Attracting and retaining talent is a top priority for Legal companies, for private practice and in-house Legal divisions. From a wider economic perspective, one recent report found that, “by 2030 more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there aren’t enough skilled people to take them”, with president of Global Industrial Markets, Yannick Binvel advising that “organisations must make talent strategy a key priority and take steps now to educate, train, and upskill their existing workforces” (Korn Ferry: the $8.5 trillion talent shortage).
The current talent shortage requires a two-factored approach of ensuring an organisation is both visible and appealing to professionals on the search for a new role. Below, we discuss three ways Legal employers can attract new talent to their companies, as well as developing existing talent.
Ensure you have a strong digital presence
In a world where professionals can audit an entire business’ digital presence in mere minutes, the days of securing a role on the basis of a simple, external job advertisement are long gone. In order to attract compatible talent, Legal employers need to ensure the business’ digital presence reflects the values and tone of the company. Thankfully, this isn’t difficult to implement.
Having a great employer brand is the first step to success, “a strong employer brand helps businesses compete for the best talent and establish credibility. It should connect with an organisation’s values and must run consistently through its approach to people management” (CIPD: 2022 employer brand). Publishing employee testimonials, reviews and interviews on company social media channels helps to bring internal culture and values to life. It can certainly help to provide those external to your company with authentic, real-life insight into what it’s like to work there.
With more than half (59%) of lawyers being aged 25-44, and 29% aged 25-34 (SRA: 2023 how diverse is the solicitors’ profession?), understanding generational differences in prospective hires is key for Legal institutions looking to recruit. Social media is second nature to younger generations, becoming a near-prerequisite as they search for the most advanced and innovative organisations to join. Research shows, “90% of people use LinkedIn for their job search [with it being] most popular amongst professional job seekers such as lawyers” (StandoutCV: 2023 social media recruitment statistics). Sourcing fresh Legal talent undoubtedly involves getting comfortable with social media.
To add to that, having a good grasp of social media and a strong digital presence is hugely beneficial for businesses in the Legal profession looking to improve their recruitment strategy. Utilising social media means available roles and their descriptions can be updated quickly. From recruitment, to advertising, brand development and audience segmentation, having a strong digital presence is an essential tool in the arsenal of any Legal business looking to attract talent.
Support growth and development
Businesses that don’t invest in growth and development opportunities limit their chances of competing in the war for talent. Successful firms establish training programmes to develop new associates to a level of competency that reflects the work of senior associates and partners.
Alongside this, investing in technology equips new associates with essential tools to help build expertise and achieve their best billable rate. “When law firms automate time-consuming tasks that drain lawyers’ time, energy, and love for their work, they help to increase job satisfaction and efficiency” (Clio: how legal workflow automation increases law firm revenue and efficiency). Investing in technology doesn’t mean Legal employers need to restructure their entire business’ mechanics. It can be as simple as automating time-consuming tasks, providing up-to-date equipment or even scheduling technology workshops so that associates are comfortable with using platforms and systems at their disposal.
Adapt mentoring and development opportunities to suit hybrid working
It’s also important Legal employers adapt development and mentoring opportunities to suit hybrid working, to ensure remote working does not create isolation and coaching / development limitations. Research suggests, “remote working hampered mentoring opportunities, with 57% of lawyers saying mentorship has taken a hit at their firms since the pandemic began” (MLA: lawyers’ perspectives on returning to the office).
Manage e-presenteeism and burn out
While the Legal profession no doubt thrives from the influx of enthusiastic new talent, there is a predisposition for burn-out. Jan Dernestam, Co-Chair of IBA Law Firm Management Committee notes, “It’s a dangerous combination where people with ambitious personalities are working in an environment where clients demand so much and everything is urgent” (International bar association: wellbeing: burnout presents a major concern for lawyers globally). It’s incredibly important to establish clear expectations, manage workloads effectively and promote a culture of transparency and support, where working late isn’t automatically linked to career growth.
Work with IDEX Consulting
Perhaps the most powerful tool for an employer, is working with a Talent consultancy, like IDEX Consulting who are experts in the legal sector. We will work with a client’s firm or in-house legal division to promote their vision, brand and culture to attract the right legal professionals. This can be done efficiently, across multiple social media channels, email campaigns, job boards and events.
In today’s competitive, attracting top talent comes down to clearly articulating your competitive advantage and key differentiators. At IDEX Consulting, we can help your business stand out.
For informal advice on how to attract the best talent for your business needs, speak to one of our expert Legal consultants.