The past couple of years has shown dramatic shifts in hiring and retention trends, particularly in the legal field. Back in 2019, only 42 percent of law firms were looking to hire new talent, according to the Canadian Lawyer’s Compensation Survey.
However, the tables seem to have turned this past year. The Great Resignation has affected businesses and organizations in various industries worldwide, including those in the legal sector.
Finding and retaining quality talent has been a significant challenge for many firms, primarily since they compete with other organizations facing similar issues.
Below we have outlined some ways law firms could better attract and retain quality talent.
Strong and Consistent Management
Your company’s management style is a significant factor possibly affecting your firm’s employee turnover rate.
A positive company culture focusing on healthy working habits is more likely to have successful legal recruiting processes—attracting new employees and encouraging existing ones to stay.
Does your firm accommodate sick days? Does everyone have healthy working hours, and is the workload well-distributed? Are your lawyers getting enough rest, or is everyone encouraged to work around the clock?
If your firm’s successes come at the expense of your employees’ quality of life, it might be time for some restructuring.
Professional Support and Mentorship
When one enters the legal profession, they expect to build a career and are likelier to stick with firms and organizations that provide them with the resources they need to improve professionally.
This is especially true for younger lawyers looking for firms to help them prepare for their future. Some initiatives your firm could take are coaching services and career planning guidance sessions.
Today’s lawyers are more concerned with a better quality of life and work-life balance than burying themselves in hustle culture.
According to the International Bar Association, 60 percent of lawyers are considering leaving their jobs due to a lack of work-life balance. This opinion is most prevalent among young lawyers ages 25 and under.
Allowing your lawyers the time and space to enjoy their personal lives helps them grow more satisfied with their job. This further improves their efficiency and productivity.
Today’s lawyers are also becoming more open to remote or hybrid working arrangements, especially with the pandemic still posing a significant threat to one’s health. These arrangements are also more appealing to job seekers.
Lawyers, paralegals, and other employees in the firm are usually there to establish their careers and are looking for opportunities to grow.
Providing a clear picture of how each employee could grow within the company is an excellent way to encourage them to stay.
Be vocal and transparent about career pathways and opportunities within the firm, and be true to your word. Seeing these opportunities in practice shows them the promising career path they could have if they choose to work for or stay in your firm.
Although not the sole determinant of whether a person chooses to work for your firm, compensation is still essential, especially with recent economic downturns. People want a job that could support their lifestyle and those of their loved ones.
Pay your lawyers and other employees fairly, and consider including additional benefits. With the highly-competitive market today, this could be one of the main factors that possible candidates weigh when deciding which firm to work for.
No one strategy could singlehandedly resolve all hiring challenges for law firms today. After all, the Great Resignation is a worldwide phenomenon.
One key lesson to keep in mind is to understand the needs of your target employees and accommodate them to the best of your ability. This practice will help you compete with other firms in the same industry.