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Chris Crowley is the owner and president of Pathways Personnel, a placement firm that specializes in matching high-quality professionals to employment opportunities in top-tier law firms and corporations in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and throughout Northern California. With more than forty years of exceptional staffing accomplishments attached to their resume, Pathways Personnel has successfully worked with Fortune 500 multinationals, small local companies, and with everyone in between. Mr. Crowley specializes in legal staffing services for direct hire and on a contract basis for law firms and companies, which include placing contract attorneys, paralegals, legal secretaries, litigation and practice support personnel, law firm management, and office services. The firm also provides a comprehensive range of expert corporate staffing services for all industries in a varied spectrum of employment areas, which includes administrative support, marketing and accounting, human resources, and office services.
Mr. Crowley joined Pathways Personnel in 1996 and he took over as owner and president in February 2005. Prior to joining the firm, he worked with a large international staffing corporation for one year. Mr. Crowley also served four years as a litigation paralegal at Sarrail, Lynch & Hall. He has almost 20 years of recruiting experience.
Mr. Crowley was born and raised in Newark, N.J. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Florida State University and earned a paralegal certificate from Saint Mary's College in Moraga.
When asked about his family, Mr. Crowley said, "I have been married to my wife for thirteen years and we have a seven year old daughter who is the light of my life." He enjoys sports, wine, and modern art. Mr. Crowley is a frequent visitor of Danville's Brides Restaurant & Bar. He also enjoys reading the works of Michael Crichton.
Mr. Crowley's Successful Career Path and Tips for Legal Recruiters
Does Mr. Crowley have a top memory from school? "I enjoyed Saturday night football games at Florida State University. The atmosphere was highly energetic and enthusiastic."
What does it take to become a successful legal recruiter? Mr. Crowley noted that a successful legal recruiter must develop a thick skin and they shouldn't be discouraged when they receive rejections over the phone. He added, "A successful recruiter must possess relentless persistence and drive yet not be harassing."
What motivated Mr. Crowley to work as a recruiter? He said he had a friend who worked as a technical recruiter. After learning what she did for a living, Mr. Crowley began his career as a recruiter at a large staffing company. "I thrive off the rush I still get from finding the perfect job for the perfect candidate. I also enjoy the competition aspect of being a recruiter."
What advice would he give to someone who's brand-new to his position? "My best advice for legal recruiters is to develop a routine and stick with it day in and day out. There is always something during the day that takes you away from your routine. Don't get too high on your successes and too low on your failures."
What information does Mr. Crowley wish he had when he started out? "Since I started out in the mid 90s, I didn't know how big technology would have a large role in the business."
What's one of the things that he finds most challenging about his job? "Dealing with the unpredictability of human beings. I am constantly dealing with clients and candidates, and I am always surprised on a daily basis."
What would Mr. Crowley say is the most important thing he has learned as a legal recruiter? "I keep a steady mental approach on the job. As I mentioned earlier, I stay away from the highs and lows of my successes and failures because it will burn me out."
What is the businessman known for professionally? "I am straightforward, honest, and direct. I don't tell my clients and candidates what they want to hear." Mr. Crowley continued to say a lot of Recruiters, especially from the larger companies, simply tell their clients and candidates what they want to hear without putting any thought into what they are saying.
What does Mr. Crowley look for to find the right fit? What makes a great candidate? "Candidates that have the right fit have a good job history, personality, and presentation."
In regard to what makes a great candidate, he stated, "A great candidate has experience, communication skills, and presentation." Mr. Crowley also emphasized that a great candidate won't have an ego. "They will do whatever it takes to get the job done and no position should be beneath them. Candidates shouldn't mind getting their hands dirty."
Does Mr. Crowley have a recipe for a perfect match? He acknowledged that his candidates' cultural values have to be shared with his clients in order to make the right placement. Mr. Crowley also stated that his searches are based on what his clients are looking for. He asserted "it's tough to find the perfect match."
What are his strengths and one weakness as a recruiter? "My attention to details and my work ethic are my strengths." As for his weakness, Mr. Crowley explained that he usually bites off more than he can chew during the day. He's not the type of person who takes a break to get fresh air or takes a power walk. Mr. Crowley prefers to work throughout his day.
How does Mr. Crowley process fear? "I continue to work and I don't think about it."
Does he learn something of value from his mistakes? "Yes. I think we all have to learn from our mistakes. If recruiters don't learn from their mistakes, they won't make it in this profession."
What motivates Mr. Crowley to be a legal recruiter every day? "The satisfaction of placing someone at a successful firm or company."
Where does he derive his confidence? "From my past experience and my work ethic."
Professional Associations, Coping with the Recession, a Rewarding Position and People Who Have Inspired Mr. Crowley
Mr. Crowley is a member of the International Paralegal Management Association (IPMA), which is the premier resource for education and information on the management of paralegals as well as other practice support professionals in law firms and law departments internationally. He is also a member of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA). Their mission is to enhance and promote the professionalism and competence of all members of the legal management team.
Has he faced any obstacles in his life? "The Great Recession was the biggest obstacle I have gone through in my career, especially making placements in law firms. Legal services have been flat during this time and law firms have been frugal when it comes to hiring someone. I have to be patient and continue to follow my plan."
Does Mr. Crowley find his work rewarding? "Yes. Recruiting is fast paced and challenging. I like being responsible for my successes and failures. I also enjoy being competitive."
Who inspires him? "From a work standpoint, my grandfather has inspired me. He put himself through college and was successful throughout his career as a self made man. Personally, my wife and daughter inspire me to be a better person every day."
Favorite Quote and Mr. Crowley's Goals
Mr. Crowley's favorite quote is by Mickey Rivers: "Ain't no sense in worrin' cause if it's in your control then there ain't no sense worrin' and if it's out of your control then their ain't no sense worrin.'"
Does he have goals? "Professionally, I would like to be retired by sixty. Personally, I would like to write a book for children." Mr. Crowley said he frequently tells his daughter how a duck named Duke used to stop by their house in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The story has inspired him to want to write a children's book.
What to Expect When Working with Mr. Crowley
Erin Callahan, former Paralegal Manager for Keker and VanNest in San Francisco noted:
"We have gotten very good candidates from Chris and Pathways Personnel, both on the temporary and permanent side. They definitely take into account what our preferences are, what our culture is. Chris has become very familiar with the firm. He's placed quite a few people with whom he's stayed in touch with. He really has a grasp on this department and specifically does a really good job on finding people who fit in well and work well in this atmosphere. With temporary staffing, we've had a lot of projects where we've needed to get someone quickly in place. Pathways Personnel usually gets us people within 24 hours or less. I have found Pathways to be better. I think it has to do with the ongoing relationship we have. Chris and Pathways maintains good relationships with the people they've placed and that is beneficial down the road."
Megan Reelitz, owner of Meagan Reelitz Designs stated:
"Chris placed me at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in May of 2008 and since then we have developed a wonderful business relationship and friendship. He calls me on a regular basis to see how things are with my work and make sure that I am happy in my placement. He has been a source of advice for me on multiple occasions, when wondering how to approach certain situations with supervisors and attorneys. He has been in the legal industry for years and it does not take long for that to make itself apparent. He is honest, straight-forward and has his recruits' best interests in mind at all times."
"My career shift from [the] hospitality industry to the legal world was a huge change. If it wasn't for Chris, I don't even want to know what kind of job I'd be at. Chris is extremely personable yet thorough. My quick 10-15 minute interview at his office has lead to 5 months at Hunton where I was extremely happy, and now at Pillsbury with great enthusiasm. Chris calls/emails during your assignment just to check in with you, but also checks in with the company to see how well I was doing.
Before meeting Chris, I've met with Robert Half Legal, Office team, and few other agencies, and to me, they were not as sincere and thoughtful as Chris is. The other agencies brushed off that my experience in the hotel world was insufficient at law firms. The other agencies kept pushing me back to the hotel/property managing where I was unhappy. Chris listened to my experience, where I wanted to go, and gave me a chance to show what I am capable of. My friend who has been working with Chris for a very long time and I have a saying, "Trust Chris."
If you are considering making a change in your career, may it be with different company, or a different career, talk to Chris. You'll immediately notice how genuine he is. You'll also see how thoughtful he is in placing you with the right company that will work best. There aren't enough thank you's in the world to understand how grateful I am to have met him and are working with him."
Alexandra Moore, an Accounts Payable and Receivable at Triune Systems, candidly admitted, "Even though I did not get placed in a position with Chris, I respected his recruiting style immensely. He was not the least bit pushy, nor did he treat me like a sales quota. He is also very knowledgeable about his field."