After a rough 2009 for most firms, partners are busy behind the scenes checking out their options, according to a couple of recruiters we checked in with.
“Anybody who has been waiting to make a move will be ready once they know where the numbers are,” said recruiter Stacy Miller Azcarate. “I have so many people who have said, ‘I’m going to call you in January.’”
In 2009, recruiter Avis Caravello said many partners were jockeying to make sure they were paid what they deserved.
“The focus on the compensation, ‘If I don’t get X,’ was really heightened this year, because there’s less to go around,” she said.
“This is a busier time than typical for this time of year,” she said. “Some people definitely know now. They have a pretty good idea of their comp. I wouldn’t want to be a chairman at most firms this year, they are really trying to keep everyone happy and keep everyone in place.”
Why 2009 is like a hairball, coughed up after the jump.
“Usually, people don’t want to talk until their face is blue about these issues, but this year, people wanted to talk and talk and talk,” which she enjoyed, Azcarate said.
“I feel 2009 was like a hairball, you never knew what was going to hit to you next, and you really had to be prepared for anything,” she said. “There were a lot of panicked calls, a lot of deer in the headlights type people.”
She said she thinks 2010 is going to be a busy year in the lateral market.
Caravello said the outlook for 2010 is cautiously optimistic.
“Firms are absolutely making plans for a recovery,” she said. “Not a fast recovery, but a recovery nonetheless. This year, more than most, you’ll see an uptick in movement, but I don’t think it will be the catastrophic thing most people predicted, either.”
— Amanda Royal