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Hiring the best legal talent in the market is not an easy task, yet it is vitally important to the success of any team. With an improvement in the market and increase in volume of work available, finding a talented, successful and driven lawyer to service your clients’ requirements is becoming harder. Lawyers with solid experience are in demand, so it is more important than ever for a firm and recruiting team to position themselves in such a way as to maximise the likelihood of securing the best talent available.
Since the recession, many lawyers have moved away from the law, or re-trained into an area that enabled them to remain in employment throughout the downturn, such as fraud and wider insurance backed work. The talent pool is small, particularly in transactional areas where there was little work – or job opportunities – throughout the recession. This means that candidates, particularly those at the top of the talent pool, have a choice for the first time. They are in a position to assess their options to work out which firm is best for them, which will offer them the best quality work and greatest opportunity to enhance their career.
For many lawyers the problem no longer lies in finding opportunities, but narrowing the opportunities. This is a fundamental shift in the market, and means that law firms must differentiate their offering and have an edge over their competitors to attract the best talent. Planning ahead and adopting smarter recruitment strategies to keep ahead of the market is becoming more and more important as the work levels increase and the competition rises. Hiring the wrong person is expensive, time consuming and can have a negative impact on the morale of the team. A focused, strategic and well planned recruitment plan will not only increase the chances of attracting and keeping the best candidates in the market, it will avoid the frustration and cost involved in a wrong hire.
Motivations for candidates looking for a new role can be diverse – improved quality of work, culture, team-work, progression prospects, job satisfaction, responsibility and recognition, the desire to work for a specific client base, geography, and of course money, whether it be salary, bonus, profit share or wider benefits. Assessing the needs of those in the talent pool is a crucial part of the recruitment challenge. Many law firms are mistaken in thinking that their name, brand or profile in the market will make them the employer of choice. For many candidates this is not the case, and a deeper understanding of what makes potential employees tick can make the different between a firm attracting them or losing them to competitors.
Effective communication is the key to recruiting – and retaining – your candidates of choice. As confidence in the legal market continues to grow, there is a real opportunity for ambitious teams to not only grow, but grow with the best lawyers the market has to offer. Opportunity can simply be missed through ineffective planning and not listening to what the talent pool is seeking. For more advice on positioning yourself in the best possible way to attract and retain talent in a competitive market, BCL Legal can offer constructive advice to law firms and recruiting partners.