Developing your law firm’s credentials for talent attraction

The war for talent is heating up, but unless legal leaders up their game by improving their own employer brand, they risk ending up on the losing side. Recent research published by the Harvard Business Review confirmed that businesses with an outdated or unclear employer brand “miss out on opportunities to attract the next generation of talent”, often having to offer potential new employees an extra 10% on their salary to make up for the discrepancy.

The issue itself is clear. If your law firm is not an attractive place to work, it will not bring in the talent needed to realise your agency’s business objectives. Ironically, resolving a poor employer brand is a more cost-effective solution issue than pouring extra money into the hiring process. It is, however, regularly the last port of call in the move to secure staff. The question then remains – how can your law firm identify its unique selling point (USP), further developing it as a means of candidate attraction?

According to Legal Week’s Best Employers Report, 94% of young lawyers look to be valued by their firm. Prospects for career development, the quality of work handled by their firm and salary were each rated by 92% of respondents as areas of key importance in their professional working lives. In line with these findings, it was revealed that a number of candidates surveyed wanted to “be treated more like a valued member of staff rather than a small cog in a law machine”.

The number of millennial workers is steadily rising and predicted to constitute 50% of all workers by 2020, according to research from PwC. As such, traditional values and recruitment strategies are increasingly falling to the wayside. Instead, law firms are now required to shift their way of working – instead of exclusively focussing on the staff already within the firm, extending this towards workers of all levels to secure the next generation of talent.

If you struggle to recruit for your firm, you first need to understand why that is. In doing so, you will then be able to develop a compelling EVP (Employer Value Proposition) that will help you attract the right talent for the right roles, as well as to retain the top talent you already have. Once this value has been codified, it can be communicated.

Law firms no longer have the luxury to cherry-pick the candidates they want. We now operate in a ‘sellers’ market’ – one where it is the candidate who holds the trump card rather than the employers. The only area where we see the reverse of this, however, is with firms that have developed their own unique selling point and have utilised this aspect to develop a strong employer brand.

In a crowded market, it is clear that those law firms with strong brands are far more attractive to newer recruits. To remain competitive and to bring in the best talent, firms now have a choice – lean in to this trend, or persevere with lacklustre recruitment attempts.

As practising solicitors ourselves, we recruited for our own teams when we were in practice and now we help other law firms with their talent attraction. If you need advice on positioning your firm as an employer of choice, get in touch.