Hiring Fast Versus Slow: The Facts Law Firms Need to Know
- March 4, 2023
The average time it takes to hire a legal candidate is increasing.
According to a recent post from LinkedIn, it can take more than forty days for a hiring manager to find and make an offer to the right employee. While part of this problem may be attributed to skill shortages in the legal sector, there’s a larger underlying issue.
Law firms are taking too long to make decisions.
While it’s important to be cautious when choosing the right employee to bring onto your team, a slow hiring process can have a number of negative repercussions. As competition for legal talent in the legal industry grows, taking too long to select a candidate could/will mean you miss out.
At the same time, there’s a risk you could end up impacting your employer brand, prompting future candidates to avoid applying for your roles.
Remember candidates talk to each other and especially online.
So let’s talk about why hiring faster is a good idea.
Hiring Fast vs Hiring Slow: Why Speed Wins
The best legal candidates are always highly coveted and receive multiple offers from a variety of different employers. If you’re not fast to act, the chances of losing your ideal employee are higher than ever.
As a legal recruiter, we can only do so much to persuade candidates to wait.
Recruiting faster doesn’t mean abandoning your standards when choosing the correct candidate. Instead, it means reworking your process so you can make intelligent decisions quickly.
Here are some of the reasons why law firms need to increase the speed of their hiring strategy if they want to remain competitive.
1. Increases Your Chances of Securing the Right Legal Talent
The hiring marketplace has changed drastically in the last three years. Today’s legal employees don’t have time to wait around for an employer to offer them a role. More importantly, they usually don’t have to. Even if you don’t offer a role to a candidate straight away, there’s a good chance another firm will.
Making slow decisions about who to bring onto your team doesn’t necessarily improve your chances of getting a high-quality candidate. While you’re busy consulting with your recruitment team about whom to hire, your ideal candidate is already looking for alternative roles.
The longer you take to decide, the more chance you have of someone else swooping in and recruiting your top choice. This could mean you need to settle for a less-than-ideal alternative, just so you can fill the gap in your legal team.
2. Better Existing Employee Experiences
A slow hiring process isn’t just a problem for future employees, it can cause issues with your current workforce too. When positions go unfilled for too long in a firm, many leaders need to distribute the tasks associated with those roles to other team members, to fill the gaps.
This means staff ends up focusing more of their time on projects and initiatives not included within their general job description. This can increase your risk of burnout and overwhelm, and even encourage employees to start searching for new roles too.
Placing more strain on your existing team also means they’re more likely to be prone to making mistakes in their day-to-day work. Overwhelmed staff need to rush through tasks, rather than giving each job their direct focus.
3. Enhanced Candidate Experiences
Legal professionals are no longer just searching for great salary options and benefits when it comes to their job search. Amongst other things (and there is quite a list these days) they’re also looking for evidence their employer will treat them with empathy and respect. This means the candidate experience has become more important than ever to firms in search of new legal talent. Fail to deliver a good experience, and you’ll miss out on future opportunities.
A speedy hiring process delivers a better all-around experience for your candidates, showing them, you respect their needs.
The faster you provide your candidates with an offer, the more likely they are to feel committed to your brand and their role within your firm. The longer your hiring process takes, the more your new team members are likely to lose their enthusiasm about their new role.
Ethical recruitment (something we’ve looked at recently) means in simple terms, doing the right thing – always. This should be the very foundation and principles on which your hiring activity is built.
4. Improved Employer Brand and EVP
Ensuring you can attract and retain the best quality legal talent in the current market requires significant effort. You need to ensure you’re promoting an employer brand that convinces legal candidates you have the right opportunities to offer.
Your employer brand is influenced by everything you do when interacting with both your existing employees and future staff. This means if your candidate experience is poor, due to a long recruitment time and lack of communication, you could risk scaring off new employees. In fact, around 43% of job-seekers say they might even write a negative review about an employer when the hiring process takes too long.
Committing to quickly providing your candidates with insights into the success of their interview, and making decisions fast about who to hire will ensure you stand out in the legal sector.
Speed Up Your Hiring Process
The best candidates in the current legal landscape won’t wait around for a long hiring process. And it goes without saying that the more in demand they are, the more options will be open to them when it comes to choosing where to make that next move.
If you can’t act quickly to secure the best for your firm, simply put – you’ll miss out.
Recruiting faster doesn’t have to mean lowering your standards, but it could mean looking for ways to optimise your hiring process.
And, whilst time may be of the essence, it’s equally as important not to make any rash decisions or rush into a decision that could ultimately come back to bite you. After all, there is a significant commercial cost of a bad hire too.
Working with a legal recruitment agency can help to focus your activity – helping to source, and shortlist candidates faster, so you can get the right talent quickly – whilst also ensuring that no balls get dropped along the way in ensuring that the candidates that are presented to you are still the right ‘fit’ for your firm.
About Clayton Legal
Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviablese 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 get in touch with us here