Like all other US industries, the legal industry is facing a biting talent shortage that threatens law firm growth and profitability. Firms facing worker competition from other industries struggle to fill paralegals, marketing, communications, IT, and other business professionals critical to the day-to-day operations. A 2021 report by Thomson Reuters 2021 reveals that 50% of lawyers surveyed say recruiting highly skilled legal professionals is the greatest challenge facing their practice today.
This shortage is not restricted to junior legal staff and other related workforce. Data from Thomson Reuters show turnover among associates rose from 15% to nearly 25% in the last 12 months. Some firms are now increasing their internal referral bonus to net and retain the best talent amid fierce competition. This blog provides tips on recruiting talented employees for your law firm.
7 tips for recruiting and retaining legal professionals
The following are some of the tips to help you optimize your recruitment strategies and attract the best professionals to your firm:
Create a candidate persona
The first step in your recruitment process is to define the criteria of the ideal candidate you are seeking. A candidate persona is a profile of your target talent and what you want your ideal candidate to look like. The ideal candidate persona includes specific educational achievements, experience level, specialized industry skills, and personal interests. This checklist helps in determining a candidate’s suitability and whether they will adapt and thrive in your work environment.
Have a robust presence on social media
Recent statistics show there were 270.1 million social media users in the US in 2021. On average, each person spends approximately 147 minutes on social media. Talented candidates don’t stay in the market for long, so you should engage them where they spend most of their time. Apart from updating your website’s design and content on your About Us pages, you should also cultivate a strong presence on the right online platforms and social media. Social media outlets such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook attract younger users, making them a great recruitment system for accessing high-quality candidates. The following are a few tips to leverage the power of social media to your advantage:
- Use LinkedIn for sourcing: Adding a company platform to your LinkedIn page is a great way to let followers know when you have job openings. It also allows you to add content that potential candidates could find interesting.
- Showcase your culture on Facebook: Today’s potential employees want to know whether your company culture suits them. Showcasing your firm’s culture on Facebook can be a great way to assure candidates that you provide a healthy environment that caters to their specific work ethic. Share relevant posts and photos of your firm and employees to give them a chance for the candidates to picture how they will fit in with the company culture.
- Leverage Instagram to build a brand: You should also showcase the inner workings of your law firm on Instagram to build your employer brand. Use Instagram to show the scene happenings of your company to cultivate a great brand image among your employees.
- Use Twitter to connect with target talent: Leverage relevant recruiting hashtags on Twitter to advertise the open positions in your firm. You can use hashtags like #jobs, #hiring, or #employment to draw the attention of your target audience.
Network with local universities and colleges
Another effective way to recruit talented employees for your law firm is by networking with local colleges and universities. Leverage academic programs such as career coaching to find talented students looking to kick off their careers at a law firm. Additionally, consider sending inquiries to local colleges and universities regarding open positions in your law firm. You can also attend networking events such as career fairs to connect with talented students looking for opportunities that help them gain valuable professional experience. Another effective networking strategy involves offering an internship program with your local university. Internships attract talented students in need of guidance from seasoned professionals.
Leverage employee referral program
Employee referral programs offer lower overall recruitment costs while improving the success of your recruitment efforts. A well-designed and well-managed referral program can also boost employee satisfaction and retention rates. Ideally, a referral program is a smart strategy to win over candidates interested in your firm but worried they might not fit in with your culture. In such a situation, your current employees who speak positively of your firm, work experience, and overall value can give the assurance the candidates require.
Outline company vision and culture
A recent study reveals a robust company culture is one of the things talented employees look for in potential employers. Giving your potential employees a sense of belonging is one of the easiest and most effective ways to attract top talent. It is, therefore, crucial to take steps to showcase your core values and create an environment where employees feel empowered, valued, and invested. In this regard, define your culture and outline the specific goals that can improve the quality of life for your potential employees.
Boost your firm’s branding
Well-branded law firms convey unmatched values that attract the best talent out there. Candidates are hesitant to work with firms that cannot clearly state their core values. Assure your candidates that your firm focuses on cultivating the best possible work-life balance experience and career growth opportunities. Some of the tangible and intangible branding values that you can use to attract top talent include:
- Offering flexible paid time off
- Hybrid work model
- Retirement plans
- Health insurance
- Competitive compensation and benefits
- Learning/development opportunities
- Coaching culture
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No law firm is entirely immune to the talent shortage currently impacting most US industries. Offering attractive compensation alone is no longer enough to gain a competitive edge in the current highly volatile job market. You need to innovate your recruitment techniques to increase your chances of attracting and retaining top talent. Providing targeted insights into what makes your firm a great place to work, such as work-life balance perks, advancement opportunities, and core values, can help you improve your recruitment efforts.
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