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5 Key Essentials to Note When Onboarding Your New Legal Employees

The Legal landscape has changed drastically in the last couple of years. Job opportunities are becoming more flexible with the rise of remote or hybrid work and the four-day work week, which started as a trial in the UK in recent weeks. 

Even the way law firms source and assess new candidates for roles has evolved, with an increasing number of virtual and video interviews as well as new software being developed since the pandemic. 

On top of all these changes, hiring managers and employers are also facing new challenges in employee retention, with the “Great Resignation” now causing significant talent turnover.  

In a skills-short legal environment, it’s important to ensure you’re taking every precaution to not only find the right new legal professional but prepare them for long-term success within your law firm.  

A successful onboarding strategy could be the key to providing your new team member with all the support, guidance, and insights they need to thrive at your firm. 

Here are the onboarding strategies you can use to empower your legal hires. 

1. Start with Preboarding

Employee “preboarding” is essentially an introductory step before the more intensive onboarding process begins. Today, as the competition for top legal talent continues to grow, talented candidates are increasingly looking to work with employers who make them feel valued, not those just paying the highest salary. 

Just as your new team member will be working hard to prove you made the right choice by bringing them on board, you want to demonstrate they’ve made an excellent choice by deciding to work for you. An introduction email as soon as your candidate accepts your job offer can set you off on the right track to building a great working relationship. You can even use this email to give your new employee some useful information such as parking on their first day, start times and any other useful information that could help them out.  

Start by welcoming your candidate onto the team and let them know the names of some of the people they will be working with. Next, include valuable information your employee might need, such as videos highlighting information about your brand identity and general updates about the new firm they are joining.  

2. Adjust the Onboarding Process for Different Roles

Do you have an onboarding plan? View our report here on a Quick Guide To Onboarding New Legal Talent.  

Certain parts of the legal onboarding process will be the same for all employees. You’ll need to introduce every new team member to the company culture in your business and the kind of values you’ll expect them to adhere to. However, this doesn’t mean an onboarding process should be entirely one-size-fits-all.  

Adjust the steps you take in the onboarding process based on your new employee’s needs. For instance, ask yourself what kind of software and tools the team member will be using from day one, and provide them with training support or video guidance on setting up new accounts.  

Think about the specific members of staff your new employee is going to be working with and arrange for a video or group meeting where you can all get to know each other in an informal and friendly setting.  

Creating a streamlined and personalised process for each employee will ensure your new candidates aren’t overwhelmed by information that may not be pertinent to them when starting their new role.  

3. Focus on Inclusion

The needs of today’s employees are beginning to change. While all team members want access to great development opportunities, a good salary, and fair benefits, they’re also looking for an immersive company culture and a sense of inclusion within their teams.  

Today, 64% of employees say diversity and inclusion is a crucial consideration in their decision to take a job offer. As soon as a new candidate agrees to join your team, start focusing on how you include them.  

Ask new hires about their preferred pronouns and names and introduce them immediately to the people they will be working with. Allow your employees to sit in on video meetings even before their role officially starts if you’re not going to be sharing sensitive information and add them to your group messaging boards. 

Make sure every team member feels like a crucial part of the team, regardless of whether they’re working in the office, remotely, or on a hybrid schedule. 

4. Build a Training Plan for Development

Great onboarding isn’t just about welcoming a new legal employee into your team and ensuring they have all the information they need about your business. You should also be looking for ways to build a foundation of a long professional relationship between your law firm and your hires. 

Around 93% of employees say they would happily stay with a company for longer if they felt their managers were investing in their careers with training and development. During the onboarding process, you can begin helping your employee see a future with your brand by working on a professional development plan together. 

Set up a one-on-one meeting where you discuss what the future might look like for your new team member and what kind of goals they would like to achieve while with your firm and in later life also. Discuss how you can help your employee reach new heights in their career and what your training opportunities look like. 

5. Collect Feedback Regularly

Finally, the only way to ensure your onboarding process is having the right impact on your legal employees is to ask them about it. Collecting feedback is an excellent way to determine whether you’re giving your new team members all the support and guidance they need.  

Ask your new hires what they feel you did well in the onboarding process and what they would like to change if given a chance to go through it again. Pay attention to productivity levels after your employees start their new role and look at how they might change when you add further steps to the onboarding process.  

The feedback you get should guide your future onboarding strategies, helping you build a more comprehensive experience for every new hire.  

Great Onboarding Starts with the Right Hire 

Remember, a great onboarding process can be a powerful tool, capable of improving new hire retention by around 82%. An excellent onboarding process will always start with the right hiring decisions. Improve your chances of bringing the right people on board by working with a specialist legal recruitment team like Clayton Legal. 

We can help you improve yours by taking care of the pre-onboarding and sourcing of talent. If you want to find out more call us on 01772 259 121. 

 

Next Steps 

If you’re reading this article because you are looking to hire your next legal hire, call one of the Clayton Legal team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. With our help and market insight, your hiring process can be smoother and quicker – and get you the outcome you’re looking for. 

 

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. 

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

 

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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How to Create a LinkedIn Profile That Stands Out To Legal Employers

When it comes to selling your value to a recruitment company like Clayton Legal and the clients we work for, there are a few pivotal documents required to draw attention to yourself. 

The humble CV is one, followed quickly by your LinkedIn profile. 

As LinkedIn is the biggest social business network outside China, with 850 million members listed, it is more crucial than ever to leverage the opportunities your LinkedIn profile provides as a positioning tool for your legal career. 

Your LinkedIn profile has many positive attributes. Unless you share a name with a well-known person, it is highly likely that your profile, if created properly, will appear on the first page of Google. 

Even though your CV/Resume is a standard document that demonstrates your career journey, a LinkedIn profile can deliver even more insight about you as a potential recruit in an interactive and engaging style that a CV alone cannot achieve. 

In today’s post, I want to share why your profile is so important and the easy, quick wins to ensure your legal LinkedIn profile stands out from the crowd. 

Headlines and Pronouns 

Your headline is often the first piece of text a recruiter or potential hiring manager will see, so make it count. Paraphrase what you do, and the good news is LinkedIn now allows 220 characters, including spaces. Here is an example of a legal headline that works.  

“Solicitor at BLM. Working in the Housing Team dealing with insurance litigation, housing disrepairs and property damage in Liverpool” 

With D.E.I. being on most workplace agendas, LinkedIn now allows you to add your preferred pronouns on your profile. The use of pronouns will let hiring managers, colleagues or online connections know how to address you to prevent any misconceptions.  

A Professional Photo 

LinkedIn produces numerous reports that demonstrate the power of imagery and media on your profile. Profiles with a professional photograph can get 14 times more profile views vs those with selfie style images or group pictures. 

Phone technology today means there is no excuse not to have a professional LinkedIn profile picture. Ask a colleague or friend to take a photograph with their smartphone in good lighting where you shoulders and face are visible to give an honest and accurate perception of who you are professionally. 

Head and shoulders are the best shots. Your face, preferably smiling in appropriate business attire, makes the best impact. Remember, recruitment consultants viewing your profile are imagining how you will fit into their client’s organisation, so this is an easy way to make an impact.  

How To Get In Contact  

As a first start, do you have all your contact details visible?  

Make sure you have a mobile number and a Gmail/Hotmail address that is your most active and professional email account. Try to avoid the likes of 90sbaby@hotmail.com or something with your birth year in as this can indicate age bias subconsciously.  

A professional url demonstrates your attention to detail, for instance, LinkedIn.com/in/Andy Gold as opposed to LinkedIn.com/in/Andy-Gold-2671c567. 

It’s also important to include links to your blog where you share knowledge related to your sector which is a great feature a lot of LinkedIn users forget to utilise.  

Featured Section

Have you written papers or presented at a legal industry conference, or recorded any work-related videos?  

If the answer is yes, add them here, and this will certainly make you stand out from the crowd and gives recruiters or potential law firms the chance to see more of what you can do rather than just reading it on a CV. 

Your About Section

Please do not add only your essential skills or paste sections from your CV into your summary section. Use it to catch people’s attention as you share relevant information about who you are and your skills and abilities; you have 2000 characters, so make them count. 

In this section, talk about the value you will add to an organisation alongside your skillset. Be different and stand out by explaining how you might help a potential new employer solve their problems while being genuine and authentic. 

Our experience as recruiters is this attracts our attention, plus it makes it easier for us to ‘sell’ the fact you are a ‘must see’ candidate for our client and pick out your best attributes towards their needs. 

Here are some examples from LinkedIn themselves as to what they see as great profile summaries. 

Add to Profile and Open To

On the right-hand side of your profile, you will see a button that says ‘add to profile’. When you click this, it reveals all the additional sections you can add to your profile.  

From featured items to licenses and certifications, and courses and recommendations the list is endless to really boost your profile against your competitors.  

If you are open to work and currently not employed, you can add this to your profile picture by clicking the relevant button. This lets recruiters know instantly without even clicking on your profile that you are a potential candidate for their client and therefor you are most likely to be seen.  

In the ‘add your profile’ section under background, share details of all your work experience that will communicate your capability. Then list all your education and volunteer activities. Today, organisations have an active CSR programme that they love to promote to new starters; therefore, this area is essential to share too should you have experience in those departments. 

Under accomplishments, you can list publications, certifications, patents, courses, projects, honours and awards, test scores, languages and how you are involved with communities that are important to you. 

This makes it easy for a recruitment organisation to identify your skills and expertise as a potential match for their client. 

The big question is, does your profile: 

  • Help your standout? 
  • Communicate your value, including providing supporting evidence? 
  • List your work achievements? 

Share Useful Content

Depending on your current organisation and their social presence, you can share and like content until your heart is content. This unconsciously communicates to everyone how connected you are and what is important to you. When someone arrives on your profile, it is one of the first sections they can see. 

You can now share an article or even upload a compelling image or create a video on your LinkedIn profile. All of which enable you to communicate your personal brand and show recruiters areas of your work you are particularly interested in the most. 

List The Skills You Know Are Important in Legal

When it comes to legal skills, you can add up to 50, which could help you stand out to a recruitment consultant and your future employer. You don’t have to add all of them as only your top ten will be profiled, so make these the most important. 

The UK is in the grip of a skills shortage. Therefore, if you know you have in-demand skills, communicate them on your profile wherever you can. You would be surprised that this is an area often forgotten by even the best of candidates. 

Endorsements and Recommendations

We all now live and work in the review society. Social proof is a significant influencer in our current community. Who has not viewed Trip Advisor before booking a restaurant or holiday with their significant other? It is the same in the business world. 

Therefore, collecting recommendations and endorsements is crucial for your career. If you have not got any, ask for them from your contacts. All too often, people are shy about asking for validations of their work. The good news, which might surprise you, is that many people are more than willing to give you a recommendation as long as you offer to give one back in return. 

Finally, Complete Your Profile in Full

A question for you? Are you using all the features we have mentioned? 

Do you have a presentation or video on your summary? Have you got a link to a paper you have written? 

It is interesting the impression people get from reading a full LinkedIn profile. It sends a message to recruitment companies that you are a person with attention to detail and take their career and work-life seriously – a great candidate for their clients.  

About Clayton Legal 

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

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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Building Leadership Skills in Your Law Firm

The last few years have been challenging for the legal sector. Dealing with the fall out of the pandemic, increased workload, and the impact of overworking on employees’ wellbeing means that many firms also now need to uplevel their leadership skills alongside recruiting new lawyers into their team to lead their firm moving forward.

In turbulent times, everyone looks to great leaders for guidance. Leadership resonates throughout a business, and the quality of your leadership can be the difference between your firm’s ultimate success or failure.

Good leaders exhibit specific traits which allow them to inspire, motivate, engage, and boost the productivity of their legal team.

Today’s post shares five key leadership skills for today’s legal workplace to develop in your team and those to look out for as you recruit.

The Ability to Set Goals Based on a Vision

Great leaders have a vision. All successful law firms were started because the founder had a vision of what they could create.

As you build your legal team at every level, remember that employees often join firms because of the vision and direction shared during the interview, as well as fair pay and conditions, and the opportunity to work with great clients. Unequivocally, elements such as this should be communicated as part of the hiring process.

Innovating and reacting to change is part of a law firm’s growth and is necessary for development. So, it’s vital to deploy your strategy to manage challenges while considering that you need a solid business plan that indicates where you are adjusting and setting relevant goals.

Effective legal leaders ensure everyone is on board with the strategic plan and its ultimate objective – alignment across the firm will be key to success.

Greater leaders can tap into team creativity, developing a sense of purpose that develops an inspired team.

Setting goals in a S.M.A.R.T.  way can also increase performance – specific objectives that are challenging yet achievable are more likely to inspire your team and give them something to work towards collaboratively.

Clear Communication Skills

Part of sharing the vision is the ability to communicate both authentically and with authority.

Law firm leaders must develop the ability to communicate with people at every level, from a stressed-out client to every member of their wider legal team.

Effective leaders must be able to express ideas and information to the people they want to lead.

Successful communication also involves clarity of message, which happens when leaders ditch the jargon and listen to what is important to their team.

As human beings, before we mentally agree to follow someone, we need to feel listened to by our leaders.

Decision-Making Ability

It is easy to assume that everyone in the legal profession has good judgement alongside the ability to make decisions. This occurs as lawyers handle complex caseloads, though not always when addressing challenges in the team or performance managing a difficult employee.

Lawyers are generally confident individuals by nature. However, making decisions in a team setting isn’t always as black and white as it might first appear, as highlighted by Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning professor who developed prospect theory which shifted opinions on decision making.

To make a good decision, you need to understand how different choices change the likelihood of various outcomes and how desirable each of those outcomes is. In other words, decision making requires both prediction and judgment.

Focus on listening and gathering data from your team as you would for any case you are handling, and you will notice how your decision-making ability improves.

Create a Learning and Development Culture

Here at Clayton Legal, we often ask candidates applying for roles whether the law firm hiring has a development culture and one where the team is encouraged to grow and develop. A stronger leader will make this part of the plan for their firm.

With advancements in digital platforms, online learning is easy to implement alongside more formal events in your firm.

Create a training program for your law firm’s team that allows them to engage at their own pace and with topics that interest them personally. These topics should be largely focused on the team member’s speciality and what your firm needs from them, but it’s also valuable to offer the opportunity to learn about areas outside of their speciality.

Being Accountable

Being accountable for both actions and results is the hallmark of a great legal recruit. This is even more vital when we consider the approach of our legal leaders.

Leadership accountability in your law firm is an essential component of a healthy culture. But what is an accountable leader, and how do they drive business results?

Being accountable suggests that leaders are ultimately responsible for outputs, which is true.
There are multiple layers of accountability, including business performance, company culture, client experience, and the legal workforce itself.

For leaders to be accountable, they need to be committed to the business and its people. They must take their role as people leaders seriously, building trust among team members. Accountable leaders clearly communicate their goals and objectives to their teams to foster alignment and team focus. They accept responsibility when things go wrong and give credit for success where it’s due.

What Next?

The legal sector experienced increased growth last year. Many firms are looking for new legal leaders and hires for their teams. This is where Clayton Legal can help. For a conversation about your legal talent growth plan, do not hesitate to contact one of our team.

 

About Clayton Legal

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

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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

  • April 24, 2018

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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Work-life balance: are you missing out?

  • February 26, 2018

A work-life balance is something that we’re often told we need, yet many of us are guilty of throwing ourselves into the work part, forgetting about paying the same attention to the rest of life. So how can you tell if your work-life balance is off kilter? We’ve put together a guide to help you recognise warning signs, how to achieve a more balanced situation, and why it all matters.

 

Signs your work-life balance is out of sync

The first step to achieving a more harmonious work-life balance is recognising when there could be a problem. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms it could be a red flag that your work-life split is off balance:

• If you rarely leave the office at 5.30pm it could be a sign that your work-life balance is weighing too heavily towards work. Of course, everyone has those days when something urgent crops up at 5.25pm, but if it’s just you and a few stragglers at 6 o’clock, perhaps your work-life balance needs some attention. If it’s just you and the cleaner in the office at 7.30pm every evening, it’s time to start asking questions.

• You go to work, go home, eat, mindlessly scroll through Netflix and collapse into bed. Maybe you don’t even eat at home, you heat up a supermarket meal in the microwave and eat at your desk. You’ve no time for the gym, socialising or after-work activities. You’ll likely feel exhausted and have little interest in anything once you leave the office: these are clear indicators that you’re mentally drained and suffering from overwork.

• Feeling irritable and resentful towards your job, boss, company, or colleagues is a sure sign that your work-life balance is out of sync. There’s no denying that work can be stressful, and colleagues can be, how shall we say, trying at times. But feeling that way regularly, even daily, is a clear signal that your work-life balance needs reassessing.

How to achieve a work-life balance

When you’re in the cycle of working late and taking work home, either physically or mentally, it can be difficult to get out of the habit. One way to break the cycle is to schedule activities for after work. You could have dinner with a friend or loved one or make plans to go to an exercise class or running group with a friend: anything that involves meeting up with someone else. The activity isn’t important, the key thing is that you’re compelled to leave the office by a certain time and not let someone you care about down.

And if work has got you feeling blue, try incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Not only is exercise good for your physical health, it improves mental wellbeing too. Build exercise into your daily work routine and try cycling or, if it’s practical, running or walking to the office. The physical activity will boost production of endorphins, the body’s ‘happy hormone’, and blast away stress. Not into high-impact activity? Even a stroll around the block at lunchtime will help raise the heartrate, boost endorphins and just expose you to some fresh air and sunlight – that can’t be so bad, can it?

Why a work-life balance matters

There are many reasons to recalibrate your work-life balance if it’s swung too far in favour of work. Perhaps the most significant question to ask yourself is that if you’re not spending non-working hours with loved ones, or pursuing things you enjoy, are you truly contributing to your or their happiness? As the saying goes, nobody ever wishes on their deathbed that they’d spent longer at the office. Most people have to work to live of course, and it’s great if you love what you do. But give your happy hormones a boost and share that passion with the people that matter most. Because – and grab a tissue now, we’re getting deep here – it won’t be your boss, or your client, or Dave from accounts that’ll be by your side until the last.

On a lighter note, doing things outside of work makes you more well-rounded. Playing sport isn’t just good for burning calories and boosting endorphins, it enhances teamwork skills. Being surrounded by work all of the time leaves you mentally drained and with a disinterested attitude to everything else. Different activities stimulate different parts of the brain and can help you think differently, and therefore perform more effectively, while you’re at work. Plus, hobbies are enjoyable! And who would say no to a little more fun?

If you found this blog interesting, check out more of our blogs or if you’re looking for that perfect role, check out all the vacancies we have available.

Want some tips or advice? Call the office on 01772 259121 and speak to one of our experts

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New Year, New Job? Our top tips for January job seekers

  • January 2, 2018

The relaxation afforded by the Christmas break gives many busy legal professionals an opportunity to reflect on their careers. And, of course, January is a time for fresh starts and resolutions about the direction you want to take in the New Year. So, if you plan to make a career move, here are our top tips for lining up the right job.

Assess

Firstly, assess your current role and responsibilities. What are the positive aspects and what do you find is lacking? Now think forward to the end of next year. What would you like to be doing career-wise at that point? Are you seeking a change of organisational culture? Also consider your current strengths and achievements: where have you added value? Which areas do you need to develop? Do you need more training or experience in order to compete with other candidates? Many jobseekers find it helpful to talk to a specialist recruitment consultant about the current market and the prospective options available to them.

Research

Once you know what you’ve got, what you want and why you want it, you can move onto the next step of identifying potential employers that will help you to achieve your future career goals. Research and create a list of firms that you would like to work for, as well as making notes on what they can offer you and what you can bring to them. Again, if you have a recruitment consultant, they can help you shortlist firms that could be the right fit for you based on their network.

Update

The end of a year is a good time to revisit the basics and make sure that your CV and online presence reflect your achievements. Take time to update your resume and ensure that your LinkedIn profile is complete: add new specialisms and adjust the key words in your profile so that they reflect the aspects you wish to be associated with going forward.

Develop

Before applying for a role, it makes sense to put yourself in the best position to compete. Think back to when you assessed the areas in which you could develop. Recognise and utilise training opportunities provided by your current employer, or find a local or online short course in a relevant area. Consider how you could gain additional exposure and opportunities to demonstrate your skills and knowledge, such as writing pieces for your company website or a professional publication, or by volunteering on a committee. Think about where you are active outside of work: now might be a great time to find professional associations or groups where you can attend meetings and network with people who are in the field. Attend seminars and thought leadership events to ensure you are at the forefront of your industry and able to take advantage of the opportunities that are available.

Initiate

The final step is to find that job. If you haven’t already, register with a good specialist recruitment agency and discuss precisely what you are looking for so that they can contact you as soon as an opportunity arises. Revisit your shortlist of potential employers and see who is posting jobs, or make speculative applications. Let your network know about your job search as this might reveal an opportunity which hasn’t yet been advertised. Dedicating just ten minutes a day to, say, emailing a contact who works in a field of interest, could be fruitful.


If you’re looking for a new challenge in the New Year, get in touch today to see what opportunities we have available.

You may also like to download our guide on How to Develop Your Legal CV.

Take a look at some of our other blogs to gain more insight into the legal sector.

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Top tips for managing a multi-generational workforce

  • December 18, 2017

What are the five main generational groups?

Today’s workforce comprises five generational cohorts, each spanning roughly fifteen years, all of whom have grown up in differing social, historical and economic contexts. Most people have heard of ‘Baby Boomers’ (people born between 1945 – 1964), ‘Generation X’ (1965 – 1979) and ‘Millennials’ (1980 – 1994). However, a new ‘Generation Z’ of those born in 1995 or later is emerging and, as the state pension age continues to rise, we are seeing more people working who are pre-Baby Boomers.

Can they work together effectively?

We can assume, quite logically, that employees of different generations will have unique traits shaped by the contexts in which they grew up and also that they will typically be at different stages of their careers. However, because times have changed so much between 1945 and today, it is also often presumed that employees will have varying motivators and aspirations depending on their age and will behave differently at work as a result. A global survey of 2500 executives by Future of Work Consortium, found that almost a quarter believed that ‘inter-generational cohesion’ was the most significant risk their company faced, suggesting that these multi-generational workforces create a climate of tension and misunderstanding.

But it’s not that simple. While each generation will have unique traits – for example, Millennials and Generation Z have been immersed in technology from birth – often they have more in common with each other than not. Ron Zemke, co-author of the book Generations at Work: Managing the Clash of Boomers, says: “Generational conflict is more likely to arise from errors of attribution and perception than from valid differences.” The key to effectively leading such a varied group of staff is to understand and respect differences, but avoid assuming people fit negative stereotypes. In short: treat staff as individuals.

So, with that in mind, what are the top tips for law firms with a multi-generational workforce?

  1. HR professionals and leaders must create a culture where diversity is recognised and each generation’s different experiences, knowledge and viewpoints are respected and welcomed.
  2. Create effective and collaborative multi-generational teamwork by publicly identifying each person’s skills in the group, i.e. “Claire practised in France for many years so could advise here.”
  3. According to HayGroup’s thought paper, it is a myth that different generations need different management styles to engage and motivate them. Instead, firms should ensure that leaders are equipped to adapt their styles so that they focus on individuals, rather than attempting generation-specific leadership.
  4. Employees, should receive coaching as individuals with their generational needs and career stage in mind. For example, Generation Z may be in most need of an onboarding and socialisation programme as they enter the profession and Millennials are likely to look for support as they seek advancement, particularly as managers.
  5. Provide real time feedback, not just annual appraisals, so you are in tune with each employee’s ongoing needs for support.
  6. Research shows that training preferences vary between generations. The CIPD’s Tapping into Talent report found that Generation X and Millennials preferred independent learning using computer-based training or the internet, whereas Baby Boomers and pre-Baby Boomers preferred more traditional classroom or paper-based training. Ideally, training should be tailored to individuals or a mix of both types used where possible.
  7. HayGroup’s analysis of five million employees’ data found that all generations cite exciting and challenging work as the primary reason for staying at their company. Younger generations – unsurprisingly, as they start out in their careers – seek ‘opportunities to advance’ as the next most important factor, whereas at 55 plus, ‘meaningful work’ replaces advancement opportunities. Seek feedback from employees on how far these needs are being met.
  8. Be forward thinking. Technology allows us to work anywhere, but many law firms still insist that people work at their desks. Digital natives such as Millennials and Generation Z may find this frustrating.
  9. Consider how far remuneration packages appeal to each generation. Much has been made of most Millennials’ current inability to purchase property. According to a NexGen survey by PwC, most would now choose workplace flexibility, work/life balance and the opportunity for overseas assignments over financial rewards.

So, putting stereotypes of each generation aside, ultimately employees want the same thing: to be challenged at work and to have a good manager who acts as a coach and helps them achieve their specific career goals. Is your firm making the most of a multigenerational workforce?

To discuss how Clayton can find the right people for your firm, please contact us

Take a look at some of our other blogs, to gain more insight into the legal sector

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Is there any legal talent left?

  • November 30, 2017

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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The four biggest legal markets outside of London

  • November 28, 2017

London has long been the undisputed major legal market in this country. Parts of the capital have been dedicated to the practising of law since the Middle Ages and there are entire legal districts and landmarks – such as Temple and The Old Bailey – which make it synonymous with law even to those outside of the profession.

However, as a national recruiter, we’re acutely aware that there are several cities outside of London that are thriving legal hubs in their own right and are becoming increasingly desirable locations for firms and practitioners. So, what cities are thriving?

Leeds lawyers link easily with London

The legal sector in Leeds is the fastest growing in Britain, according to recent figures from the OFS. In fact, the number of jobs in the city increased by 20% between 2010 and 2015, compared to London’s 5% sector growth. Leeds has benefitted from the widespread trend of London firms relocating their offices and the ‘big six’ all have practices there. Excellent transport infrastructure means, that lawyers can easily travel to London, enabling them to offer the same range of services as their peers in the capital, but without the hefty fees. Leeds, has also seen a steady growth within its technology and digital economy, meaning there are plentiful opportunities for specialists.

Birmingham booms as a ‘legal city’

The recent ‘mini boom’ in Birmingham’s local housing market, fuelled a 68% increase in demand for the services of residential conveyancing professionals, according to our latest hiring index. In addition, there has been considerable growth in infrastructure, such as New Street Station’s £750 million transformation, leading to increased opportunities for construction lawyers.  The HS2 high-speed rail network project will continue this trend and provide a number of opportunities for transactional, regulatory, compliance and litigation specialists.

Manchester law firms mirror the city’s growth

Manchester’s buoyant legal sector, echoes the sustained growth of the city. Rapid urban development has led to a skyline of newly built towers, which house businesses and private residences. As a result, there has been continual growth within property and construction as well as finance and corporate law. Big firms such as Slater and Gordon, Clyde & Co, Freshfields and Nabarro have all settled in the city, supplying plentiful opportunities for the city’s legal professionals.

Bristol harbours major legal firms

A port city best known for its aerospace, technology, and research industries, Bristol’s knowledge-based local economy is a draw for legal firms with expertise in energy, transport, financial services and infrastructure. The Temple Quarter area has welcomed major firms such as Simmons & Simmons and Burges Salmon and key players such as home-grown Osborne Clark and TLT reported rises in their turnover during 2016/17, highlighting its viability as a second ‘legal city’.

So, as more and more firms continue to invest in these cities, the opportunities for professionals is vast. Gone are the days where it was deemed necessary to work in the capital to pursue a career in law.

If you’re a legal specialist seeking a new role for the New Year, get in touch today to see what opportunities we have available nationwide.

And, if you’re a firm seeking talent for your growing legal practice, we can help find your next hire.

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Why are legal firms such attractive targets for hackers?

  • November 21, 2017

It’s not difficult to see why law firms are prime targets for cyber-attackers, given how much valuable personal, business critical and commercially sensitive information they hold. A firm specialising in, say, commercial property and dealing with funds transfers could provide a highly profitable source of information for relatively little outlay for a determined hacker. In fact, Friday afternoon fraud‘ where law firms are tricked into giving bank details to fraudsters, most commonly during the completion of conveyancing transactions, is now the biggest cybercrime afflicting the legal sector.

1 in 5 UK law firms targeted by hackers last month

 

And while this obvious vulnerability could lead many to believe that firms are braced for such attacks, new research suggests otherwise. A recent report, reveals that a fifth of UK law firms have been targeted by hackers in the last month alone. This isn’t a small group of poorly protected businesses, either: The Law Society found that 65% of firms have been a victim of a cyber incident at some point.

Prepare – or be doomed

Firms need to be prepared for the increased threat cybercrime poses to their practice – something that London School of Economics cyberlaw lecturer Mark Leiser warned earlier this year: “a law firm that relies on passive defences [such as a mitigation plan in case of an attack] is doomed.” Sobering words, indeed, yet according to The National Cyber Security Centre, only 35% of law firms have a mitigation plan and even fewer have active defences which detect cyber-attacks before they happen. Awareness and resilience within the legal sector clearly doesn’t match the threat or the potentially catastrophic consequences of such an attack.

The aftermath of a cyber-attack

So, what ‘doom’ might ensue? A cybersecurity attack may compromise a company’s infrastructure, its data –including that of its customers, its functionality and also its reputation. If that wasn’t enough, when the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May 2018, the penalties for failing to prevent such breaches will be high: for serious violations, there will be maximum fines of €20 million or 4 per cent of annual turnover.

Ensure you have cyber security expertise

It is clear that those in the legal sector must not be complacent about security or assume that they are safe from the potential risk. We can assume that as we look to the future, cyber-attacks will only get more sophisticated. Cyber-security really does need to be a board-level priority and employees across all levels of a company should receive regular training about its importance so that there is a culture of compliance. Crucially, there must be the technical ability and procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a breach. Businesses must examine whether they have the in-house skill sets to protect themselves and their clients, rather than finding out in the worst possible way that they are woefully underprepared. The NCSC’s guide ‘Ten Steps to Cyber Security‘ is a useful starting point. However, it may be the case that businesses need to seek the advice of expert IT providers or hire more talent to ensure that the proper technical measures are in place. Going forwards, some firms will look to refocus their hiring strategies to ensure that they have cyber security specialists at hand to provide ongoing and up-to-date expertise, but these individuals will be highly sought after. Regardless of how this bolstering of security takes place, it is clear that doing so is imperative: firms that fail to do so are leaving themselves extremely vulnerable to very serious consequences.

Is your firm prepared for the growing threat of hacking and cyber attacks?

To discuss how Clayton can find the right people to help keep your data safe, please contact us

Take a look at some of other blogs to gain more insight into the legal sector

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