I started by applying her as a feeler to firms around SLO, at the end of March and at the beginning of May. However, no firms bit, and I sent her to Open at that time. Then, she actually reached out to me back in September, asking me to send her a new list of firms. Again, I found whatever firms were located in SLO and the surrounding area that we hadn't already sent her to, and sent her those firms for approval. Then in October, she told me that she had moved in with her boyfriend in Long Beach (where her current firm is located), and that she was therefore searching in Long Beach and the surrounding area, rather than SLO. I actually asked one of my coworkers, who is from Long Beach, which major cities were within commuting distance of Long Beach, and she mentioned El Segundo and Irvine, among a few others. I once again did a firm search in our database, for firms in El Segundo and a few other cities, and sent her a firm list for approval. She approved a number of firms, in two batches, one at the beginning of October and one at the end. The firm that ended up interviewing and hiring her reached out, asking to interview her, at the end of October. We had had a candidate interview with this firm in the past, but not for several years, and they did not remember working with us. I had to convince the firm that we were a legitimate recruiting company / agency, and also negotiate the terms of the fee agreement with them, but we eventually came to a consensus, after tweaking a few of the terms of the fee agreement.
My candidate had several interviews with this firm - I believe two phone interviews, and two in person interviews. They had her speak on the phone with attorneys in Irvine (they have an office there as well), and also go in and meet attorneys in Irvine (I believe that their founding and other principal Partners are located in Irvine). They also had her speak on the phone with an attorney in El Segundo, the office that she was most interested in, as well as go in and meet with two attorneys in their El Segundo office in-person. All of her interviews went well, and we received positive feedback after every phone and in-person interview. I had a good feeling about the firm, and about her receiving an offer.
The firm's pay scale is somewhat low for LA, but fortunately, my candidate currently makes $120K (very low for a 2010 litigator), so I knew that this firm's pay scale would actually be a bump up in pay for her. We did not have to negotiate - this firm ended up offering her $147,500, and I had told them that she was hoping for $150K, so it was a perfect match in that sense.
This candidate only interviewed at one firm, and received an offer from that firm. Interestingly enough, the day that she received the offer from my firm, her firm informed her that they wanted to make her Partner come January 2019, so I wonder if they found out that she was looking and / or was on her way out. Very luckily for me, she loved the firm that had given her an offer, the clients and cases are bigger, she sees it as an upward / growth opportunity, and I don't think that she seriously considered staying at her current firm, even as a Partner.
I guess that the main take away from this placement is that, sometimes, doing a Contact Search for a candidate in a niche / small geographic area, and sending that candidate to firms in that area and the surrounding area, can work, even if firms don't have posted openings! The firm that ended up hiring her did not have a posted opening, but they were interested in her background, and it turns out that they do have a lot of work for a senior litigator in their El Segundo office - in fact, they are apparently bottom-heavy in terms of litigators, with many juniors in that office, and really need someone like this candidate, who is more on the mid-level to senior litigator end. So, sometimes, applying candidates opportunistically can work!