Legal Candidates: How to Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse
- September 30, 2022
Attracting and hiring the most suitable candidates for your law firm or business is becoming an increasingly complex process. In the age of the “Great Resignation”, and still in the throws of a post-pandemic society, legal professionals have grown more discerning about where, how, and when they want to work.
This shift has meant, by proxy, today’s top talent has endless opportunities for employment, not just from local businesses, but global teams hiring remote employees.
Yet a much documented skills-short market, and a seemingly permanent loss of talent from the labour force means that even despite more flexibility from employers, future employees need to feel ‘wowed’ to have their heads turned.
To thrive in this competitive landscape, business leaders need to know how to create the most compelling job offers, in order to stand out to the most suitable candidates.
The question is, as legal employee preferences and priorities continue to evolve, how do you ensure your job offer has the right impact? Here are some of the top strategies you can use to improve your chances of your candidates saying “yes”.
1. Revisit and Asses Your Company Culture
Culture is growing increasingly important to today’s legal candidates. 46% of employees say company culture is vital to inform their decision of which business to work for. Top performers are consistently attracted to organisations that share their personal values, ethics, and priorities.
What’s more, many of the best candidates in the market today want to see evidence they’re going to be employed in a purpose-led job with genuine meaning. Assessing your company culture and how you highlight your values to your candidates is an important step in making your offer more compelling. Ask yourself what kind of values you highlight in your job descriptions, your business website, and even the reviews and testimonials shared by existing employees.
Does your business reward teamwork and innovation? Do you have a strong focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, to ensure everyone feels aligned in your workforce? Making a company ‘culture’ tangible isn’t easy, but should run through the DNA of your business, including any externally facing communications and collateral where possible.
2. Refine Your EVP
After you’ve ensured you’re communicating your company’s ‘culture’ through self-written messages as well as social proof through employee testimonials, it’s time to start looking at your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Your EVP is essentially everything you offer your candidates that sets you apart from other employers in the specific practice area and/or region in which you operate.
While there’s more to a good EVP than salary, it’s worth making sure you’re paying your employees what they deserve. Research the typical pay rates for the kind of jobs you’re trying to fill, and make sure you take the value of your candidate’s knowledge, skills, and experience into account.
Recruiters in particular have a wealth of knowledge here and can offer pragmatic guidance on salary averages based on the specific role(s) you are hiring for. Many actually publish Salary Guides to download for reference as well.
Beyond a competitive pay package, you can also improve your EVP by looking at your wider benefit offerings, flexible working patterns, and more.
Once you’ve defined your EVP, make sure it stands out wherever you’re going to be interacting with candidates. Share information about your benefits and opportunities on your website, and discuss options with potential talent during the interview process (a great way to test how they land and would be received by potential new hires).
3. Focus on Empathy and Flexibility
In the last couple of years, the priorities of many legal candidates have evolved in a few key areas. Perhaps the most important factors most jobseekers are looking for today, are empathy, and flexibility. Demonstrating empathy as an employer shows individuals that you respect their needs, and want to contribute to their general good health and wellbeing.
Creating wellness initiatives designed to keep employees healthy and happy is a great way to make your job offer more appealing to all kinds of candidates. Share information on your site about mental health days you’ve offered for your staff, or the on-site support you offer for the personal needs of your employees.
From a flexibility perspective, think about how you can adapt to the new working styles of top legal candidates. Many of today’s professionals are looking for opportunities to work from home, even part-time, to give them a better sense of work/life balance – while others also relish the chance to collaborate in an office environment. Are you able to tap into these needs?
You could even go a step further and experiment with concepts like the four-day work week (a pilot of which is running in the UK at the moment) to give your employees the potential of longer, more rejuvenating weekends. One great way to show empathy and flexibility at the same time is to ask your candidates about their specific needs during the interview process.
4. Demonstrate Opportunities for Growth
Today’s lawyers want to know there’s a future in any company they’re going to be working for. According to Gallup, 59% of millennials prioritise opportunities to learn and grow when deciding which jobs to apply for.
Making sure your candidates are aware of the opportunities they’ll have to grow in your business will make your job offer more compelling. You can discuss the promotion paths you’ve offered in the past with your candidates during the interview, and outline the training and educational opportunities offered within your job description.
You might even let your possible hires know about the onboarding process you’ll use to welcome them into your organisation, during which you can both work together to outline a path for progression through the company.
It’s also helpful to share information about the development opportunities you offer online. Videos and written testimonials from employees who have achieved their personal and professional goals with your business can make a huge impact.
5. Work with a Specialist Recruiter
Finally, if you really want to ensure your job offers pack a punch (and are accepted!), it’s worth investing in some specialist support. A sector specialist will know exactly what it takes to align the right candidates with the correct employers from day one. They can help you to seek out people who are actively looking for the benefits, and culture you offer, and already have a bird’s eye view of general market conditions and who else is hiring in your vertical.
Recruiters can save you time by sorting through your job applications and eliminating anyone who might not fit well with your company. They can also provide advice on how you can position yourself to your candidates when you’re writing job descriptions and conducting interviews.
With a specialist recruiter, you can boost your chances of a “yes” when you need it most by building a pipeline of suitable legal candidates, all carefully chosen to match your business needs.
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.