Great tips to help you find talent

We often say – ‘a business is only as good as the people in it’. A study of the cost of a bad hire can be as much as a third of the hiring salary. Therefore, the methods you use to find talent and your interview process are of key importance.

Attracting and retaining top quality lawyers is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges law firms face in today’s increasingly competitive and tight legal market. As professional services providers, law firms are judged by the firm’s competitive edge and their ability to attract top quality work means that they need the best of the best.

Getting the right people onboard, who possess the right technical skills and who are the right cultural fit, is imperative for any law firm’s success and profitability, but how do law firms find talent? Here are some great tips to help you find talent.

Sell the benefits of working for your business!

It is a two way street – No two firms are the same – from the culture, size, leadership, location etc. Your brand will have unique selling points which will make you stand apart from the competitors in your market. When it comes to sourcing and finding talent for your business, many companies make the mistake of using the rule of ‘”one size fits all”.

This can be a trap as you need to ensure that you invest in a strategy which attracts talent to your business and the right fit for the needs of your business. By working through a clear strategy you will be rewarded in securing talent who in turn will share your business values and unique ethos.

Hiring is a two-way process

It’s important to not only find the right candidate for your role but to keep them interested during the recruitment process. Don’t let them slip through your fingers during this process (the process of on boarding! – on boarding is when they have signed the contract and are doing the paper work).

Be realistic about your organisation, the potential challenges and benefits of working with you. Highlight the extra benefits you have and what they will receive e.g. work/life balance, paid maternity leave, paid gym membership, the ability to work from home, health and wellbeing programmes, leadership programmes for Senior Associates, training and development etc.

It is always important to remember, that good talent are looking for feedback and information about the process and the timeframe anticipated to make the appointment. Good talent often are in demand, so setting timeliness during the process is of paramount importance.

Make better use of word-of-mouth referrals

Word-of-mouth referrals are an excellent way of finding the right lawyer for your firm but there is often reluctance on the part of lawyers who may be open to considering a career move, to make this known among their network of friends and contacts. As a result, this method also has its limitations. Moreover, many law firms often have generous referral bonuses especially for their professional staff.

Lawyers generally only refer someone who is similar to themselves. Again, there are limitations with this as this will have an overall impact on the diversity of the firm and eventually the culture of the firm. Great talent will be missed by simply relying on an internal referral bonus system.

Good quality candidate use recruitment agencies

Recruitment Agencies add value by being able to tap into the ‘passive’ candidate market. In our experience, the very best lawyers that we place with firms are often those who will only move for the right opportunity that ‘ticks all the boxes’ for them.

They are the sort that will never ordinarily respond directly to a firm’s advertisement. Candidates use recruitment agencies to see which firms are looking and assess all opportunities at the time that they are looking.

Agencies are used to confirm rumours

Good quality candidates use recruitment agencies to confirm rumours in the market place. They will ask the recruitment agency to negotiate their salary and more importantly use them as a trusted advisor for market intelligence. They ask questions such as: what is the partner really like; is there high turnover in the firm; what is the firm’s work/life balance really like; is there really career progression?

In summary, in order to attract and retain talent to your organisation, you will need comprehensive recruitment and selection strategies to attract the right person to work and grow within your business.