How to position your law firm as an employer of choice for top legal talent

Hiring top quality talent has never been more crucial in the legal industry. Facing continual economic uncertainty, increased competition and rising costs, firms must ensure that they secure the right people for business success.

However, building a high-performing team of legal superstars is only possible if the superstars in question want to work for your firm. Ultimately, attracting a high calibre of candidates can only be achieved by creating a positive experience for all applicants and employees alike. But, law firms who successfully attract and retain top-tier talent have reputation and image to thank, too.

Research from the CIPD shows an increase in the number of organisations focusing on employer brand. With over 1,000 HR professionals surveyed, almost nine in 10 respondents claimed to have made efforts in refining their image to position their firm as an employer of choice.

The majority of these professionals gave the example of company website redesign as a means by which to improve the overall candidate experience: after all, your website can be a powerful recruitment tool if it reflects a positive brand and is easy to navigate. But an employer brand goes beyond simply achieving an impressive aesthetic, it’s critical to determine the message you want it to communicate and the image you seek to present to potential candidates.

There are several changes you can make to ensure your law firm is regarded as an employer of choice:

  1. Put your values at the heart of your offering

Global LinkedIn research from 2016 demonstrated the increasing importance of company values for candidates seeking a new role, with elements such as culture and career growth opportunities also claiming major influence on the decision-making process. As the trend enjoys continued growth, law firms must ensure that their values are centre-stage of the employee and customer experience; setting them aside from the competition completely.

  1. Create and promote growth and development opportunities

For many candidates, the prospects of career growth within a firm will have a big part to play in the decision to accept or decline an offer. Often, firms fear that professional development will break the bank, but there are plenty of ways in which you can promote personal and professional growth of an employee, whether it’s cross-function development or assigning special cases once a certain level of skill is achieved. Creating a personal development plan for each employee will showcase your firm’s commitment to its people.

  1. Ensure a positive candidate experience throughout

Reputation is a critical component in a firm’s ability to attract talent, but in a digital age, one negative review on Glassdoor can prevent a worthy candidate of even considering a conversation. Creating a positive experience for all applicants will help in positioning your firm as an employer of choice. Communication at each stage of the recruitment process is key, be it the feedback given to an unsuccessful candidate or the negotiation of salary with a new employee. 

  1. Always ask for feedback on your recruitment practices

According to CIPD research, less than one-fifth of organisations surveyed have tools or practices in place to measure the return on investment within the recruitment process. As a result, these organisations have no insight into the turnover rate of new hires, the performance of new recruits and the cost of the recruitment process itself. Evaluating and reviewing your recruitment and retention practices are key in understanding how your offering and overall experience of the firm was received by candidates and former employees, allowing you to identify areas of improvement.