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The (Real) Cost of a Bad Hire in the Current Legal Market

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Before the events of 2020 unfolded, many hiring managers and legal employers ‘thought’ they knew the dangers of hiring the wrong candidates.

With hindsight, we can now see that hiring decisions in our post-pandemic world are more crucial than ever.

The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been when it comes to having the right team in place; Covid has changed the way that employers need to approach their recruitment and retention strategies.

Today, we look at the real cost of a bad hire in the post-Covid recruitment market and what you as an employer can do to mitigate any risks in your recruitment process.

Plus, we have recently launched the True Cost of Hiring Calculator where you can quickly review and analyse the commercial cost of your recent hires, leavers, and financial impact of getting it wrong.

The Consequences of a ‘Bad’ Hire Now

Fact - making the wrong hiring decision costs your firm money.

What’s shocking is the number of poor hiring decisions that are made. A 2018 survey found that 39% of hiring managers realised they had made the wrong hiring decision within two weeks of their new recruit starting.

Why is this so important now in our post-Covid legal market?

Due to the growth of the legal sector in certain areas, some law firms this year have struggled to find the right talent to meet their needs – this means rushed hiring decisions and lots of them.

That’s not to mention the time and resources spent on training, all of which goes to waste when your new Solicitor or employee leaves just three months after starting with your firm.

With Covid to consider, there is also the added challenge of recruiting and onboarding when some parts of this process are happening remotely/virtually.

Are you now conducting remote interviews, or onboarding via Zoom? This creates an extra risk factor that your new employee will not integrate well due to them not being a good fit for your organisation, or never fully settling in their role.

The key is finding the right candidate for your vacancy and culture, who plans on staying with your firm for a long time. This is more difficult to achieve in our post-Covid world, and that is why it is key for employers to ensure they are reducing the risk of hiring the wrong candidate.

So what should you be looking for in your post-Covid legal hiring decisions?

 

Post-Covid Changes to the Legal Sector – What to Hire for Now?

It’s time to start thinking about what you are looking for in your legal hire and also, what they will be expecting from you. 

Only when these two elements come together will you get the right 'fit'; finding the ideal candidate, who wants to stay and develop their career with your firm.

But - what legal candidates are looking for has changed. Since the pandemic, candidates are increasingly looking for employers who understand the value of flexible working and can offer flexible working arrangements for both now and the future. Hybrid working models are likely to become the norm for many law firms, who, having remote working thurst upon them, are seeing the benefits this can bring to the business and their employees alike.

Additionally, candidates are increasingly looking for honest and transparent employers who have an excellent employer brand and have looked after their employees throughout the pandemic.

If you aren’t making the ‘right’ offer to talented legal employees, you will find yourself faced with candidates who don’t meet your expectations. And then when you’re pushed to make a hiring decision, the chance of you making the ‘wrong’ recruitment decision is higher due to your reduced talent pool.

 

Getting Your Post-Covid Job Adverts Right

It might be time to revisit your job roles, too.

Many legal firms will hire the same type of individuals for the same roles over and over – but now is the time to rethink this strategy.

Making the right hire all starts with attracting the right candidates, and you do this with your job adverts.

Are you showcasing your employer brand and excellent culture in your job adverts?

We recently wrote about the importance of an EVP (Employer Value Proposition) for Law Firms to really create standout and aid in attraction top talent in competitive markets.

Since Covid, have the skills and personality traits you are looking for in your employees changed? Many legal specialisms have exploded recently; are you ensuring that you are making a great case legal specialists to work for your firm?

Remember that if you want to avoid making the wrong hire, you need to find candidates who are truly a great fit, not someone who will be looking for a new role in a few months.

 

Finally

Often, we hear responses of 70-75% retention said with pride but we'd ask you to turn this statistic upside down – and consider 25-30% is actually therefore a failure with a direct hit on your bottom line. Therefore, we'd encourage you to make use of our True Cost of Hiring Calculator, particularly if you have hired legal professionals in the last 12 months, and have unfortunately found that some have left before their 1-year anniversary. The presentation of your results and accompanying report contains a wealth of information to further demonstrate why getting that fit right first time is imperative. 

Of course, another way to protect your recruitment ROI - guaranteed – is to work with Clayton Legal to make your next hires.

We offer a full money-back guarantee, so if for any reason the hire doesn’t work out, you won’t lose out. And with recruitment costing you valuable time and resources when you go it alone – it’s always a safer option to work with a dedicated legal recruiter you can trust.

To find out more about our guaranteed legal recruitment service, call us on 01772 259 121 or contact us here.

 

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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