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Is there any legal talent left?

30/11/2017
Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Over the last couple of years, the legal sector has been hit by a skills shortage that isn’t showing signs of desisting.

The demand for private practice and in-house lawyers has been steadily rising, and increased competition for skilled employees has driven salaries up and put pressure on practices to re-evaluate their working culture.

The legal sector itself is currently undergoing a period of transformation as it learns to adapt to technological developments, shifts in demographics and the need to offer more clients better value for money – all of which demands firms to be more competitive and attractive in order to appeal to the best talent out there.

And while this may be good news for candidates, it does raise a question for businesses…

Is there really any talent left in the legal sector?

It’s true that there are considerably fewer legal professionals available for work in the UK than there once was.

Brexit has taken its toll; while future changes to rules around EU workers will no doubt have an impact, the very idea of Brexit itself has encouraged many legal professionals to leave the UK in search of better opportunities elsewhere.

And despite all this, demand for legal professionals with expertise hasn’t waned. Increasingly, companies are looking at ways of being able to cope with, and adapt to, the new legislative changes that are afoot – and in many cases, that means hiring mid-level legal professionals to help guide them through the process.

So, has all the top talent already been recruited?

Labour shortages don’t have to mean businesses “making-do” with below-par employees; it simply demands a re-think in the way they approach their recruitment, as there will always be good people out there. It just means firms need to actively consider strategies to become more attractive to potential employees.

When talent is a scarce resource, it’s important that practices are able to draw from the right network, insight and market expertise to find exceptional individuals for vacant roles. Capitalising on previously fostered relationships. For example, can be invaluable, and can provide unique opportunities to harness talent within the business.

Of course, it’s not simply about recruiting new candidates every time a new vacancy becomes apparent – there is a real need for practices and firms to nurture their employees and provide them with enough training, support and incentives, to keep them on-board and engaged, so that they can become the talent of the future.

As employee expectations continue to change, and legal professionals increasingly demand more, organisations will need to look closely at developing an effective talent strategy, so as to remain competitive, not just today, but for the years to come.

If you have your concerns over keeping and attracting the best people, perhaps we can help? Here at Clayton Legal we know the legal profession inside and out, so we’d be more than happy to help you find and recruit the top talent for your firm, as well as to advise you on talent retention. For more details on how just get in touch with our team.  

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