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Why partnering with a legal recruitment specialist could make 2019 your best year

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

As we head towards the end of the year and get ready to welcome a new one, it’s an ideal opportunity to reflect. That’s why we’ve put together this blog, to help you assess what difficulties the legal sector has faced this year, and how to plan so that 2019 gets off to a successful start.

Challenges and opportunities in 2018

Earlier this year we published research into the legal sector’s biggest challenges and opportunities in 2018. One of the main things that emerged was firms’ fears about how skills shortages might impact on growth. Conveyancing, both residential and commercial, was highlighted as a particular area of concern, as property specialists come under increasing pressure. There’s certainly no shortage of work for those that do specialise in property, and changes to the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality scheme may add to conveyancing professionals’ list of things to do.

The other major challenge highlighted in our white paper, was the political landscape – no, we’re not quite on to the ‘B’ word yet! At the start of 2018 firms were facing uncertainty over what would happen regarding the so-called ‘whiplash reforms’. Thankfully, as we approach the end of the year there’s much greater clarity, with the reforms having been pushed back to April 2020. We reported back in October that we’d already seen a sharp increase in the number of personal injury vacancies emerging, which offers greater job security for those who specialise in that field, at least for the next year or so.

What’s happening across the market: plan now, succeed later

The good news on whiplash reforms isn’t the only piece of positivity that 2018 has delivered. While the legal sector, and many other professions, have found Brexit to be a challenge, firms have also reported that it represents an opportunity.

The changing relationship with Europe could actually mean that those who specialise in litigation may find themselves in demand, as businesses and individuals require advice. The best thing to do is to plan for all eventualities. Faced with uncertainty and skills shortages, firms’ best bet is to work hard to retain staff now. In fact, research carried out by CIPD shows that 26% of organisations are placing a greater emphasis on developing existing staff. Our blog, ‘Save Time, Money And Resources: Retain Your Best Legal Talent’, has tips on how best to achieve that. 

Changes have meant that some situations have become clearer, for example the whiplash reforms. And while some things remain a little foggy – Brexit being a prime example – planning and retention strategies can help secure your success in 2019 and beyond. 

Partnering with Clayton

Equipping clients with what they need to achieve their objectives now and in the future is what we aim to do, after all, we’re only as successful as our clients. In order to help you achieve your goals, we use two vital elements:

  • Each client has a dedicated legal recruitment consultant 
  • We build strong, trusting relationships with clients by always taking the time to listen to your needs and challenges. Candidate relationships are key also and we have built up a large database of quality candidates 

By focusing on your success, we have reinforced our own values of trust, relationships, and growth. These values are what clients appreciate, and we often share the same values as the firms that we serve, making for a stronger partnership. 

We take building positive client relationships seriously, and also strive to build strong relationships with our employees too. So if you’re the kind of firm that is committed to building an employer brand that not only attracts but retains talent, then we could be a good match!

In fact, a prominent law firm was recently struggling to source quality candidates with the right skill set for the role. By upholding the two key elements above we were quickly able to fill the post. Not only did this reduce the demand on the client’s time, it allowed them to focus on their day job, which was much more beneficial for business. The client was delighted with the outcome and commented that “Clayton Legal understand what we want and deliver by taking the process away that leads us to being able to concentrate on the business.” 

Of course, each client measures success differently, although 91% of clients have reported being really pleased with Clayton and the results of working with us. 

Talent can be the scarcest resource, which is why our goal is to use our market expertise, insight and networks to ensure that we provide the right people to the right firms, so that they become their greatest asset.

Clayton Legal’s success stories

We’re delighted to hear such positive feedback and are proud to say that we have filled over 3,000 placements in our lifetime. We have worked alongside firms to recruit positions ranging from:

  • Partners to Legal Executives
  • Solicitors to Paralegals
  • Legal IT personnel to Practice Managers

Our ongoing dedication to and passion for legal recruitment means that we’re continually refining our knowledge of the market and improving the service we offer to clients.

As part of our continual desire to improve, we have achieved the following successes this year:

  • 2018 has seen our fifth continuous year of growth, which is testament to our MD Lynn, the work of the whole team, and the fantastic clients that we serve.
  • It’s not just in a financial sense that we’ve grown. From our base in the North West, we’ve expanded across the UK and are proud to be supporting clients as far afield as London, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, as well as the South East. 
  • This year we’ve also introduced a service providing locum professionals across the legal landscape. We understand that sometimes your firm needs a helping hand without taking on the financial responsibility of an entirely new member of staff; a locum worker is a great alternative. 

Looking forward to 2019

While we’ve celebrated some of our own successes here, it’s been a good time for the legal profession as a whole, despite various obstacles. Indeed, at the end of November the number of solicitors on the roll was 192,516, up on last year and at the highest point in 2018. The sector is proving to be healthy, regardless of its challenges.

This is reflected in our 2018 Salary Survey which highlights that, despite ongoing skills shortages in areas like conveyancing,  firms have felt more positive about the availability of legal skills in general. And while there have been plenty of challenges in 2018, they have been balanced with opportunities. We’re certainly looking forward to 2019 and continuing to support law firms with their needs. 

And if you’re thinking of recruiting, it’s not too late to get things underway before Christmas. We’ll be here until the 24th of December and will be more than happy to help with whatever recruitment challenge you’re facing.

Whether it’s a last-minute locum emergency or a full-time employee for 2019 expansion plans, call us on 01772 259 121 and one of our talented consultants will be able to assist you.

In the meantime, you might like to find out more about what a specialist firm can bring to the table in our blog: Big firm, little firm…get the best from your recruitment provider.

You may also like to download our latest report on trends in law: The 7 critical recruitment trends in law that will impact your talent pipeline in 2019.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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