Could entering awards boost your employer profile?

The launch of CILEx’s own national awards in September marks a new era for the legal profession; one which celebrates law firms for their ability to nurture and retain a diverse talent base. With such categories as Innovation & People Development, Promoting Access to the Profession and Supporting Lifelong Learning, firms looking to sweep awards at this event must sustain a strong commitment to creating an inclusive culture that empowers its employees.

While award writing is unlikely to be high on the agenda of busy lawyers, the reputational gain from winning an award in this field should not be underestimated. Whether you win or rank in industry awards, your firm will benefit from the following:

1.       Enhancing credibility

Winning relevant awards is a great way to reinforce your employer brand within the industry and gain credibility with your target audience. Why? It’s quite simple: just like purchasing decisions, people want to work for companies they trust. In the same way that a negative review on Glassdoor can batter your employer profile, an award can attract top talent seeking a great working environment. Applying for a new job can be daunting, so some reassurance in the form of an award can attract a whole host of candidates who may have been unsure on applying beforehand.

2.       Gaining exposure

Entering awards may seem time-consuming, but the increased press coverage and exposure will certainly make it worth your while. Even being shortlisted for an appropriate category can help to raise awareness of your firm and help to position you as an employer of choice. Since events such as these tend to be heavily marketed, your firm will benefit from extensive online and print coverage in both local and national media should you be victorious in your category. Further to this, you can also create a marketing campaign surrounding the success of your firm at the awards ceremony, be it email, social or a press release. There’s certainly no use winning if you aren’t going to make some noise about it!

3.       Showcasing your values

As the competitive landscape heats up, raising your firm’s employer profile is critical in attracting high calibre candidates. Rather than just taking your word for it, winning and ranking in industry awards is a sure-fire way to demonstrate to your candidates that you practice what you preach. If you’ve been shouting on social media about your firm’s values without any evidence, it will be a lot harder to cut through the noise without demonstrable proof to back it up. Awards do just this; allowing you to show to your followers or connections the commitment you have in creating a positive working environment and developing the skills of your staff.

4.       Benchmarking your employee experience

Don’t be downhearted if your firm doesn’t come home with a truckload of silverware. There will be plenty of opportunities in the future to start your collection. For now, it’s time to assess the competition and determine how you can improve both your candidate and employee experience. Entering industry awards is often the best way to know exactly what you’re up against, so try to see this as a learning curve for next time. From here, you can request feedback from your staff to better understand how their experience could be improved.