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A BBC news report recently highlighted that the number of permanent roles filled in the UK between February and April has been at a 4 year high! However the article goes on to say that there was also a shortage of skilled people for new positions as workers preferred to stay with their current employers. Even more worrying for companies looking to hire: “The number of people putting themselves on the jobs market has dropped at its sharpest rate since 2004.” For the full article you can follow the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27323007
BCL Legal has also seen an increased number of placements which is all having an effect on the market and available legal candidate pool. http://www.bcllegal.com/the-brief/bcl-legal-news/bcl-legal-reports-44-rise-in-q1-year-on-year-candidate-placements
So what is the effect on the in-house legal talent pool and what does this mean for those looking for an in-house move?
It is fair to say that the vast majority of in-house roles are general commercial in nature and therefore clients are more often than not looking for lawyers with a general commercial background. This is likely to mean that lawyers with a commercial contracts, IP, IT background are in ‘most demand’.
The knock on effect of this is that lawyers whose primary focus is in another area of law, for example corporate or commercial litigation, sometimes miss out on interviews or job offers due to the competition having more ‘relevant’ day to day experience.
Often the feedback for a lawyer who is not focussed on commercial contracts can be something like this from a recruiting client: ‘We really liked X but we have decided to offer the role to Y due to their current role being a closer fit to the role that we have. If Y hadn’t been in the mix we would have had no hesitation in offering the role to X’.
So why is now the right time to make the move in-house. Simply the number of in-house legal vacancies is at a 5 year high and the number of commercial candidates available/ looking for a move is drying up. We are certainly recommending that our clients consider lawyers who we feel will make a good long term investment even if they are not the perfect match on paper.
Mark Levine is Director of the In-house team at BCL Legal. BCL Legal is uniquely positioned with recruiters based in offices across England including Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and London. If you are looking for more information on making an in-house move or looking to recruit an in-house lawyer please contact Mark via firstname.lastname@example.org