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“A career change, whether lateral or vertical, is a significant moment in someone’s life and we feel honored to be a part of that process,” says Alicia Vargas, co-founder with Katie Dougherty and Nicole Sutton of Nexus Search Group.

“We feel privileged to be a trusted resource to our clients when they are looking to add top-quality talent to their team,” Dougherty says.

“We love our business and our community and look forward to being a continued part of its success in the years to come,” Sutton says. Nexus Search Group is a boutique search firm specializing in the permanent placement of attorneys and legal support professionals with top-rated law firms and corporations.

The group’s specialization differentiates the organization from other local agencies offering temporary placements and other services. “The focus on direct hire placements is truly our passion. Our goal is to develop solid relationships with our clients and fully understand their culture, their teams and their specific hiring needs so that we can find them the best person who will ultimately be a good long-term fit for the team. The same idea relates to the job seeker as well,” Dougherty says.

Their business plan is centered on knowing each client and each candidate as well as possible. Knowing what is truly important to each is critical in identifying opportunities that will be a natural fit.

Tenured recruiters are rare. Although Nexus Search Group was founded in 2015, the founders had significant legal recruiting experience prior to joining forces. The team has served the Southern California legal recruiting business through the many changes the SoCal legal community has weathered in the 21st Century. “We were here during the 2008-2009 recession as well as through economic boom times. We have seen the exit of large companies from the market place and have worked with many start-ups new to the SoCal business community,” Vargas says.

The firm has experience working with virtually all industries, including bio-tech, real estate, health care and the service industry.

Sutton says, “We believe that having a successful business is built upon making a positive impact in our community and we work hard to align with organizations with a similar philosophy. All three of us have a true passion for helping others and for providing the best possible service.”

"We feel grateful to be in this business where we can have a direct and positive impact on people's lives and their families," Sutton says of Nexus Search Group.

Each founder brings a unique background, experience and perspective to the organization. The success of the firm indicates that the different backgrounds and talents complement one another and allow for growth and development of each founder and the company.

The founders say they share deeply held values that help determine what type of business they want to have and the image and reputation they want to earn and maintain within the business community.

When Nexus Search Group began, Sutton and Vargas brought more than ten years of experience in the legal recruiting industry and an in-depth knowledge of the SoCal

market. Dougherty had recent experience working in the legal recruiting industry, experience working in a management role for a staffing company, and was instrumental in running her father’s staffing business for several years. The mix of idealism about forming their own firm, serving a specialized market, and combined with real-world experience was ideal. Together they have developed a client- and candidate-focused service that responds to the current market needs.

“We feel grateful to be in this business where we can have a direct and positive impact on people’s lives and their families,” Sutton says.

A typical in-house client is one who either does not have an internal recruiter or a company that has an internal recruiter, but one who is responsible for hiring for all departments, and therefore unable to focus on the specific needs of the legal department. In addition, Nexus Search Group works closely with law firms throughout Southern California—firms ranging in size from boutiques to large Am Law 100 firms.

The firm has worked with many companies and law firms interested in market intelligence. They assisted a SoCal company with restructuring and growing their legal department. They also provided a detailed analysis of salary guidelines for each of their legal positions, which allowed the company to better focus on their business, to retain tenured employees, and stay competitive in the SoCal marketplace.

They helped a SoCal Am Law 200 firm struggling to find the right candidate for an experienced Litigation Paralegal opening—a crucial role for the firm needing specific help for a specific client. Nexus Search Group was able to assist them with finding a candidate who was able to help them get quickly organized and meet the needs of their client. The team also worked with a SoCal-based technology company undergoing tremendous growth and in need of a more structured and established legal team. They found their client an In-house Counsel who was able to take them to the next phase in their business and ultimately save money on outside counsel costs.

Dougherty says that one of the organizations’ chief assets is their ability to make decisions quickly and to change directions just as fast when situations change. “We are a nimble team with the ability to assess situations and make necessary changes to accomplish a goal. We also work to communicate with our clients and candidates in ways that are perhaps quicker or more effective. For example, we have found that people love to communicate via text message. If we have a quick question or just need to schedule an interview, it can sometimes be easier to communicate via text message to get something answered or to arrange a meeting quickly,” she says.

Clients agree with their services and their approach to solving recruitment challenges.

“After using different direct hire placement agencies, I finally realized that Nexus Search Group was by far the best. The staff is highly professional, they know their applicants, they took the time to truly understand my needs and I now rely on them as a key component of my recruitment strategy. They have shown that I can count on them to find the right person for the job, as evidenced by the most recent placement in my own department.” (A SoCal Law Firm)

“The Nexus Search Group helped me think outside of my comfort zone and find a great new position that promises to combine my current skills with exciting new learning opportunities, allowing me to continue to grow my career. The team were with me every step of the way through the interview and hiring process and their support and desire to find the right fit for not only me, but the prospective employer as well, was amazing. I’m excited about my new job and grateful to the team for helping to facilitate this next chapter in my professional growth.” (A candidate with a SoCal company)

The founders are planning to expand their market reach to serve clients throughout California.

Vargas says, “We founded Nexus Search Group after working for many years in the legal recruiting industry. Our knowledge of the legal market, dedication to our candidates and clients, and enthusiasm for helping others allows us to do what we love—connecting people.” 

Nexus Search Group
4858 Mercury St., #103
San Diego, CA 92111

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