According to the latest edition of a regular survey carried out for the Law Gazette, recruitment and retention are proving to be the biggest issues concerning law firms going into 2017.
The July to December 2016 survey figures deciphered that of the 38 firms which undertook the survey, 19 respondents mentioned recruitment and retention was their biggest concern going into the New Year.
This obvious concern shows a lack of confidence firms have in their ability to keep high quality legal professionals.
Our belief is that with the rapid improvements in technology, candidates are constantly surrounded with ‘better opportunities’ where the grass often seems a lot greener then it really is.
Email inboxes are now overflowing with the latest opportunities to move onto pastures new and it can seem like an ongoing battle to continuously keep your firm gleaming in the eyes of legal professionals.
Get the Initial Recruitment Right
A simple way to get around this debacle is to ensure that you get the initial buy-in from prospective candidates and relate the employment package to their life both in and outside of work.
Although this sounds like a generic recruiter-like statement, when you dig a little deeper – it’s the difference between a competent and incompetent recruitment strategy that will have a significant impact on your firm’s bottom line.
It’s becoming more and more apparent that recruiters aren’t matching candidates to the right roles, particularly for longer-term placements.
This is why we have found it much more important to find the ‘right role’ for candidates rather than a role that just offers an improved salary package.
Candidates are finding that the work/life balance is becoming as, if not more important in their decision to remain loyal to a firm.
We continue to allude to the fact that benefits packages and the small conveniences that differentiate a firm from its competitors can often be the difference between staying at a firm for the long-term or leaving within the first three months.
It’s the Small Things
During the registration process, we often find it beneficial to really convey everything that the firm can offer the candidate as part of the full employment package.
Some of these benefits include:
- On-site parking
- Life Assurance
- Gym membership
- Flexible working
- Childcare vouchers
- Cycle to work scheme
- Local shop discounts
- Cinema discounts
- On-site massage
- CPD funding
- Occupational Therapist
- Work mobile phone/laptop
We often find that these benefits can be the difference between a candidate half-heartedly moving into a new role, or, moving into a role that excites them with how it’s going to improve their current lifestyle.
We are starting to find that these benefits can easily sway candidates to make the final decision as they can relate particular benefits to problems they are having in their current role and how they are affecting their lifestyle.
What You Can Do
Something that we have really focused on working together on with our clients is being able to convey the benefits packages to candidates in a way that relates to their current situation.
For instance, for some candidates who have children, childcare vouchers can be a particularly helpful benefit for removing the stress and worry around childcare during the school holidays.
On the other hand, some candidates find on-site parking incredibly beneficial, particularly if firms are located in densely populated areas.
On-site parking can not only save candidates a substantial amount of money, but the convenience of avoiding stop start public transport means it’s a huge time-saver for a lot of people too.
This is why we always try and relate the benefits of a particular firm towards the needs of the candidate. This strategy is a game-changer when it comes to matching candidates with firms where people can genuinely see themselves fitting right in with the firm on a day to day basis.
Candidates are becoming far more conscious of how changing their career path is affecting every aspect of their lives. That’s why it’s imperative that as a firm, you relay the benefits to the needs of the candidate and how these will improve their current situation. This could mean time-saving, removing stress or improving their financial circumstances.
We are in no doubt that the firms that are able to consistently undertake this benefits matching process, are the firms that will consistently recruit candidates who will last longer than just six months.