There Are No A, B, or C Firms When It Comes To Your Career

Should you only have your recruiter find A list firms for you? Absolutely not! Find out what the responsibility of a good recruiter is and how their goal is to find the right fit.

I must be honest with you; I’ve written about 150 of these blogs and sometimes the subject matter comes easily while other times it can take a while to percolate. This is one of those that had to percolate. The title itself may seem nonsensical at first. I can hear you saying, “I don’t want to go to work for a ‘C’ firm. I only want to go to work for an ‘A’ firm.” However, that’s what today’s discussion is all about. It’s not about an A, B, or C firm. It’s about what firm fits your needs the best. That’s the responsibility of a good recruiter. 

The Matching Goal:

 Finding The Right Fit Is The Responsibility Of A Good Recruiter, Not Finding A Firm With A Particular Status

Over my 12+ years of recruiting and all the people I have moved, have they all gone to “A” firms? The answer is categorically not! Why? That simply is not the responsibility of a good recruiter. What’s more important than anything else is not the status of the firm, but rather if you can be an “A” player at that firm – whether that firm is in A, B, or C firm. The goal of a good recruiter is to find the best match. That match where one, two, or three years after being at the firm you pick up the phone and you thank the recruiter for changing your life. You share how happy you are. Maybe you even say, “I never even knew that firm existed and now I’m going to retire from there.” That’s the call a recruiter wants to receive.

The Responsibility Of A Good Recruiter

So how does that happen? It happens because we open our minds to new opportunities. We are open to hearing about new firms and what may be happening with them that you may not be aware of. The responsibility of a good recruiter is to get to know you so well (and not just as a banker or a lawyer) that they really understand what makes you tick. The more that you can convey that, the greater likelihood a recruiter can find you a match that you will be exceptionally pleased with. Your responsibility is to share everything that’s important to you about your next situation as it is indeed called for. The recruiter has a responsibility to give you the insight behind the name of the firm or status in the marketplace. The recruiter then has to identify your cultural needs, your business needs, and your growth potential with firms that he or she believes could be your next home.

Matchmakers Finding The Right Fit For You

It is also the responsibility of a good recruiter to not confuse you or overwhelm you. They are there to help you choose one firm that you believe could be the right fit for you. By only entertaining one firm, you were able to concentrate all your due diligence on that one situation. Also, in turn, the potential employer can do the same with you. Matching your needs to the client’s needs is what yields a great situation. It should not matter if it’s an A, B, or C firm (or however you categorize them), but the fit. I can’t overemphasize that enough. One specific example that comes to mind is I moved a small team to a firm they had never heard of before on the East Coast. That firm had been in business for almost 100 years, but they never went after public finance bankers. Because of my in-depth knowledge with that firm and its management, I was able to introduce a small team that even today says it’s the best firm they ever worked for. And before that call, they had never heard of the firm. This is what I want for all my candidates that we work with: to find that perfect home and not worry about if it’s an A, B, or C firm.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.