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Is Your Law Firm Attracting or Repelling the Legal Talent You Want?

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

As a legal professional, you will be well aware of the current talent shortage in the legal marketplace. 

With law firms jostling for supremacy in the hiring stakes, eager to attract the best talent to work for them, how does your firm perform when it comes to attracting and hiring the best people? 

If you’re finding it challenging to hire great talent, it could be that your law firm is repelling would-be employees – and it goes deeper than your salary offer. 

It could be down to your Employer Brand. 

In this article, I will be looking at how your Employer Brand could be repelling would-be talent from joining your law firm, and how you can redress the balance, create an engaging market presence and attract and retain the talent you want to work for you. 

What is Your Employer Brand?

If you haven’t yet heard the term Employer Branding – it’s time to take a leap of faith and embrace this workplace phenomenon. Your Employer Brand isn’t something new – in fact, it’s been around forever, and all firms have one – whether they are aware of it or not. 

Your Employer Brand is, in essence, the market’s perception of your firm. It re-affirms what you stand for; your reputation, leaders, history and customer service ethos. 

It also goes far beyond these specifics – it includes other’s emotional response to things like your adverts and how they feel when using your services or when talking to others about your firm. 

It has a secondary function too. And this is the one that may be repelling talent from your firm. 

Your Employer Brand also describes the agreement or ‘promise’ you make to your employees in exchange for their experience, talents and skills. It is how you are viewed as an employer and the attitude and response to your law firm that lives in the hearts of your employees. 

This is known as your Employee Valuation Proposition, or EVP, and it's a compelling factor in attracting – or repelling – the legal talent you want for your firm. 

If you’re wondering how to embrace your EVP to make sure you’re attracting the right legal talent to your firm, this article will illustrate the benefits of having a winning EVP, and how to create one to attract new talent. 

But first, let’s look at the potential pitfalls of failure to invest in your EVP. 

The Dangers of Non-Investment

There are definite downsides to not investing in your EVP. And not just in the general happiness levels of your employees. It can affect your firm in recruiting cost-per-employee, your HR budget, and the overall bottom line. 

With the costs of employee turnover being anywhere up to 2.5 times your team member's salary, depending on their role, it’s worth thinking about investing in your firm’s EVP. 

Moreover, as well as lost employee and rehiring costs, there's also the financial impact of lost productivity, training and the decreased morale of other employees to consider too. 

Additionally, when thinking about your EVP, it’s worth remembering that more and more individuals are valuing an attractive workplace culture over salary, and failure to invest in this area of your firm could lead to lower retention and less appeal when compared to other law firms who offer more benefits. 

So, investment in your workplace will see attraction and retention levels increase. 

The Benefits of Investment in Your EVP

If you needed further reasoning for investing in your EVP, did you know that when top talent wants to work for you, your recruitment costs don’t just drop, they plummet? 

The latest figures reveal that costs go down by around 43%. This is mainly because recruiters find it easier to get top talent into law firms they are keen to work for, i.e. those with great reputations. Less persuasion is needed, and therefore turnaround is much quicker. 

In addition to this, the rewards of investing in your EVP include definite and measurable upturns in your ability to retain the best employees. 

Your EVP embodies your mission and values and is a powerful communication tool for both current and potential employees. It can help you prioritise aspirations and goals for your law firm, and used effectively it can not only attract new talent but re-engage current employees who may have found themselves demoralised or disengaged in their work. 

And with a great EVP, your existing pool of talented staff can help drive and promote your firm – not only officially on your company website, but in their social media engagement, recommendations to friends and family, network conversations, job reviews and testimonials. 

Provide an excellent EVP – and your team will become cheerleaders for your firm, influencing others around them who may be looking for their next legal career move

How to Create a Winning EVP

Your EVP is primarily an employee centred approach – it should be defined by and road-tested by your current employees. 

Conducting an audit of your current EVP will help you gauge your position in the legal marketplace right now. If yours is short of the mark, consider what can be done to improve it. 

Here are some of the things you may wish to look at when considering improving your EVP. 

Values and culture. A recent workplace study found that 56% of employees valued an excellent company culture fit over salary. That’s how vital company culture is to individuals. 

By embracing an inclusive and diverse company culture, you will attract new employees as well as retain existing ones, and build morale. And that means harbouring an environment where employees are respected and valued, where there is a shared vision, and where communication, transparency and teamwork are paramount. 

Career development. LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report showed a whopping 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. 

Especially in the legal world, having a transparent career path in your employee's personal development plan and offering training to achieve it, will set you ahead of your competitors and boost your attraction and retention figures. 

Employee recognition. From providing excellent feedback to saying ‘thank you’, it's crucial for Senior Partners and Managers to acknowledge their staff to maintain a sense of wellbeing and pride in a job well done. 

Work-life balance. Investing in better work-life balance for your employees starts with leading by example. So, Senior Partners should set a good example, as well as seeking to develop a more supportive culture where everyone feels they can take advantage of better work like options. 

Benefits. From salary to flexitime, gym membership to annual leave allowance, there are many options for a firm to include in their benefits package. 

Conclusion

The most exciting thing about your Employer Brand and EVP is that it’s not just about having your mission on the firm’s website. 

Employer Branding begins and ends with real people – your employees. By building a great culture for them to work in, you will find that they will not only enjoy working for your law firm, feel engaged and part of a bigger picture – they will actively promote your firm for you. 

Attracting new talent starts with making the most of those already working for you – and letting your reputation do the rest.

 

Next Steps

If you’re reading this article because you are looking to scale your law firm, call one of the Clayton Legal team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. 



Thanks 

Lynn 

About Clayton Legal

Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability. We have made over 5,000 placements from Partners to Legal Executives, Solicitors to Paralegals and Legal IT personnel to Practice Managers. 

If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here

If you would like to know more about recruiting trends in the legal sector this year, download our latest guide here.

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