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Recruitment tips for law firms

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by Mark Bailey | 16 October 2018

Client retention and repeat business is an important factor to the success of most businesses, but especially so in the legal sector. A strong, reputable workforce plays a crucial role in this, yet recruitment can be a difficult area for many law firms, particularly those within specialisms where skills gaps are rife. The following recruitment tips can help law firms of all sizes to address this issue and ultimately operate more efficiently and successfully as a business.

Consider junior trainees and interims

Junior vacancies will always be easier to fill as there are more candidates seeking positions such as paralegal or trainee solicitor roles than niche roles like commercial property, residential conveyancing and private client positions. The number of trainee contracts on offer among law firms is now starting to return to pre-recession levels, and offering these types of roles can benefit candidates and clients alike. A more junior workforce could be particularly useful to smaller firms that are just starting out, helping them to create a full team on a lower budget. However, it is important to invest in training and skills development to ensure that the workforce can compete with other firms that might be able to offer more experienced counterparts to their clients.

At the other end of the scale, interims can be a useful talent pool to consider when looking to hire. These candidates tend to be extremely experienced and can offer a wealth of expertise to firms across niche areas. This more creative way of working is perhaps best suited to firms that witness ebbs and flows in demand for certain specialisms, allowing employers to tap into these experts as and when they are needed. The drawback is that interims can be costly if they become relied upon as a more permanent solution.

Build your employer brand

A strong employer brand is one of the most useful assets for law firms battling it out in the war for talent. It is essential to think about what you can offer candidates, as recruitment is a two-way process and those wishing to attract the best talent need to give them something in return. Candidates will likely be attending a number of interviews, so consider what will make you stand out against other firms that are hiring and be sure to emphasise your unique selling points throughout the hiring process.

Company websites are often the first port of call for prospective employees, so it is advisable to have a careers section that displays further information about the various roles on offer, as well as shedding light on the team environment and benefits to staff. ‘Meet the team’ pages are typically among the highest-viewed sections of any site, so ensure these are kept updated and that the content is engaging and dynamic; it will entice people who want to work in an environment where they can see similar personalities to their own, as well as inspiring staff to mimic career paths that they aspire to.

Be sociable

Social media is a vital in your hiring toolkit and is a useful means to demonstrate the strength of your employer brand. Candidates often head straight to LinkedIn to view recommendations, testimonials and the profiles of their prospective colleagues so it is important to adopt a social media strategy that gives a positive impression across all channels. Different networks offer their own unique benefits; Twitter is a useful way of showing some personality and interacting with influencers, while Facebook pages tend to be more suited to demonstrating what it is like to work for the company.

The legal profession can be known to shy away from using social media, but provided it is used in a responsible and targeted manner it can be hugely beneficial. The same is true for all the above tips, not only in the recruitment process but also in terms of staff retention, which ultimately makes for a happier workforce, a satisfied business owner and a loyal client base.

For more information on recruiting your next legal professional or if you have a position that needs filled please don’t hesitate to contact me on mark.bailey@sellickpartnership.co.uk or call me directly on 0113 224 1480.