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Legal talent drought: how to attract the best legal talent against the odds

24/04/2018
Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Legal talent; often it feels as though there isn’t any! And it’s not just a feeling either; Clayton Legal surveyed law firms nationwide and found that more than 70% of firms believe that a skills shortage is one of the biggest obstacles their firm faces in 2018. And while the statistics make for sobering reading, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are specific steps firms can take to give themselves a better chance of attracting, and retaining, the very best talent. A strong employer brand and a reliable recruitment partner could make the difference your firm needs. 

Building a brand: need to know  

If you were asked to name a famous brand, there’s probably half a dozen or more that you could name off the top of your head. We’ve all heard of consumer brands like Coca-Cola, but what about employer brands? 

An employer brand should be to your potential employees what your market brand is to the people that buy your services. It should be appealing and should essentially portray your firm as somewhere desirable to work – as it is, no doubt. An employer brand might showcase the following aspects of your firm:

  • Success stories – what have people achieved since working in your practice?
  • Culture – is it work hard, play hard, or do you encourage staff to pursue a healthy work/life balance?
  • Type of work – is the work varied, challenging and interesting?
  • Training and development – what opportunities are there to enhance skills, and how might a solicitor grow their career with you?
  • Benefits – apart from salary and financial reward, what are the benefits of working for your firm over and above another? 

Reassurance

Post-recession and post-Brexit, solicitors want to know that the law firm they decide to work for is a solid investment of their time and professional training. Firms need to reassure potential candidates that their prospects are good and that they fit together in terms of values.

A strong employer brand shouldn’t just work to attract new talent, it should help to retain existing talent. In fact, one of the most effective ways to devise a strategy for creating an employer brand is to communicate with your existing staff. Find out what motivates them, what they would like to see more or less of, and how their experience could be improved upon and you’ll have a good idea of what potential employees are looking for.

Getting the right support for your brand

Having an employer brand is a valuable asset and should pay dividends in the long term. A great employer brand, however, takes time and dedication to create, establish and maintain. And all the while the war for the top legal talent rages on. The very best legal talent work hard and it’s hard work to attract them to your firm too! 

Working with a recruitment partner alongside your own brand-building activity can be incredibly beneficial. An established recruitment agency will already have their own brand and a good reputation, which reflects well on you and provides reassurance to the candidate. What’s more, a recruitment agency, especially one that specialises in legal recruitment, will have their ear to the ground and be able to keep you informed of candidate feedback, motivations and other considerations to be aware of when establishing and maintaining an employer brand. 

Not just a helping hand

Clayton Legal’s report on Employee Branding firmly establishes it’s a key driver in recruiting the best legal talent. It doesn’t appear that the skills shortage will be coming to an end any time soon. The advantage of working with a recruitment partner is that while you’re busy building up your employer brand, they can access their existing pool of talent to find you the best candidate. 

An agency that understands the legal job market is key too. They can use their extensive knowledge of the sector to filter out the very best talent that matches up with your needs. And while the skills shortage isn’t likely to disappear overnight, it can take a weight off your shoulders knowing that a professional is handling your firm’s recruitment. 

If you’re thinking of creating an employer brand or think that your existing brand needs re-developing, then why not get in touch with Clayton Legal? We’d be happy to chat about employer branding or help with finding the best legal talent for your firm.


If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of using a specialised recruitment company, have a look at our blog on how to get the best out of your recruitment company.

 
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