due to the difficulty associated with these holes in terms of historical shot index, coupled with the obvious emotional stress, which often can lead to golfers making uncharacteristic decisions.

In recruitment terms the middle stage usually comes after the first meeting when things can start to become a rocky. Akin to a good caddy emancipating Amen corner, after the first meeting is where a genuinely good recruiter really starts earning their corn. This is where a senior hire often develops to be successful or drifts off into oblivion.

The caddy is an extremely important resource for the professional golfer. Apart from carrying the clubs, cleaning them, etc., a typical caddie goes out prior to the tournament to walk the course, check yardages, identify ideal targets/ landing spots, identify any “danger” areas to avoid, checks the slope and breaks of the green, checks weather patterns, prevailing wind direction, etc. They collect this information to help make informed decisions with the player during the tournament, or to help a player strategically prepare for a round prior to teeing off.

Too many people view recruiters as a necessary evil and this should not be the case. As mentioned previously a caddy is an essential resource to a golfer operating at a high level. Anyone serious about their career should view their recruiter as an extremely important resource who adds value to the whole process too. Both a good caddy and recruiter offers consultancy advice throughout.

When you’re stuck in the rough, do you really want to be alone? A good recruiter like any professional should know their arena. When you’re in a hole, trying to move up to the next level, you need a recruiter who has been there and done that. You need someone who has already put in the hard yards, so you don’t have to.

A good recruiter, just like a good caddie will have knowledge of their field. They will know the firms they represent inside out. They will know exactly what their firms want to hear. They know how to win and they know how to win big.

Now it’s important to remember here that the caddie is not the superstar and neither is the recruiter in this relationship. You are the superstar and it’s a recruiter’s responsibility to ensure that you achieve your goal. You will receive the press coverage while, we drift off into the background. Who remembers the Caddy and recruiter in these processes but we are both comfortable in our position.  My point is that the recruitment process is a real team effort, just like the caddie and the player. The recruiter and candidate are both pivotal to one’s success.

When thinking about using a recruiter you should really think about how we get paid. Just like a caddy, we receive a nominal salary that keeps the wolf from the door so to speak but it is far from the jet set lifestyle that sometime gets purported. Where we really earn our money is by successfully placing candidates into their dream roles. Similarly a successful caddy will earn the majority of their income by helping players achieve dream tournament victories.

I think this team ethos really does add a synergy to the whole process. If we are working with you, we are backing you to win and we have every incentive to make the move of your dreams actually happen. This should also give you confidence that we actually believe in you. Throughout my career I have dealt with some extremely confident individuals who have gone to pieces at the latter stages of the hiring process, although I’m sure that they wouldn’t like to admit it.

This is totally understandable and it is human nature to choke a little in high pressure situation. Just like a caddie managing the psychology of their player. In recruitment terms it is our job to offer moral/ mental support & confidence to help get you to the finish line.

This is where VG Charles & Co comes in. If we were caddies, we would be veterans with the combined experience of over 70 years. Our bespoke service helps top calibre, ambitious individuals achieve their goals. We want to have a relationship where we work ‘with’ you rather than ‘for’ you or against you. Ultimately, we have been there and got the T-shirt or should I say Green Jacket. However, we are not keen to rest on our laurels and are keen to speak to individuals looking to improve their current career situation through our expertise.



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