Meet An Alkaloid: Raphael Franze
What are you working on right now?
Just wrapped up an attorney placement this week. It required much of my focus as we were in the closing stages. I typically try to balance my recruiting efforts between researching for qualified prospects. I connect and access these prospects and guide them through the courtship process with potential employers. I’m basically “keeping the pipeline full” through various stages of the process.
Who is your ideal client?
In recruiting lingo, there is the “client” – the employer who is hiring and pays your fee – and the “candidate” – the talent that you have secured in the hopes of being hired. Success in recruiting requires a focus on both.
The ideal client for me is a reputable law firm with an acumen for hiring efficiently. These firms tend to be among the country’s largest. They typically have an internal recruiting function handling hiring matters (as opposed to the attorneys themselves). My specialty being corporate attorney talent, these firms also tend to have an excellent reputation in the corporate legal disciplines. These can include M&A, private equity, capital markets, venture capital, etc. either regionally or even nationally and internationally.
The ideal candidate tends to be a younger corporate attorney. They have about 2-5 years of experience and are looking to make the first lateral move in their legal career. The legal profession remains a very traditional one steeped in prestige. My ideal recruiting candidates tend to have gone to top law schools and are currently working for other top corporate law practices. My preference is to work with attorneys who are pleased with their current positions but are looking to move for other reasons. One popular reason is geography, which explains why most of the work I do includes relocating these attorneys.
What is a common misconception about the recruiting industry?
That recruiters are opportunistic and random in their approach. That is not to say that there are recruiters out there that espouse such qualities. In my 17 years as a recruiter, I have found that maintaining long-term relationship with candidates and clients garners more credibility and respect. Being a specialist for specific types of opportunities makes work much more predictable as well.
What is your big picture vision for your business?
I’ve often gone back and forth about adding other recruiters to my business. I like the freedom that being a one-man shop affords me. In recent years, I have become more willing to work with other legal recruiters across the country on what we call “splits“. The combined effort of multiple recruiters for a successful placement. I’m on the board of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants, which has gotten me more familiar with other top legal recruiters. This association has provided me with increased visibility to be part of such transactions. I hope to continue leveraging this moving forward.
Identifying the needs and wants of clients and candidates without having to hear it from them. There is an infinite amount of information available about people and businesses. I’ve developed a clearer and more specific mission around my work. Finding useful intel that enables me to uniquely serve my clients and candidates has been a welcome result of such clarity in an otherwise overwhelming landscape.
What is your favorite business or productivity tool?
I subscribe to a CRM specifically designed for the legal industry called Leopard List. I can’t live without it. It is pre-populated with the relevant information for attorneys at every law firm of note in the country. It saves so much time while allowing to take research and analysis to another level.
Aside from the more traditional productivity tools that I use (such as Outlook), I have become a big fan of Fitbit as a tool to align my health with my overall productivity goals.
What business book should everyone read?
Essentialism by Greg McKeown, without a doubt! The tagline of the book is “The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” and I’ve lived my life with that in mind ever since. Essentialism is broad in its appeal as it resonates with so much in life and not just business. It has nonetheless shifted my thinking around my business for the better.
The value, for one, is amazing. I rented an office nearby for eight years prior and it was a nice space in separating my work and home life. However, I began to realize that it was more than I practically needed. When I discovered Alkaloid, learning about the coworking concept and the value it provided, making the shift was a no brainer.
Having the owner/operating there everyday is also such a plus. Katharine really puts her all into making the place feel like a daytime home away from home. From the big things (like COVID safety procedures) to the little stuff (premium coffee and snacks!), she does a superb job covering all the bases! Even during these most unusual times, Katharine has made the adjustments necessary to keep Alkaloid relevant and beneficial in the lives of its patrons.
You also can’t beat the location. Aside from all the great restaurants that are in walking distance and the access to the Beltline to get a stroll in, just sitting on the bench by Alkaloid’s back door watching the activity passing by on the Beltline is just the best spot to take a break. So good for the soul!
What advice would you give someone considering coworking?
It can be whatever you want to make of it. It’s so flexible, can be right-sized and right-priced to suit your needs.
Tell us about your experience at Alkaloid.
I’ve been at Alkaloid now for almost three years, which puts me in the running for “elder statesman” of the entire place. Over time, I’ve become a sounding board for ideas on how to keep improving Alkaloid and have played an active role in such improvements, for which I’ve been grateful. Katharine refers to me as Alkaloid’s “Community Ambassador,” which is a title I wear proudly.
One pleasant surprise about Alkaloid is that, despite now operating from a desk in an open space, I feel just as much privacy and solitude as I did working from a closed office. There is so much open space and, given the various schedules of Alkaloid’s patrons, it never feels as though I’m working in a boiler room atmosphere. On those rare occasions where I could use more privacy and solitude, there is always an open conference room available.
I’ve enjoyed becoming a part of the Alkaloid community and getting to know the many professionals who have been there for months or even years. It’s given me the opportunity to learn about not only industries that I wasn’t familiar with but about my own as well. In fact, some of my closest friends at Alkaloid are recruiters in other disciplines with whom I compare notes and share advice. We’ve even come up with a catchy name for our little “club” – the Alkaloid Recruiting Collaborative (“ARC” for short::-)). It’s been an invaluable perk that only being in a coworking space like Alkaloid could afford me.